Germany and Julia Krajewski take the lead in the DHL Prize

After the first two competitions in the DHL…

After the first two competitions in the DHL Prize, the Eventing Nations Cup in Aachen, the German team is heading the field in the team classification. And Julia Krajewski is topping the rankings with both of her horses in the individual classification.


German is lying in first place with 79.40 minus points, ahead of France (90.90) and New Zealand (92.50). Julia Krajewski with Samourai du Thot (22.50), Ingrid Klimke with SAP Hale Bob OLD (26.10), Kai Rüder with Colani Sunrise (30.80) and Andreas Dibowski with FRH Corrida (58.10) already took the lead after the dressage and they are holding onto it after the jumping too.


In the individual Julia Krajewski’s horses are battling it out between themselves. She currently ranks first with Chipmunk FRH, who left the dressage arena with a sensational 19.7 minus points and didn’t pick up any faults in the jumping ring. Her Championship horse Samourai du Thot is in second place. He was fourth after the dressage, but after the jumping moved up into second place behind his stable mate. The Dutch rider Tim Lips ranks third with Byro (23.30) before the cross-country, followed by Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD, who slipped down from second place after the dressage after picking up four faults in the jumping.

CHIO Aachen: Prize of Handwerk “absolutely amazing” for Mettmann District Association

The Mettmann District Association celebrate a victory at…

The Mettmann District Association celebrate a victory at the first attempt in the Prize of Handwerk, the Quadrille Championships at the CHIO Aachen. How does that feel? “Absolutely amazing!”


One could say the house rocked when Iris Charles with La Lutzi, Chantal van de Griend with Lord Niro, Patricia Knell with Fürst Finaldo and Stephanie Knell with Don Giovann under the aegis of Marco Schmid celebrated a quadrille at medium level in stylish green glitter top and tails, which the international jury of five-star judges awarded a score of 18.7 points (A-score 8.9, B-score 9.8) which is otherwise only reserved for Isabell Werth and the likes. Iris Charles summed it up concisely: “That was absolutely fantastic!”


The riders from the Düren District Association directed by Sabine Fuchs followed in a close second place on a score of 18.6: Anne Schagen/Sambalero, Rebecca Ida Winkler/Rockadinho, Svenja Wolf with Dior and Deborah Zester/Remington D.


Third place went to the quartet from Krefeld Angela Bißels/Faunus, Christina Dahl/Las Vegas, Nicole Louven/Laurino and Iris Rommerskirchen/Danoni, who were presented by Tanja Liepack (18 points).

Lindt Prize goes to Isabell Werth and the exceptional Bella Rose

One didn’t have to ask Isabell Werth how…

One didn’t have to ask Isabell Werth how she felt after winning the Lindt Prize, the Grand Prix Spéciale at the CHIO Aachen 2018 with a score of over 80 percen. One could see it.


You’d think if someone had already won 595 Grand Prix competitions at national and international level, they had got used to it. But Isabell Werth certainly didn’t give that impression today when she left the arena with Bella Rose after her receiving 80.149 percent for her ride. “I am of course overjoyed!”, the most successful dressage ride of all time beamed and added half jokingly: “If the jockey can now get the flying-changes right…“. Their performance was namely not totally free of mistakes. The fact that they were still awarded over 80 percent, was primarily due to the outstanding piaffes, passage and half-passes. There is hardly room for improvement there which was reflected in the scores she was awarded for these exercises. Werth hit the nail on the head: “It is incredible how this horse fights with you! Of course, there was a bit of tension in the flying-changes today. But it is extraordinary that she can cope with this atmosphere here so well after four years!” Everything else is just a question of strength and gaining more competition experience, she had added.


Jessica von Bredow-Werndl had plenty of reason for joy too, she namely came second with her KWPN mare, Zaire-E, her “ballerina”, in spite of a few small errors – among others striking off in canter after the passage instead of the extended trot. The mare had been very distracted by the atmosphere in the Deutsche Bank Stadium in the Grand Prix of the HAVENS Pferdefutter Prize, but today she seemed to feel comfortable and put in a solid performance that was rewarded with a score of 72.702 percent.


Two pairs finished in third place: The Danish rider Betina Jæger with the Hanoverian-bred Mane Stream Belstaff and Steffen Peters (USA) with Suppenkasper, a KWPN-bred gelding that was trained by Helen Langehanenberg. The horse went to Steffen Peters in California almost exactly a year ago. Both pairs finished on a score of 71.340 percent.


They were the title defenders – but would…

They were the title defenders – but would the German show-jumpers be able to repeat their victory in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup at the CHIO Aachen? After the results of the Nations Cups at the start of the year there were justified doubts. But three aspiring young German show jumping talents and an old hand proved all of the gloomy predictions wrong.
Laura Klaphake, Simone Blum, Maurice Tebbel and Marcus Ehning let the midsummer night’s dream come true at the Soers. With just four faults after both rounds, they rode to victory ahead of the team from Ireland (6 faults) and the Netherlands (9). And how they won! Laura Klaphake had a double clear round with her mare, Catch Me If You Can, which was moreover a role model for stylish jumping. It was the Aachen premiere in the Nations Cup for both her and Simone Blum with Alice. The latter picked up four faults in the first round, but jumped clear in the second round.

Maurice Tebbel made his debut premiere in the Aachen Nations Cup with Chacco’s Son in 2017 – and thus celebrated his second triumph at the Soers after a super clear round number one and four faults in the second round, which he explained came about because his otherwise extremely careful stallion slipped slightly while taking off and didn’t have enough grip to push himself away from the ground strongly enough.

Marcus Ehning joked in the Press Conference that he is so old that he couldn’t even remember how many times he has ridden for Germany in Aachen. But one thing is for sure, the two previous times the victory in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup went to Germany. And today his was the ride that decided the victory.

The ride to victory

As the most experienced rider, Ehning played a key role for the team with his French chestnut, Pret a Tout. That is why the national coach, Otto Becker, let him ride last, since the final rider often decides between victory and defeat. That was indeed the case today. When Ehning entered the ring, Germany was lying in first place with a lead of one point. If he stayed clear, the team’s victory was safe. On the Riders’ Stand Simone Blum and Laura Klaphake clutched each other closely and trembled at every obstacle. In the first round Ehning and his Hiram Chambertin son picked up four faults. Would he jump clear this time? 40,000 spectators were as quiet as mice. He jumped one obstacle after the other clear. But a Nations Cup is terribly long! After Ehning had left the triple combination behind him and steered towards the final obstacle, the first voices could be heard. “Shush!” came from all sides. Concentration! After all the pole could even fall at the last fence! But Pret a Tout knows his job. He also mastered the last jump with no problems at all. A cry went out all over the Soers. Deafening applause, German flags, great joy! Mission accomplished!

Cool youngsters

As he walked over to the warm-up area, the national coach Otto Becker blurted out: “Super troop!!! How they stick together, how they fight – simply fantastic! And how the youngsters performed here – immensely cool!” The German jumping sport has reached a new phase. Experienced experts are not at hand right now, but instead we can rely on the strength of the youth. The season got off to a “halting start”, Otto Becker admitted. Then we came second at the CHIO in Rotterdam, where Laura Klaphake – who has been a member of the European Young Riders Academy initiated by Rolex for three years and thus also trains regularly with Franke Sloothaak – and Catch Me If You Can delivered the best team performance with two double clears. That was anything but a one-day wonder today. Does she have a recipe for success? “I give my horse a kiss before entering the ring!” Who knows whether that’s what does the trick or whether the mare is simply “in the best form of her life”(Laura Klaphake), but one thing is certain: That is what winners look like! Klaphake’s conclusion after her first Nations Cup in Aachen: “A dream has come true, First of all, because I was actually able to ride in the team, secondly because we won.”

Simone Blum and Alice, who only had one show to prepare for Aachen, because they had to have a time out for a few weeks in the spring, also made an outstanding impression. A totally overwhelmed Simone Blum commented: “I simply can’t believe it. It was a fantastic day, a fantastic team and I am proud of us all.” And Marcus Ehning, who has competed so often here at the Soers that he can no longer remember how many times, emphasised: “Once you have won here once, you want to win every year! Indeed, we have succeeded in doing so for the last three years. So we are simply happy! And then taking a sideward glance over to his team colleagues, the Olympic gold medallist praised the team: “The young riders performed superbly.”

This victory was dedicated to Hans Günter Winkler who passed away earlier this month. All four riders wore a black armband in remembrance of the show jumping legend. “HGW” would no doubt have enjoyed this evening at the Soers.


The first national anthem that was played at…

The first national anthem that was played at the CHIO Aachen today, was the German anthem. It was played for Philipp Weishaupt, who won the VBR Prize with a big lead, a two-phase jumping competition over 1.55 metre obstacles.

“That course was really high today,” Philipp Weishaupt summed up after the prize-giving ceremony for the VBR Prize. No problem for his 12-year-old Holstein-bred Lesson Peak. The Lord Z son was extremely fast too: He beat the rest of the field by almost two seconds. Weishaupt crossed the finish line in 35.08 seconds. Second place went to the Belgian rider, Yves Vanderhasselt with Hetman Of Colors, who also jumped clear in a time of 36.97 seconds, followed by Laura Kraut (USA) with Zeremonie (0/38.99).


In a two-phase competition, the jump-off is basically a continuation of the first round in one course. If a pair remains clear over the first part of the course, he simply carries on jumping the rest of the obstacles. The second half of the course is then ridden against the clock. The course itself was “almost like a standard course,” commented Weishaupt. But long, consisting of 14 obstacles. That was very strenuous in the heat! That is the advantage if one has a horse that is a little more temperamental by nature – like Weishaupt’s Lesson Peak: “In his case it is a fine line between genius and insanity,” his rider explained. The two of them have only been a pair for a few weeks. Weishaupt took over the gelding from a Canadian pupil of his employer Ludger Beerbaum and has already celebrated victories with him, among others at the CHIO Rotterdam. “But winning at home is always something different,” the two-time Rolex Major winner added, “and here in Aachen is always very special, regardless of which competition it is!”

First victory in Aachen for Chardon Junior in the Obstacle Driving Competition

The four-in-hand driver, Bram Chardon, the son of…

The four-in-hand driver, Bram Chardon, the son of legendary Dutch driver, Ijsbrand Chardon, is just 25 years old. And has been a regular guest at the CHIO Aachen for almost as long. But he is actually sitting on the carriage for the first time this year. And promptly claimed his first victory.


The Obstacle Driving Competition, where the drivers can choose their own course through the obstacles, was on the agenda for the four-in-hand drivers today. Depending on the degree of difficulty there is a fixed amount of points for successfully passing through the obstacles. The driver with the most points and the fastest time wins.


Today that was the Dutch driver, Bram Chardon, on his CHIO Aachen debut. “I was pleased with how everything went over the last two days,” explained the tall young man, who is currently heading the field in the Nations Cup classification with his fellow team members, father Ijsbrand and Koos de Ronde. “It is a dream come true for me to be able to compete here in Aachen. And then to enter the Main Stadium with the white blanket this afternoon is already a huge success for me!”

But the CHIO Aachen is not over yet. Tomorrow, they will set off across the cross-country course in the Marathon competition. Bram Chardon said: “I am well-prepared, but the Marathon in Aachen is different to anywhere else. The crowds of people, the atmosphere, that makes it more difficult to concentrate. Especially since the horses have to give their very best five days in a row. But today’s team is also competing in the Marathon tomorrow and in the obstacle driving on Sunday. That gives me security. Apart from that I think I have prepared myself well and I have the feeling that we are ready for Aachen.”

Bram’s father, Ijsbrand Chardon, came fifth today. His son was his groom up until last year. “In the meantime it is a real battle between papa and me. But we are still a team, walk the courses together and develop our strategy together.”


Mareike Harm came a close second for Germany. A ball fell at a decisive obstacle. Otherwise she would have won. “It would have been fantastic, if the ball hadn’t have fallen,” the driver from Schleswig-Holstein stated. “But we are happy nevertheless!”


Third place behind Mareike Harm went to the driver from Hungary, József Dobrovitz, followed by Koos de Ronde (NED), Ijsbrand Chardon (NED), Glenn Geerts (BEL) and Benjamin Aillaud (FRA). The two-time dressage winner Boyd Exell (AUS) “only” came eighth.


…and it was to win. Shane Sweetnam is…

…and it was to win. Shane Sweetnam is Irish after all. And – according to him – the Irish love hunting competitions over ditches and banks like the Prize of the Sparkasse.
His plan came off. Shane Sweetnam was pretty confident today. The reason for his optimism has four legs and is called Cyklon: “He is 17 years old and has already won plenty of classes. He also came second in the Derby in Falsterbo. He has experience over natural fences and can be really fast.” That was evident today: The stallion and his rider galloped to victory in a time of 64.89 seconds.


Second place went to the British rider, Harry Charles, the 19-year-old recently crowned European Champion of the Young Riders and a member of the European Young Riders Academy sponsored by Rolex. He rode the KWPN stallion, Controe by Wender R and reached the finish line in 65.29 seconds. Hans-Dieter Dreher was delighted to take third place with the Selle Français gelding, Tiopepe des Champs for whom the clock stopped at 67.09 seconds.


The dressage talent, Jil-Marielle Becks, hadn’t banked on…

The dressage talent, Jil-Marielle Becks, hadn’t banked on it at all – not only was she able to compete in Aachen in her first U25 season. She also won two competitions in the Prize of the Liselott and Klaus Rheinberger Foundation straight off.

First of all the 20-year old Jil-Marielle Becks claimed the victory in the individual classification of the Intermédiaire II (and with the team of the U25 Nations Cup) with her Damon’s Satelite, then she went one better in the Short Grand Prix: The judges awarded the pair a score of 73.128 for their performance. “A good result when one considers that the Intermédiaire II is actually our strong point,” commented Becks and admitted: “I didn’t dream we would be so successful here. I had hoped to come under the top three, but the fact that we have won twice is overwhelming!” The pupil of the master of riding, Klaus Balkenhol, was not only delighted with her result, but also that her ten-year-old Westphalian-bred gelding, Damon’s Satelite, presented himself so well here at the Soers. He wasn’t distracted by the atmosphere in the Deutsche Bank Stadium whatsoever. Becks‘ explanation: “He was born at our stables. I have known him since he was young and have ridden him regularly since he was a four-year-old. We more or less grew up together.” That obviously has a bonding effect.

Second place went to the Netherlands, to Jeanine Nieuwenhuis with TC Athene. She and Becks know each other well. Among others they competed against each other in 2016 at the European Championships of the Young Riders in Oliva, Spain. At the time Jeanine Nieuwenhuis claimed gold in both the individual classification and in the freestyle. Jil-Marielle Becks ad Damon’s Satelite won silver and bronze. This time Nieuwenhuis had to make do with being placed behind Becks. She left the arena with a score of 71.821 percent.

Sweden’s Marina Mattsson finished third with the Hanoverian-bred Quarterback son, Quartermain (70.821 percent). The reigning U25 European Champion, Lisa-Maria Klössinger, was close at her heels with FBW Daktari (70.615 percent). Klössinger was rather disappointed because her highly-sensitive gelding felt much more relaxed in the Deutsche Bank Stadium than he had done in the previous competition. But of all things her best exercise, the flying-change à tempi which counts double went wrong today. That cost valuable points! But Klössinger intends to make up for it in the freestyle tomorrow.


In 2017 the US American rider, McLain Ward,…

In 2017 the US American rider, McLain Ward, discovered Clinta at the CHIO Aachen under Philip Rüping. He spent seven months negotiating with the previous owner, Paul Schockemöhle. Now he is riding the super mare here himself and together the pair secured the victory in the Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia is a jumping competition with two rounds. The best 25 pairs from round one qualify for round two against the clock, but have to take any possible faults from the first round with them. McLain Ward’s Oldenburg-bred mare Clinta had no faults when she entered the stadium at the Soers the second time round (as is the case for every Grand Prix that McLain Ward has ridden with her since early this spring). And she certainly made no mistakes against the clock, what’s more she was as quick as lightening: 46.95 seconds. That was no surprise for McLain Ward: “She jumps spectacularly. And so carefully that at first we weren’t even sure whether she would actually ever jump at top level. But she has proven that she is capable of everything!”

The eleven-year-old grey mare left the experienced 17-year-old Reveur de Hurtebise and Kevin Staut trailing behind. The two Olympic team gold medallists from Rio in 2016 crossed the finish line in 48.16 seconds, the second best time. Kevin Staut took the opportunity here in Aachen to put something straight: It is not true that Reveur de Hurtebise isn’t going to compete again after his rather unfortunate performance at the World Cup Finals in Paris. “Perhaps we worded it a little misleadingly. He is not going to compete at any more Championships which puts him under too much pressure.” That is why Staut is not placing his bets on the speedy chestnut for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, but instead on his Nations Cup horse, Silver Deux de Virton – added at the same time however: “I would have a better chance with Reveur though.”

The Irish show-jumper Cameron Hanley finished third with the ten-year-old Tinka’s Boy daughter, Eis Isaura, after jumping clear in a time of 48.49 seconds. She too will be staying in her stable during the Rolex Grand Prix. Her rider stressed however that he definitely considers her to be a Grand Prix horse for the future.

Maurice Tebbel and the nine-year-old Rhineland-bred stallion, Don Diarado by Diarado, also made a fantastic impression in the jumping competition. Family Müter bought the horse especially for the repeated winner of the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup. It was a good decision, as today’s fourth place in the Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia underlined again (0/49.29). Last year the two of them won the U25 Jumping Trophy..