Three Kiwis, three top-ten placings at Luhmühlen

Great performance by the New Zealanders competing at Luhmühlen, finishing fourth (Tim Price), fifth and seventh (Andrew Nicholson). Will Tim's performance be enough to give him the fourth slot in our Olympic team? Its decision time for New Zealand selectors.

Andreas Dibowski on Its Me XX, winners of the CCI4* (Image: Libby Law)
Andreas Dibowski and It’s Me XX, winners of the CCI4* (Image: Libby Law)

CCI4*

Andreas Dibowski wins his local event – the only four-star competition in Germany – after an amazing performance from him and It’s Me XX, going clear in the final show jumping, and finishing on 43.80pen. Second place went to Frenchman Maxime Livio and Qalao des Mers on 44.90 and third to the dressage leader, Julia Krajewski on Samourai du Thot with 49.00.

Tim Price (RINGWOOD SKY BOY) FINAL-4TH: CCI4* - Presented by DHL Showjumping: 2016 GER-Luhmuehlen TGL (Sunday 19 June) CREDIT: Libby Law COPYRIGHT: LIBBY LAW PHOTOGRAPHY
Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy finished fourth (Image: Libby Law)

Tim Price was in third position going into the show jumping and produced a clear round on Ringwood Sky Boy but four time faults meant he dropped to fourth place.

Andrew Nicholson (QWANZA) FINAL-5TH: CCI4* - Presented by DHL Showjumping: 2016 GER-Luhmuehlen TGL (Sunday 19 June) CREDIT: Libby Law COPYRIGHT: LIBBY LAW PHOTOGRAPHY
Andrew Nicholson and Qwanza were fifth (Image: Libby Law) 

Andrew Nicholson showed he is back to his best at the top level with two horses in the top ten. He had two clear rounds in the show jumping to finish fifth and seventh, on Qwanza and Perfect Stranger. It was Perfect Stranger’s first four-star event and to finish on his dressage score was a fantastic achievement. We look forward to “Orange’s” next event, with his enthusiastic team of orange supporters lead by owner Alex Phillips.

Andrew Nicholson (PERFECT STRANGER) FINAL-7TH: CCI4* - Presented by DHL Showjumping: 2016 GER-Luhmuehlen TGL (Sunday 19 June) CREDIT: Libby Law COPYRIGHT: LIBBY LAW PHOTOGRAPHY
Andrew and Perfect Stranger were seventh (Image: Libby Law) 

The weekend could not have gone much better for Germany’s Chef d’Equipe Hans Melzer. Andreas Dibowski and It’s Me XX turned on the performance of their career to win the CCI**** after a clear round in the nail-biting show jumping, and Julia Krajewski finished third in her first four- star event.

A clear showjumping round sealed the win for Andreas Dibowski on Its Me XX. (Image Thomas Ix)
A clear show jumping round sealed the win for Andreas Dibowski on Its Me XX. (Image Thomas Ix)

Local hero Andreas Dibowski is over the moon: “My team and I never thought this was possible! Itsy has been with us since he was four and it has been a real rollercoaster ride ever since. He started out very promising as a youngster, but was then out due to injuries as a five- and six-year-old. Since then we have been slowly building him up – however, somewhat struggling with keeping on his shoes. Last year he really started to establish himself at three-star-level and this year he was constantly improving in all three disciplines. Here, he really presented himself at a whole new level! On Friday he did the test of his life in the pouring rain, flying round the cross-country on Saturday and totally rocking the show jumping today.”

Andreas compares It’s Me to the bumble bee who should not be able to fly yet does it anyway: “He hasn’t got the biggest jump in him, yet he doesn’t seem to realise this. He was confident throughout every phase of this competition and we are massively proud of this tiny horse. Of course I was nervous before today’s show jumping; the pressure was on because we were all so close together, there was no room for errors and I knew the other horses would be very strong. However, Itsy seemed to grow in confidence in front of the crowd and he produced a fantastic round for me.”

Maxime Livio was equally full of praise for his horse: “I knew if I was doing everything right, we would have every chance at staying clear today. My horse is very bold and careful, and unless I mess up, he will do his best every time.”  This combination had competed at the 2014 WEG but were disqualified after failing the drugs test. They may have done enough this weekend to redeem themselves, however, and get selected for the French Olympic team.

GER-Julia Krajewski (SAMOURAI DU THOT) FINAL-3RD: CCI4* - Presented by DHL Showjumping: 2016 GER-Luhmuehlen TGL (Sunday 19 June) CREDIT: Libby Law COPYRIGHT: LIBBY LAW PHOTOGRAPHY
Julia Krajewski and Samourai du Thot were third at their first four-star (Image: Libby Law) 

Samourai du Thot, who has been with Julia Krajewski for about five years now, jumped like a ping pong ball: “He is simply amazing and I can’t stop smiling. I am so happy with how things went for us: he just got better and better. His dressage test was strong, but his cross-country was out of this world. He was confident and seemed to get better with every jump. In this morning’s vet inspection, he moved like we had been on a hack and not round a four-star cross-country course yesterday. The show jumping seemed so effortless for my little fighter; Sam really left me speechless with his performance.”

The Australians at the event had a mixed bag of results. Bill Levett on Alexander NJ finished sixth, adding two show jumping time faults to his dressage score.  Bill was also 13th on Improvise, having a run-out on cross-country but clear show jumping. Andrew Hoy on Rutherglen had a show jumping round to forget with 12 faults, and dropped from sixth to 11th. Emma Dougall on Belcam Bear was seventh after cross-country but unfortunately did not present at the last vet inspection. She had been relying on this competition to qualify for the Olympics, so it was a double blow for her.

Oliver Townend was another to withdraw before show jumping with the New Zealand horse Black Tie; they had been sitting in fourth position.

Louise Harwood and Whitson were the highest placed British combination, finishing eighth.

Sandra Auffarth on Opgun Louvo made light work of the showjumping to take the win in the CIC3*.
Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo made light work of the show jumping win the CIC3*.

CIC*** Meßmer Trophy

World Champion Sandra Auffarth put in an amazing performance from start to finish, not only winning the CIC*** Meßmer Trophy but also the German Championship title on Opgun Louvo on 32.70pen. Horseware Hale Bob OLD and Ingrid Klimke (Germany) also stayed on their dressage score of 36.60 and came second, with Tim Lips (Netherlands) on Bayro N.O.P. third on 43.50pen. German Andreas Ostholt was fourth on Pennsylvania with 46.50pen.

Sandra Auffarth and her champion horse Opgun Louvo. (Image: Libby Law)
Sandra Auffarth and her champion, Opgun Louvo (Image: Libby Law)

The CIC*** Meßmer Trophy was nail-biting until the very end. The show jumping course proved a challenge for many, mixing up the placings quite considerably. However, the final three competitors kept their nerve and stayed clear inside the time.

Sandra Auffarth, who had yet to win the German Championship title, was in great shape ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio: “We had a wonderful weekend with perfect conditions! The entire organisation could not have been better and I would like to thank Julia Otto and her team for making this event so special! Wolle (Opgun Louvo) was amazing – his dressage was very expressive and he was very motivated going around the cross-country. Today he was concentrated and really fit, making my job very easy.”

Ingrid Klimke on Horseware Hale Bob OLD had to be content with second place this weekend. (Image: Libby Law)
Ingrid Klimke on Horseware Hale Bob OLD had to be content with second place this weekend (Image: Libby Law)

Ingrid Klimke, last year’s four-star-winner, and this year’s winner of the silver medal in the national championship, had Horseware Hale Bob OLD looking extremely fit throughout the weekend, making their job seem easy and fun: “I am very happy with Bobby. He was fabulous and consistent in all three disciplines, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Winners are grinners. The German crowd love their riders winning of course!
Winners are grinners. The German crowd love their riders winning, of course!

Tim Lips took third place, only adding 4.40 time penalties from his cross-country round yesterday to his dressage score of 39.10: “My horse is a brilliant jumper, he is bold and careful. We had a great cross-country round yesterday; Bayro was simply amazing! There is a little room for improvement in our dressage, but there is time yet until Rio. For me the most important thing was to have a positive experience here, as Bayro is my first choice for the Olympics.”

Andreas Ostholt, last year’s German Championship Winner, who came fourth on Pennsylvania, was over the moon: “I wasn’t sure whether to come here this year, as I am riding all the young horses at Strzegom next weekend. But if you have a horse which is good enough to go round Luhmühlen, then you simply have to come here, as this event would be a shame to miss! I didn’t expect to be placed fourth today, nor to win the Bronze medal in the German Championship, so therefore I could not be more pleased.”

Hans Melzer was more than happy with his team’s performance: “Winning both classes is a real achievement, and all our riders did extremely well. We now have selected the pairs we would like to take to Rio and I am confident, we have picked a strong team.”

This was the final time for Captain Mark Phillips to design the Luhmühlen cross-country course, as Mike Etherington-Smith takes over now. There were no falls and 26 of the 28  starters completed with 18 clear rounds, four of which were inside the optimum time.

About the CCI4* winner

Andreas Dibowski (GER) is based in Dohle, near Hamburg. He has been a regular member of Germany’s international eventing teams since 1997, and competed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he was part of the team that won the gold medal. He has twice been a member of the gold-medal-winning team at the FEI European Championships.

Among his major individual successes are wins in the CCI3* at Boekelo in 2011 on FRH Butts Avedon; Luhmühlen CCI4* in 2011 on FRH Butts Leon; Pau CCI4* in 2010 with FRH Fantasia and the Aachen CICO3* in 2009 with FRH Serve Well.

He is married to Susanna and has three children. When not competing horses, Andreas enjoys breeding doves and exotic birds.

It’s Me XX is a 12-year-old thoroughbred by Kahyasi out of Itza (Local Suitor) and raced four times unsuccessfully in France  In 2016, he finished second in the CIC three-stars at Arville (Belgium) and Baborowko (Poland).

Olympic teams

We are expecting a number of Olympic teams to be named after the completion of Luhmühlen, including New Zealand’s. In the running are Sir Mark Todd (on Leonidas or NZB Campino), Jonelle Price (Faerie Dianimo or Classic Moet), Clarke Johnstone (Balmoral Sensation), Jock Paget (Clifton Lush or Clifton Signature), Tim Price (Bango or Ringwood Sky Boy) and Blyth Tait (Xanthus or Bear Necessity). The announcement will be made next week.

The Germans have made their pick for the short and long lists. The final team will be announced after Aachen. The “A” list is Sandra Auffarth on Opgun Louvo, Michael Jung (La Biosthetique Sam, FischerTakinou or Fischerrocana FST), Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob OLD, and Andreas Ostholt on So is Et. The B list is: Julia Krajewski (Samourai du Thot), Dirk Schrade (Hop & Skip) and Bettina Hoy (Designer) who finished fifth in the CIC3* class. Claas Romeike (Cato) and Andreas Dibowski (It’s me XX) have been named on the C List.