CHIO Aachen: Fast and faster, Chacco Kid in the Prize of the StädteRegion Aachen

The Prize of the StädteRegion Aachen went to…

The Prize of the StädteRegion Aachen went to Canada, to a rider, who has already celebrated many great victories here at the CHIO: Eric Lamaze. This time his winning horse was called Cacco Kid.


Eric Lamaze last competed with the twelve-year-old Chacco Blue son in Spruce Meadows – very successfully. Chacco Kid also demonstrated his super form today with his performance in the Prize of the StädteRegion Aachen, a competition in two phases. “He hasn’t got the biggest canter,” his rider commented. “But he is extremely nimble, doesn’t lose any time over the obstacles and also has good reflexes.”  So you can just let him go when you are riding against the clock. Chacco Kid asserted himself with a time of 36.71 seconds against the Oldenburg-bred Le Carolus son, Lasse K, under Philipp Weishaupt. Only two hundredths of a second separated the German rider and third place, which was claimed by the American rider, Laura Kraut with Deauville S. Weishaupt and Lasse K crossed the finish line in a time of 37.64 seconds. For Kraut the clock stopped at 37.66 seconds.

CHIO Aachen: Boyd Exell drives to victory in the Prize of the Firma Horsch, Der Entsorger with a broken ankle

The dressage test was first on the agenda…

The dressage test was first on the agenda for the four-in-hand drivers in the Prize of the Firma Horsch, Der Entsorger today. The Australian driver, Boyd Exell, was once again unbeatable – in spite of a broken ankle.


The four-in-hand driver from Australia, Boyd Exell, is competing with a handicap at the CHIO Aachen this year. At the end of June, he landed unfortunately when jumping down from the coach box and broke his right ankle. But he didn’t want to miss Aachen. So he converted his carriage so that he can brake with his left foot instead, and now he is here. He has won the overall classification seven times since 2009. In 2014, he had to make do with second place and there weren’t any driving competitions in 2015.

And this year? With a broken ankle? It certainly didn’t stop him from taking the victory today. Boyd Exell won the opening class in the driving competitions, the dressage competition, in the Prize of the company Horsch, Der Entsorger, which doesn’t count towards the overall classification, with a big lead. Exell finished on a score of 34.18 minus points, the team in second place was awarded a score of 42.82 minus points. The latter was driven by Chester Weber from the USA – incidentally the only driver that has succeeded in beating Exell once at the CAIO Aachen in recent years. That was in 2014. Third place went to the driver from the Netherlands, Ijsbrand Chardon, with a score of 43.71 minus points.

CHIO Aachen: Henrik von Eckermann wins the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe with a borrowed horse

The Swedish rider, Henrik von Eckermann, has claimed…

The Swedish rider, Henrik von Eckermann, has claimed many good placings in Aachen. But until now he has not succeeded in taking the victory in one of the main competitions. Today, his time had come in the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe – what’s more on a horse that he borrowed for the “Show of all shows” (von Eckermann).


Frank Rothenberger, the Course Designer’s plan came off – he wanted ten to twelve pairs for the jump-off of the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe. Eleven riders jumped clear in the first round, including Henrik von Eckermann with Castello, the just ten-year-old Westphalian bred horse by Cristallo.

It is only the pair’s third competition together here in Aachen. However, they have known each other for quite a while longer – the grey horse belongs to the Swedish family, Tovek, whose daughter Evelina has been training with Henrik von Eckermann for just over a year. When Henrik von Eckermann rode Castello for the first time at international level, he immediately qualified for the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen by winning the Grand Prix at the CSIO5* in Sopot, Poland. He knew straight away: If he was going to have a chance here at the CHIO it would be with Castello. So, he asked the Tovek family, if they would lend him the super talented horse one more time. And now he is here, with the first big victory in his pocket. For him it was no surprise: “He suits this stadium with his fantastic jumping scope and huge canter stride perfectly!” That was also what helped him in today’s jump-off: “I can turn very tight and know that my horse could jump over a mighty oxer at a halt if needs be.” As such the clock stopped at 47.30 seconds for the pair.


It was too fast for the winner of the 2017 World Cup, McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur, the Thunder van de Zuuthoeve daughter, who already carried her rider to team silver at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. She has the same jumping abilities as Castello, but today she took 0.26 seconds longer to reach the finish line, which meant second place.

Third place went to an elated Marcus Ehning with his “favourite horse”, which is how he refers to the 13-year-old Westphalian-bred stallion, Funky Fred. Marcus Ehning competed at the CHIO for the first time ever with the dam of the colourful chestnut, the mare Panama. A few years later, he competed here with For Pleasure, the father of Funky Fred. And now this own-bred son is celebrating success, this time it was rang three in the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe. What was important for Ehning: “Two clear rounds give one a good feeling for the coming days.”


The man who finished fourth here at the Soers today not only had a good feeling, he is probably flying high now: the Irish show-jumper Darragh Kenny. After winning the Prize of Handwerk just a few hours ago, he explained after walking the course for the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe: “The course is tough! To survive here you need a super horse!” At the time he could only guess that this was true of his ten-year-old Swedish-bred, Westbrook. He had namely never ridden the gelding at a show before today. Westbrook provided his rider with the answer in the form of the fastest four-fault round in the jump-off.


There were two falls in the jump-off. The rider from the USA, Laura Kraut and her horse Confu both sustained no injuries. The Brazilian show-jumper, Yuri Mansur and the Hanoverian-bred stallion, Vitiki, fell at the DHL oxer. The stallion was taken to the clinic of the CHIO Aachen and treated. He has sustained an injury to his pastern and was transferred to a special clinic for further treatment.

Online award “The Silver Horse”: Successful premiere

43 journalists, onliners and social media stars submitted…

43 journalists, onliners and social media stars submitted their applications and turned the premiere of the “Silver Horse” as an online award into a total success. For more than 30 years the distinction for outstanding journalistic performances was awarded in the areas Print, TV and Radio. However, in the same way that the media landscape is changing, the prize changes suit too and thus for the first time in 2018 one will be announcing: “The Silver Horse. The Online and Social Media Award in Equestrian Sport”.

The jury, comprising of the dressage rider, Nadine Capellmann (whose father Kurt Capellmann initiated the prize at the suggestion of Earl Leopold von Rothkirch and Trach ); Ute Gräfin Rothkirch and Wolfgang Brinkmann (both from the German Riding & Driving Association), Social Media star Annica Hansen and Michael Mronz (CHIO Aachen), was impressed by the diversity and quality of the submitted entries. Blogs and social media platforms were among the submissions as well as classic media that have mastered the transformation into the digital world in a wide variety of ways.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

  • Juliane Barth for her blog
  • Harriet Charlotte Jensen for her overall concept
  • Gabriele Pochhammer for her blog “Moment Mal!” (Just a moment!) at
  • Nina Kaupp for her overall concept
  • Robin Schuster for the overall concept for “Marina und die Ponys” (Marina and the Ponies)

The winner will be announced during the Opening Ceremony of the CHIO Aachen 2018 on July 17th. The five best entries will be placed, the winning entry will receive the “Silver Horse” and prize-money to the value of 3,000 Euros. Second place will be rewarded with 2,000 Euros and third place is endowed with 1,000 Euros. 500 Euros goes to fourth and fifth place apiece. The prize is conferred jointly by the German Riding & Driving Association (DRFV), the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV), Gina Capellmann-Lütkemeier and Nadine Capellmann.

Prize of the Liselott and Klaus Rheinberger Foundation

A host of premieres Last year the U25…

A host of premieres

Last year the U25 dressage riders had to make do with second place in the Prize of the Liselott and Klaus Rheinberger Foundation, behind the Netherlands. This year they certainly took off on the right leg.

In 2017, the Dutch team succeeded in heading the field in the Nations Cup of the U25 dressage riders in the Prize of the Liselott and Klaus Rheinberger Foundation. This time Germany took the lead from the very first competitor onwards and didn’t let go over that lead again – victory for the trio comprising of Jil-Marielle Becks with Damon’s Satelite, Lisa-Maria Klössinger with Daktari and Juliette Piotrowski with  Sir Diamond, ahead of Sweden and the Netherlands. Ranking first in Aachen was not only new territory for the three dressage riders, but also for their trainer, Sebastian Heinze. He said: “Aachen always has a special standing. It is an absolute treat to be able to ride here. And when one rides out with the golden rosette on one’s bridle to boot, it is a unique experience!”


There were three “first times” for Jil-Marielle Becks today: Her first appearance in Aachen, she was the first to go in the competition and the whole experience was crowned by her visit victory in Aachen. One often maintains that it is impossible to win if you are the first rider. This alleged piece of wisdom was proven wrong today by the 20-year-old Becks and her own-bred Damon’s Satelite. After a solid performance, the pair earned a score of 72.382 percent – a result that none of the following pairs was able to top.

Yes, Aachen is definitely different to all other shows she has taken part in previously, revealed Jil-Marielle Becks later. Furthermore, it is her first U25 year and her horse is only ten years old. And then to ride in Aachen straight away… But the two of them certainly proved that they are ready for the CHIO. And whoever is ready for that can compete anywhere, the national coach, Heinze, stated. “It is a different kettle of fish when the U25 generation rides in front of five-star judges. They have a different benchmark and demand real Grand Prix riding.”


Sebastian Heinze was however also delighted about the result of the second German rider, the reigning U25 European Champion, Lisa-Maria Klössinger with Daktari. The gelding sustained an injury in May and has not competed since. He regained form just in time for the CHIO. The pair were already on the CHIO national team last year, but unfortunately back then the highly-sensitive Württemberg-bred horse let himself be distracted by the setting. That was much better today – although his rider is convinced: “He remembered it. When we entered, his eyes were like saucers!” However, she managed to reassure him and finish the class on a score of 71.971 percent, which meant third place behind Jil-Marielle Becks and the best-placed Swedish pair, Marina Mattsson with Quartermain (72.029).


The only person things didn’t go as planned for today was the third member of the team, Juliette Piotrowski with Sir Diamond. “I was really annoyed at myself,” commented Piotrowski. “I rode him carrying his head a little too high the whole time and was no longer able to get him to relax his back as normal, which meant we lost a lot of our expression. I should have corrected that, but I didn’t quite dare. Aachen is simply a totally different show.” The pair came ninth with a score of 68.706 percent. Juliette took it bravely: “We’ll do better in the individual classification!”

CHIO Aachen: Prize of the VUV – Vereinigte Unternehmerverbände – goes to Dorothee Schneider “with a palpitating heart”

The “still green” First Romance carried team Olympic…

The “still green” First Romance carried team Olympic gold medallist, Dorothee Schneider, to the victory in the Prix St. Georges, the Prize of the VUV – Vereinigte Unternehmerverbände. What the gelding lacks in experience, he certainly makes up for with his talent.


It is the first time that the eight-year-old Fürst Romancier son, First Romance, is competing at the CHIO Aachen. His rider noticed that: “He found everything extremely exciting! Five minutes before entering the arena he spooked on the warm-up area and I could feel his heart palpitating through my riding boots.” But the gelding calmed down again and completed the test like an old hand – although it is his first season competing at this level and Aachen is only his second international show ever. “But he has what it takes to belong here,” is how team Olympic gold medallist, Dorothee Schneider, describes her feeling riding the youngster. The two won the Prix St. Georges, Prize of the VUV – Vereinigte Unternehmerverbände with a score of 74.824 percent. Schneider said: “He is simply a joy to ride! He impresses me again and again!” Obviously not only her, but the judges too!

Second place on a score of 73.941 percent went to a pair that already represented Germany at the World Equestrian Games of the Young Dressage Horses: Stefanie Wolf and the nine-year-old Rhineland-bred mare, Saphira Royal by San Amour.

The horse that came third also has World Championship experience, the nine-year-old KWPN stallion, Eye Catcher by Vivaldi. He won the bronze medal at the World Championships of the Young Horses as a five and six-year-old, at the time under the Dutch dressage rider, Kirsten Brouwer. In the meantime, he has a Spanish rider, namely Antonio Laiz Zandio, the pair were awarded a score of 71.441 percent for their debut performance in Aachen.

CHIO Aachen: Prize of Handwerk winner Darragh Kenny – “I am always lucky in Aachen!”

He is riding here in Aachen for the…

He is riding here in Aachen for the second time, but his number of victories is much higher: The Irish show-jumper, Darragh Kenny, who cantered to victory in the Prize of Handwerk.


The Irish rider, Darragh Kenny’s first and hitherto only CHIO Aachen visit was quite a while ago: He paced around the course at the Aachen Soers the last time in 2014. His end result back then: three victories. The festive Opening Ceremony of the CHIO 2018 is not yet 24 hours ago, and Kenny has already won his fourth golden rosette. In the saddle of the nine-year-old Cacan, he reached the finish line nearly two seconds faster than his fellow competitors in the Prize of Handwerk. “I am always lucky here,” the Irish show-jumper beamed. Whereby it is only the second show in Aachen for him and Cacan. The latter compensated for his lacking experience with his jumping scope: “He really is a super horse!”


The same also applies for the runners-up. Second place went to the Selle Français mare, Venise du Reverdy, under the Egyptian rider, Abdel Said, who lives in Belgium. The Holstein-bred mare Star finished third with the French rider, Thierry Rozier. The recently crowned double European Champion, who is competing here under the flag of the Rolex Academy, Harry Charles claimed the second placing in his career at the CHIO Aachen after coming fourth with Controe. Fifth and sixth place in the prize-giving ceremony were secured respectively by the Brazilian rider, Pedro Veniss with For Felicila and Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann with Que Guapo de Hus Z, who was also placed in the STAWAG Opening Jumping.

Flash Quotes: Simone Blum

Flash Quotes: Simone Blum You have three horses…

Flash Quotes: Simone Blum

You have three horses with you to Aachen. “Alice” is on board too – she was injured. What does she feel like here in Aachen?

Blum: She feels great and is totally wild. I am glad that we can both be here this year.

How is Alice at the moment?

Blum: After her injury Alice actually returned to training relatively quickly. However, we gave her a little bit of extra time to make sure that she had recovered properly. This season is going pretty well. Alice just loves the jumping sport. When she is allowed to jump, the higher it is the more fun the horse has. She has the best attitude one could wish for. The overall package she offers is great, I can hardly think of any negative to say.

What are your expectations this season particularly with a view to Tryon?

Blum: Tryon is naturally a big goal for me. But we have to take it step by step. We will do our best, but especially in the world of sport – especially when animals are involved – one simply can’t plan everything.

And your expectations for Aachen?

Blum: I rod Alice in the warm-up yesterday. She was fresh and wild. I rode Con Touch in the STAWAG Opening Jumping yesterday. We picked up four faults but it was quite a good round. We jumped clear in the Sparkassen-Youngster-Cup of course. He can learn a lot here. Today, we are competing in the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe. It would be great if we could qualify for the Rolex Grand Prix – and then be placed, that would be a dream come true.

If one takes a look at the team for the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup, a generation change seems to have taken place in the German jumping sport …

Blum: A new phase always occurs where young people join the ranks. We also have to be given the opportunity to gain experience. That is why I find it fantastic that we are a very young team here in Aachen. All of the other big names also already started off young. Furthermore, we also have incredibly super horses in the team. Ultimately, however, one also needs a bit of luck for everything to work out right. There is a lot of pressure of course, because the Germans have already won twice in a row. We would naturally like to carry on this success.