Aachen is going to be HUGE this week and weekend, and there will be a number of riders hoping their performance at this show is enough to get them selection to the Olympics. The Canadians will be there with five riders, including Eric Lamaze, and the Americans have their Olympic team at the event. The French have a strong team at Aachen, and there are plenty of Germans competing. Ireland has Bertram Allen, Jonathan Gordon and Cian O’Connor entered and the Dutch have five riders nominated. While many of the decisions on who goes to Rio will be made after Aachen, there are a number who have recently got the green light.
Belgium has two individual show jumping spots, but no team. The selectors have chosen Jerome Query with Grand Cru and Nicola Philippaerts with Zilverstar T. Travelling reserve is Judy-Ann Melchior with As Cold as Ice Z.
Belgium also only has individuals in both dressage and eventing. Jorinde Verwimp and Tiamo will represent their country in dressage, as the higher-ranked Fanny Verliefden’s mare Annarico has been injured. In eventing, it is the very experienced Karin Donckers with Fletcha van’t Verahof and Joris Vanspringel on Lully des Aulnes who will compete for Belgium. Both have reserve horses, and the reserve rider, if required, will be Lara de Liedekerke-Meier on Ducati van den Overdam.
The German team will be finalised after Aachen, but three of their horses on the long list have been ruled out. Daniel Deusser’s horse Cornet d’Amour has had a minor injury, just enough to keep him out of Rio. Christian Ahlmann’s horse Codex One is also out, again with a minor injury. Both Daniel and Christian have other horses on the long list; Daniel has First Class van Eeckelghem and Christian has Taloubet Z and Epleaser van’t Heike.
Another horse ruled out of contention is Mario Stevens’ Brooklyn. They had been on the long list but will not be competing at Aachen or Rio.
Ireland / Ukraine
There had been talk that Ireland could perhaps get a team to the Olympics after Oleksandr Onyshchenko, one of the most influential men in Ukraine show jumping was charged with fraud. Paul Schockemöhle has confirmed that he bought 40 horses from Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who had owned or co-owned all the horses on the Ukraine long list. The rules around who can own horses representing each country means that many of those on the long list are not now eligible, but there are still enough to send a team of four. The riders and horses are Cassio Rivet (Fine Fleur du Marais), Rene Tebbel (Zipper), Ulrich Kirchoff (Prince De La Mare) and Ferenc Szentirmai (Chadino). These riders now co-own their horses with Paul Schockemöhle and this move protects the top group of horses that were apparently very likely choices for Rio anyway.
While we understand that the FEI wants to encourage more nations to be involved in the sport and be able to compete at the Olympics, we can’t help but feel that show jumping as a whole has been deprived by Ireland not having a team at Rio.
The Swedish show jumping team has been named as:
- Malin Baryard-Johnsson on H&M Cue Channa 42, a 10-year-old Swedish warmblood mare (Cardento x Robin Z)
- Henrik von Eckermann on Yajamila, a 10-year-old Swedish warmblood mare (Lux Z x Daimler)
- Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Unita ASK, a 12-year-old Swedish warmblood mare (Corrado I x Caretino)
- Peder Fredericson on H&M All In, a 10-year-old Belgian sport horse gelding (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Andiamo Z)
- Travelling reserve: Charlotte Mordasini on Romane du Theil, an 11-year-old Selle Français mare (For Pleasure x Quidam De Revel)