Well another tough course set by Switzerland’s Rolf Ludi. Tough lines and very little room to breath, riders were again challenged by today’s course. A few more qualified through to the jump off then yesterday. Out of the 56 entries on the start list, ten comb combinations qualified for the jump off, including Olympic medalists Jeroen Dubbeldam, Marc Houtzager, Gerco Schroder and winner Ludger Beerbaum not to mention WEG notables Marcus Ehning and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum.
The track was difficult with tight lines and challenging angles. The course’s difficulty meant a few strong combinations didn’t make it through such as Denis Lynch and All Star, Katharina Offel and Fidji Island, Kevin Staut and Cheyenne HDC, Christian Ahlmann and Asca Z, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Carusso la Silla as well as Hans-Dieter Dreher and his newly acquired Colore.
Nonetheless, a ten horse jump off would prove to be competitive enough to say the least and Dutch Silver medalist Marc Houtzager was the first to start things off with Sterrehof’s Opium. Marc and Opium were fast and clean, with a time of 38.26 seconds, which put the Dutch duo into the lead.
Switzerland’s Christina Liebherr was second but a disappointing 4 faults would keep one Swiss rider from winning. California-born German rider Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and the aptly named gelding Unbelievable. Unfortunately for Meredith, the German combo were just 0.02 seconds behind Marc’s time, putting them in second place with a time of 38.28. So close!!
Switzerland’s Werner Muff, leading rider for the show at the moment, was next to go. Hopes of a Swiss victory were evident as the crowd grew silent. Fashioning his armband, Werner had a frustrating 8 fault score and a time of 38.35 seconds. Another Swiss off the list.
Ukraine’s winner of the 2012 Global Champions Tour Finale in Abu Dhabi, Katharina Offel and Fidji Island, were next in the ring, sure to give Marc a run for his money. But alas, it was not to be, with a surprising 12 fault score.
Gerco Schroder and the newly named Seoul were next up with a good chance at matching his Dutch team mates time. It was interesting to see all of Gerco’s mounts with new names for the new year. Eurocommerce has now been omitted from the horses’ registered names. Gerco and Seoul beat Marc and Opium’s time with a fast and efficient round, stopping the clock at 37.77 seconds. Very well executed, but with Ludger, Luciana and Jeroen Dubbeldam to come, would it be enough?
Alas, it would not! Ludger was next up aboard his stunning bay stallion Chaman. Clearly fixated on a win, the four-time Olympic gold medalist made quick work of the jump off, crossing the finish line with a time of 36.55 seconds.
In typical Ludger fashion, the German combo looked to be in a strong place for the win.
A truly beautiful round by the leggy Brazilian beauty; Miss Luciana Diniz. Truly textbook but unfortunately not fast enough to match Ludger’s time. Luciana and Fit for Fun finished with a time of 39.82 seconds, putting her under Meredith, Marc and Gerco.
Second last to go was Olympic gold medalist Jeroen Dubbeldam aboard the feisty grey BMC Quality Time. Making the shortened track look easy, the Dutch combination finished smooth, perhaps too smooth, with a time of 37.97.
So all hopes were raised when Swiss beauty Alexandra Fricker came in to finish the class aboard Albfuehren’s Memphis. Alexandra has been serving up some strong rounds over the last two days and today was no exception. Clean and relatively fast, Alexandra and Memphis stopped the clock at 38.05 seconds, which would be good enough for 4th place.
The Swiss crowd cheered for Alexandra regardless and the young Swiss miss offered her mount a well-deserved pat for a job well done.
Congratulations to Ludger and Chaman for a great win! A great set up for tomorrow’s big day!!
LGT Private Banking Prix
1.50 FEI Art 238.2.2 (Zurich, Switzerland)
|B 14-j.H v.Baloubet du Rouet/M.v.I Love You/KWPN/MEX01925/B: Winter-Schulze, Made||GER|
|B 12-j.W v.Thunder van de Zuuthoeve/M.v.Lancer II/BWP/NED41598/B: Gevi Internatio||NED|
|3.||55||Quality Time TN||Dubbeldam, Jeroen||NED|
|SCH 11-j.H v.Quantum/M.v.Cantus/HOLST/NED40905/B: H.J.Nijhof||NED|
|4.||79||Albfuehren’s Memphis||Fricker, Alexandra||SUI|
|B 12-j.H v.Quinar/M.v.Carthago/HOLST/NED07642/B: Hofgut Albführen GmbH||SUI|
|5.||58||Sterrehof’s Opium||Houtzager, Marc||NED|
|B 17-j.H v.Polydor/M.v.Bormio/WESTF/GER23567/B: Stoeterij Sterrehof B.V.||NED|
|B 12-j.W v.Manhattan/M.v.Democraat/KWPN/GER42182/B: Windward Farm||GER|
|7.||67||Fit for Fun||Diniz, Luciana||POR|
|F 9-j.S v.For Pleasure/M.v.Fabriano/HANN/103IB23/B: G.R.O.W. Horses & Jünger, Ral||POR|
|8.||88||L B Con Grazia CH||Liebherr, Christina||SUI|
|B 10-j.S v.Con Spirito R/M.v.Karondo V. Schlösslihof/CH/102OR73/B: La Baumetta Sa||SUI|
|SCH 10-j.W v.Landjunge/M.v.Carthago/HOLST/102QP50/B: Muff Werner||SUI|
|10.||122||Fidji Island||Offel, Katharina||UKR|
|F 12-j.S v.For Feeling/M.v.Wanderer/HANN/GER44709/B: Llc Vian Group||UKR|
|B 11-j.S v.Calvados/M.v.Concorde/KWPN/102QD90/B: Robert Smith||GBR|
|B 14-j.S v.Sandro Boy/M.v.Landadel/BAY/GER40673/B: Winley Farm Llc & Gölkel, Judi||GER|
“The one who could fly without wings and conquer without sword”
The biggest and perhaps, the class laden with the most emotion, was this evenings Hickstead Memorial Prix dedicated to Canada’s Olympic gold medal winner Hickstead. The Olympic stallion, that tragically passed away during the World Cup in Verona last year just after the first round, found himself back in the ring at Verona in a lovely evening of remembrance and recognition.
Due to the tragic and sudden death, the class last year was cancelled and the prize money was set to be shared amongst all the riders. Instead, the riders suggested that a class be created in Hickstead’s memory the following year, and tonight we see that consideration come to life in the most fitting recognition of the amazing stallion’s tragic death.
Tonight’s Hickstead’s Memorial Prix 100,000 Euro was won by Christian Almann and Taloubet Z.
The top 3 rider’s in tonight’s memorial Prix were in fact all German riders. Ludger Beerbaum came in 2nd with his stallion Chaman while Marco Kutscher landed in 3rd place with his gelding Cornet’s Cristallo. It was a full class, with 42 top international riders and what better way to remember one the world’s greatest horses then a Prix with his past competitors.
Ludger Beerbaum and his great stallion Chaman added another win to the list, and took home the 6th leg of the DKB Riders Tour in Hannover on Sunday. Twelve riders made it into the jump-off, and Ludger was just slightly faster than the Brazilian born Cassio Rivetti on Lord if de Chalusse 3 who rides for the Ukraine. Clarissa Crotta, feeling good after her excellent result in Rio, ended up in third with her long-time partner West Side v. Meerputh.
Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Bluebuster landed in 5th place while one of my favorites, Michael Whitaker ended up 6th riding his Zangerseide stallion Antello Z.
Speaking of DKB Riders Tour, Luciana Diniz has taken over the lead after the sixth leg at the German Classics in Hannover this weekend. Ludger Beerbaum climbed up to 2nd place and Katrin Eckermann, who was leading before Hannover, fell down to 3rd place. Only one show remains in the DKB Riders Tour, and that takes place in Munich the coming weekend.
The two star Grand Prix in Strazeele went to Gregory Wathelet aboard his lovely Baloudana. The Belgian rider was one of six double clears in the class. In second place followed British rider Louise Saywelle on Winner with the time of 32.30, while Belgian rider Francois Brichart was third on Azimut Chavannais Z.
The two star Grand Prix in Genk, Belgium went to Joy Lammers (NED) and T Sellie. In second was Belgian rider Guido Hornesch riding Concorde followed swiftly by Mike Busschops aboard Covia Z. It was a full class with the likes of Stephex stables’ Eiken Sato (JAP), Farid Ladjouan (HAI), Ashford Farms’ Marlon Zanotelli (BRA), GBK Horses’ Pilar Cordon (ESP), Neil Jones Equestrian’s Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and Olympians Kamal Bahamdan (KSA), Jos Lansink (BEL), Dirk Demeersman (BEL) and James Paterson-Robinson (AUS) also in attendance.
|1. Nick SKELTON||CARLO 273 (GBR) 1641|
|2. Jeroen DUBBELDAM||SIMON (NED) 1630|
|3. Beezie MADDEN||CORAL REEF VIA VOLO (USA) 1560|
|4. Richard SPOONER||CRISTALLO (USA) 1538|
|5. Eric LAMAZE||HICKSTEAD (CAN) 1458|
|6. Luciana DINIZ||WINNINGMOOD (POR)|
|7. Ludger BEERBAUM||CHAMAN (GER)|
|8. Michel ROBERT||KELLEMOI DE PEPITA (FRA)|
|9. Ian MILLAR||STAR POWER (CAN)|
|10. Rolf-Göran BENGTSSON||CASALL LA SILLA (SWE)|
|11. Kevin STAUT||SILVANA HDC (FRA)|
|12. Pius SCHWIZER||CARLINA (SUI)|
|13. Margie GOLDSTEIN-ENGLE||INDIGO (USA)|
|14. Harrie SMOLDERS||REGINA Z (NED)|
|15. Ludger BEERBAUM||GOTHA FRH (GER)|
|16. Christian AHLMANN||TALOUBET Z (GER)|
|17. Christine TRIBBLE McCREA||ROMANTOVICH TAKE ONE (USA)|
|18. Pius SCHWIZER||VERDI III (SUI)|
|19. Carsten-Otto NAGEL||CORRADINA 2 (GER)|
|20. Edwina TOPS-ALEXANDER||CEVO ITOT DU CHATEAU(AUS)|
|21. Lauren HOUGH||QUICK STUDY (USA)|
|22. Olivier GUILLON||LORD DE THEIZE (FRA)|
|23. Ben MAHER||TRIPPLE X III (GBR)|
|24. Penelope LEPREVOST||MYLORD CARTHAGO*HN (FRA)|
|25. Rich FELLERS||FLEXIBLE (USA)|
|26. Kent FARRINGTON||UCEKO (USA)|
|27. Billy TWOMEY||TINKA’S SERENADE (IRL)|
|28. Laura KRAUT||CEDRIC (USA)|
|29. Maikel VAN DER VLEUTEN||VDL GROEP VERDI (NED)|
|30. Eric LAMAZE||CORIANA VAN KLAPSCHEUT(CAN)
|31. McLain WARD||ANTARES F (USA)|