Vaulting: Exciting duel on the final day

Nations Cup The CHIO weekend in July 2018…

Nations Cup

The CHIO weekend in July 2018 was a total success for the German vaulters, who won all of the major competitions in the Prize of Sparkasse. As the crowning glory they also claimed the top two places in the Nations Cup – and delivered a nail-biting duel in the process!

Everyone at the showgrounds in the Albert-Vahle Arena were eagerly awaiting the two favourite teams: Germany II with Team Norka from VV Köln-Dünnwald and the individual vaulters Thomas Brüsewitz and Sarah Kay and Germany I comprising of Kristina Boe, Jannik Heiland and yesterday’s group winners, Fredenbeck I.
Germany II were first to go. Thomas Brüsewitz, Team Norka, Kristina Boe and Jannik Heiland put in a convincing performance and were awarded a total score of 25.479.
And then the time had come: Stage free for Fredenbeck, the Team Germany I! The group in particular gave the freestyle performance of their lives. They already conquered the hearts of the crowd yesterday. But when towards the end of the routine Viktor Brüsewitz balanced the nine-year-old Mirja König in the air standing on his arm stretched out to the side, the crowd’s mouths gaped open in amazement. But would it suffice to leave the team from Cologne that is already nominated for the World Championships in Tryon behind them?
It sufficed indeed. With a total score of 26.276, the group asserted itself against Germany II (25.479) and Austria (24.482), ahead of Italy (23.506), Switzerland I (23.195), USA (22.914), Switzerland II (22.172) and Russia (19.049).
The troop from Fredenbeck could hardly believe their luck: “It is simply indescribable! We would never have thought it possible,” were their comments. And: “One simply can’t describe it in words!” Whereby the national coach, Ursula Ramge, did just that: “The group from Fredenbeck have excelled here!” She also praised the remaining athletes. The Chef d’Equipe explained this was totally in line with the expectations, stating once again: “The best possible sporting conditions prevail here in Aachen. And the atmosphere is the same as at a World Championships.”


Pas de Deux

In 2017, Torben Jacobs and Theresa-Sophie Bresch performed…

In 2017, Torben Jacobs and Theresa-Sophie Bresch performed as Bonnie and Clyde in the Pas de Deux at the CHIO Aachen. This year they transformed the Albert-Vahle Arena into a bull-fighting ring and danced to victory with the paso doble.

The applause started before Theresa-Sophie Bresch and Torben Jacobs had even completed the final exercise of their freestyle on Danny Boy lunged by Alexandra Knauf. “We had primarily set ourselves the aim of heating the atmosphere up in the hall,” the two of them reported afterwards. One can safely say: They definitely succeeded in doing so! The pair celebrated all of the extremely difficult exercises of their routine to the electrifying Spanish rhythms that they describe to be a combination between the paso doble and bull-fighting. The reward: A score of 9.066 for today’s performance. Second place went to last year’s winners from Italy, Silvia Stopazzini and Lorenzo Lupacchini on Rosenstolz lunged by Laura Carnabuci. Jolina Ossenberg-Engels and Timo Gerdes came third on Caram OE (Lunger: Claudia Döller-Ossenberg-Engels) with a score of 8.478.

3,500 spectators came to the Albert-Vahle Arena over the three days of the vaulting competitions, whereby both the Saturday and the Sunday were sold-out with 1,300 spectators apiece.

Hattrick for Thomas Brüsewitz in the Prize of Sparkasse

Thomas Brüsewitz has won the individual men’s classification…

Thomas Brüsewitz has won the individual men’s classification in the Prize of Sparkasse at the CHIO Aachen for the third time in succession. Certainly no coincidence!

Thomas Brüsewitz loves coming to Aachen: “It is definitively my favourite international show!” No wonder! He headed the ranks here in 2016, the same was true in 2017 and in 2018 he has done it again. With a final score of 8.219, Brüsewitz asserted himself against his former training partner and roommate Jannik Heiland (8.168). Followed by the current World Cup winner, Jannik Drewell (8.023).

Brüsewitz laid the foundation for his success with a fantastic compulsory test, the first of in total three competitions on the way to CHIO title number three and the first individual victory in Aachen with Danny Boy lunged by Patric Looser. He came third in the technical test and won the freestyle – with a mere thousandth of a point lead ahead of Jannik Heiland. Brüsewitz received a score of 8.752, Heiland scored 8.751. It really couldn’t have been any closer!
But now all parties have to call up their top form again, because the Nations Cup is on the agenda tomorrow! However, that is not the only major title that will be decided in the Prize of Sparkasse, on Soers Sunday at the CHIO Aachen 2018. The action kicks off with the Pas de Deux. The Germans have already done some good groundwork here. After the first round today, the two reigning World Cup Pas de Deux winners, Torben Jacobs and Theresa-Sophie Bresch, on Holiday on Ice lunged by Alexandra Knauf scored 8.630. The Italian duo Silvia Stopazzini and Lorenzo Lupacchini are currently lying in second place with Rosenstolz (Lunger: Laura Carnabucci) on a score of 8.479, followed by Jolina Ossenberg-Engels and Timo Gerdes on Caram OE (Lunger: Claudia Döller-Ossenberg-Engels), who have an interim score of 8.371.

Ladies: Kristina Boe wins with a message

Kristina Boe is vaulting in a league of…

Kristina Boe is vaulting in a league of her own this season. She headed the field with a clear lead against her fellow female competitors in the Prize of Sparkasse at the CHIO Aachen 2018 today. The decisive element was her fantastic freestyle, in which not only the sporting aspect played a big role for the vaulter from Hamburg.

With a final score of 8.186, the casualty surgeon, Kristina Boe, asserted herself in her own country against her fellow competitors on Don de la Mar lunged by Winnie Schlüter: Sarah Kay came second with a score of 7.927 ahead of Janika Derks, who finished on a score of 7.902. In addition to the top ranking three, Corinna Knauf also performed an outstanding freestyle routine, which meant she ranked sixth in the overall classification (7.688). Fourth place went to the Italian vaulter, Anna Cavallaro (7.809) and Silvia Stopazzini claimed sixth place (7.728).

Kristina Boe’s new freestyle choreography was inspired by the British behaviour researcher, Jane Godall, who collected significant knowledge about the behaviour of chimpanzees in Africa in the 1970s and finally went on to become an activist instead of an observer, fighting for the rights of animals and the environment. “I have been thinking about this choreography for a long time,” reported Kristina Boe after her splendid performance, which she was awarded a score of 9.862 (!) for. “I found it a great idea to be able to pass on the positive message of this impressive lady!” Which she certainly succeeded in doing. The World Cup winner, who vaulted to victory the last time at the CHIO Aachen in 2016, performed an excellent freestyle and the national coach, Ursula Ramge, explained tellingly: “It was in line with my expectations!”

Training instead of parties: Fredenbeck crowns his Aachen premiere with a group victory

The result in the group classification of the…

The result in the group classification of the Prize of Sparkasse at the CHIO Aachen 2018 proved nail-biting till the very last minute. In the end the vaulters from Fredenbeck I, who accelerated from zero to one hundred here, claimed the victory.

Fredenbeck I succeeded in qualifying for the CHIO Aachen for the first time this year. That in itself was already a huge success for the team comprising of Viktor Brüsewitz, Kevin Greiner, Magdalena Holysz, Mirja Krone, Wienke Rademakers and Malte Möller with their lunger Gesa Bührig. After the compulsory test on Friday, they were lying third in the interim results. Today, was the all-important day. They have trained for this moment for so long. Several birthdays and school parties had to take second place behind the training revealed Magdalena Holysz, who is one of the original team members in Fredenbeck. Together with lunger Gesa Bührig and the horse Wizaro, she and other members of the group have worked their way to the CHIO Aachen from Class A, i.e. the novice level. Today, was their big day.
Everything went well. The many hours of training – finally paid off. After the last lifting exercise and the final dismount, the crowd in the Albert-Vahle Arena Aachen exploded in thunderous applause. A super freestyle! The lunger Gesa Bühring’s summary was that “all of the exercises went right, but we weren’t really in the flow today,” but obviously the judges liked the performance just as much as the crowd: They awarded the terrific score of 8.689. So, everything was open. There were two teams to go, both were lying ahead of the group from Fredenbeck in the interim results.

After the compulsory test, the Austrian group from UVT Eligius on Leokado lunged by Cornelia Trimmel were lying in wait. They performed their routine without making any major mistakes, but the charisma of the choreography based on the motto Faust which the team from Fredenbeck enchanted the crowd with was lacking. The judges awarded the Austrian team comprising of Theresa Tiel, Dominik Eder, Simone Bauer, Stefan Csandl, Chiara Christ and Isabel Fiala a score of 8.166.

And then came the final group, the favourites, Team Norka from VV Köln-Dünnwald, which thanks to their fantastic form this season are already nominated for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in September. Last year the vaulters from Cologne were narrowly beaten by RSV Neuss Grimlinghausen. This year the team from Neuss didn’t even compete, so the road was all clear for Team Norka. Theoretically.
But a pressing need of Picardo lunged by Patric Looser spoilt the team’s plans. The gelding came to a stop from canter in the middle of the freestyle, relieved himself and then initially struck off in canter on the wrong leg, before Patric Looser could persuade him to do a flying-change. That cost valuable points. Up until then the team from Cologne had performed superbly. After the unfortunate occurrence, they bravely completed their routine skilfully. However, the second best result (8.173) didn’t suffice in the end to catch up the vaulters from Fredenbecker in the overall classification. They namely swooped the victory with a final score of 7.858, ahead of Team Norka (7.768) and UVT Eligius (7.624).


This evening had all of the components that…

This evening had all of the components that makes “Horse & Symphony” so unique: Equestrian sports, sometimes elegant and graceful, sometimes powerful and dynamic, accompanied by impressive music played live by the Aachen Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mathis Groß. All of this in the Deutsche Bank Stadium that was already virtually sold out on the first evening (the second concert this evening is indeed sold-out) against the background of the sun setting at the Aachen Soers. An unforgettable, an incomparable, a wonderful evening, which ended in thunderous applause from the audience for the participants and musicians.

This evening had all of the components that makes “Horse & Symphony” so unique: Equestrian sports, sometimes elegant and graceful, sometimes powerful and dynamic, accompanied by impressive music played live by the Aachen Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mathis Groß. All of this in the Deutsche Bank Stadium that was already virtually sold out on the first evening (the second concert this evening is indeed sold-out) against the background of the sun setting at the Aachen Soers. An unforgettable, an incomparable, a wonderful evening, which ended in thunderous applause from the audience for the participants and musicians.On late Friday evening, Alizée Froment daintily floated through the Deutsche Bank Stadium in a white angel’s costume to Yann Tiersen’s touching melodies from the film “The fabulous world of Amélie” on her stallion Mistral. At times “without using her wings”. Her horse was only equipped with a neck strap. The performance of the former Grand Prix rider was applauded loudly. And not only hers: Because her appearance was just one of the highlights at this year’s edition of “Horse & Symphony” at the CHIO Aachen. Around 190 people, 65 musicians and approx. 60 horses took part in the show.

“Mystical – fairytales, myths and heroes” was the motto of the evening. And indeed: It was as if a huge fairytale book had been opened, which all sorts of mythical creatures, magicians and fairytale figures jumped out of. Their performances were accompanied by the fantastic live music of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mathis Groß, répétiteur and music director at the Theatre in Aachen. He certainly didn’t waiver the opportunity of exchanging his baton for a place at the piano to accompany Alizée Froment’s show piece either.

Eight Shetland ponies, who formed a sulky quadrille to Hector Berlioz’s “Symphony Fantastique”, kicked off the show cutely. Later in the evening the riders and sulky drivers from “Fohlenhof Farbenfroh” in Allgäu put in a further performance in the saddles as the “Miniature Spanish Riding School” – in homage to the quadrille of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. What could have been more a more fitting piece of music than Mozart’s “Little Night Music”? The crowd cheered the aspiring young athletes from Southern Germany enthusiastically.

The lively “Shetties” were followed by the “fat placid guys”. Eight draught horses from the North Rhine-Westphalian State Stud and their riders brought the classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to life in the form of a horse polonaise.
Her performance brought back childhood memories for some of the spectators: Mary Poppins. The most famous nanny in the world really did fly stylishly over the Deutsche Bank Stadium with her parasol, hat and handbag – the Theater Lufttanz Berlin made it possible. At the same time the show group Lobberich portrayed a nostalgic annual market scene in the arena with jugglers from the RWTH Sports University. At the same time the equally familiar melody “Mary Poppins Suite” sounded from the orchestra stage.
Subsequently, the aspiring magician Harry Potter and his friends from the magic school Hogwarts, presented by the Dahmen Dressage Stables and the Feberberg Ballet School filled the stadium with plenty more magic to the symphony suite “Harry Potter” by John Williams.

The vaulters also did the honours on this evening: The successful S team from RSV Neuss-Grimlinghausen presented their winning freestyle routine from the CHIO Aachen 2017 to the soundtrack of “Alice in Wonderland”. The evening whisked the crowd off to a “Thousand and one Nights” shortly before the break. Dancers from the oriental dance group of the RWTH Sports University together with magnificent mares and their foals from the Arab Stud Ismer put in a wonderful show performance to Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow’s “Scheherazade”.

After the break, two “youngsters“ conquered the arena: The just 15-year-old star violinist Enzo Kok and the dressage rider, Johanna Kullmann, who is one year younger and winner of the Pony Tour at the Aachen Youngstars 2017, with her pony ”Casino Royale”. An impressive performance entitled “Beauty and the Beast”!
And of course the boy who didn’t want to grow up, couldn’t be missing either: Peter Pan and his friends. The show piece by the Britta Rasche-Merkt team, the Ferberberg Ballet School and the Lufttanz Theater Berlin.

Once again this year, part of the admission fee was donated to a charity. Carl Meulenbergh, President of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V., presented the Stolberger Charity “MENCHENSKIND®” with a donation cheque for 12,000 Euros this evening.

The CHIO Aachen 2018 kicks off with top-class vaulting in the Prize of Sparkasse

Today, in the Prize of Sparkasse the compulsory…

Today, in the Prize of Sparkasse the compulsory and technical tests were on the agenda for the participants in the CVIO Aachen 2018, the Nations Cup of the vaulters. German athletes are occupying the top three rankings in both the ladies and men’s classifications after the first two competitions. They are also heading the field in the group classification so far too.

World-class vaulters from eleven nations are taking part at the CHIO Aachen, among others from Australia and the USA. Germany’s national coach, Ursula Ramge, knows that this together with the high level of sport and the setting here in Aachen also proves to be a psychological challenge for her athletes: “There is a lot of pressure here!”

As always, the competition started with the compulsory and technical tests. In the compulsory test the vaulters have to perform a row of exercises in a pre-determined order. In the technical test five exercises are stipulated that have to be shown. The vaulters can however combine these freely, so it is similar to a small freestyle routine. The actual freestyle competitions then ultimately decide which athletes are celebrated as the winners in the Prize of Sparkasse 2018.

The defending title holder in the ladies classification, Kristina Boe, didn’t have a problem with the high pressure mentioned by Ursula Ramge. With her trusted partner, Don de la Mar, lunged by Winnie Schlüter, the casualty surgeon already won the World Cup Final in Dortmund in the summer. The trio were able to maintain this top form: Second place in both the compulsory and technical test, meant she is currently in the lead in the intermediate result on a score of 7.913.

Janika Derks, who was one of the pillars of the highly successful group of RSV Neuss-Grimlinghausen for years and who is now pursuing her career as an individual vaulter, is currently close at her heels on a score of 7.652. She clearly won the compulsory test with Carousso Hit, lunged by Jessica Lichtenberg, but lost points in the technical test – more than tenth place was not possible today. The national coach Ursula Ramge explained: “Janika has always been absolute top in the compulsory test. In the technical test one exercise didn’t go so smoothly and she couldn’t find her way back into the flow of things. That is a learning effect that we pick up from such competitions: namely learning to concentrate on the next task immediately after a small mishap.”

After consistent performances – third place in the compulsory, fourth in the technical test – Sarah Kay with Sir Valentin lunged by Dr. Dina Menke rounds off the German trio heading the table in the ladies competition. Kay has currently notched up 7.618 points.

Brüsewitz in the lead again

Aachen seems to be Thomas Brüsewitz’s show. In 2016 he won the Prize of Sparkasse, he repeated the victory in 2017 and if he continues his current performance, he will go down in the Yearbook as the winner in 2018 as well. On his trusted partner, Danny Boy, lunged by Patric Looser (the one-time World Champion) the 24-year-old clearly won the compulsory test, so that third place in the technical test sufficed to comfortably take the lead in the interim overall result on a score of 7.953.

In second place with a score of 7.877 is Jannik Heiland with Dark Beluga lunged by Barbara Rosiny. The result in both competitions of Thomas Brüsewitz’s training partner was second place.

The co-favourite, the current World Cup winner, Jannis Drewell, who took the European Championship title here in Aachen already three years ago, won the technical test, but didn’t score enough to make up for the points lost after coming fourth in the compulsory test – the interim result: third place with a score of 7.758 on Qualimero, who Jannis’ mother, Simone Drewell, knows how to present impressively.

1st place for Team Norka

In the past years Team Norka from VV Köln-Dünnwald had to make do with second place in the Prize of Sparkasse behind RSV Neuss Grimlinghausen. This year the team from Neuss is not competing and the club from Cologne were only too pleased to fill the gap. After the compulsory test of the group classification, the team lunged on Picardo by Patric Looser are in the clear lead. The four judges awarded the team a score of 7.362.
The group currently ranking second on a score of 7.082 is the Austrian team from UVT Eligius with Leokado lunged by Cornelia Trimmel. The second German team, Fredenbeck I, is currently lying in third place with Wizaro lunged by Gesa Bührig.