CHIO Aachen: Germany makes the most of home advantage
JUMPING: GERMANY REIGNS SUPREME IN THE ROLEX GRAND PRIX
While Aachen is much more than just Jumping, it is certainly what it is best known for, especially the Nations Cup and the Rolex Grand Prix.
The team event took place last Thursday night. Belgium was head to head with Germany after the first round but finally took the laurels ahead of Germany and the Netherlands, finishing on six faults. Sporting red jackets this year, the Belgian team stayed focused on victory, despite an exciting comeback from the USA in the second round, which earned the Americans second place. France finished sixth with 17 points and saw excellent performances from Kevin Staut on Estoy Equi de Muze*HDC and Pénélope Leprévost on Mylord Carthago*HN.
In the Rolex Grand Prix, the final event and undoubtedly one of the world’s most prestigious Grand Prix, Germany and the USA once again came out on top. Christian Ahlmann and Codex One took the top podium position following on from 2013 winner Nick Skelton from Great Britain. There were three German and two American pairs in the five-horse jump-off, which saw a victorious Christian Ahlmann with three clear rounds.
EVENTING: SURPRISE FINISH FOR THE FRENCH
Germany took home a seventh straight CICO3* win at Aachen, with a 1-2-3 finish (Sandra Auffarth, Ingrid Klimke and Michael Jung, respectively), earning them the top spot in the Nations Cup. While a victory from the favourite and undefeated team was predictable, France surprised the crowd with its young team of Maxime Livio, Thomas Carlile, Astier Nicolas and Pascal Leroy, who finished with two pairs in the top ten and a solid third-place finish in the Nations Cup, a spectacular first for France at Aachen. Great Britain rounded out the podium in second with a fine performance by Izzy Taylor, who finished fourth in the individual competition.
DRESSAGE: TOTILAS RETURNS
While Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin has been racking up the wins over the past few months, she may not have factored in the return of the famous Totilas, ridden by German Matthias-Alexander Rath, who brought some suspense to the arena. The Olympic champion pair held their ground at the top of the rankings until Totilas made his appearance. The black stallion finished with a score of 84.529% compared to Dujardin and her loyal Valegro’s 83.157%. The latter in fact already been overtaken by the German pair in the Grand Prix. The British pair were able to find their way back to the top in the Grand Prix Freestyle, in which her main rival did not compete. The two Germans Helen Langehanenberg and Isabell Werth took second and third on the podium in this final event.
DRIVING: TIGHT FINISH FOR CHESTER WEBER AND BOYD EXELL
Aachen is a not-to-be-missed event for the Driving season as well. The Netherlands, undefeated since 2007, again clinched first place in the Nations Cup during this 4-in-hand competition, after settling into first from the start and nearly 13 points ahead of Germany. France finished in fourth with a solid performance from Benjamin Aillaud.
American Chester Weber took home the individual Talbot Prize and enjoyed one of the best victories of his career, with a final score of 134.48. Favourite Boyd Exell, the only driver from Australia, was hot on his trail throughout, finishing on 135.63.