Everyone who is at Aachen is sharing the most incredible scenes and expressing sheer delight at being able to attend such a wonderful event. The rest of us are of course somewhat green with envy, but we can at least see some of the action though Libby’s lens.
The eventers start on Friday. We are hoping that Blyth was successful in actually catching a plane to Germany; he missed his first one! The grooms, including Kerryn Edmonds, Lucy Miles, Anke Hoyer and Tess Anderson, are on the road with the horses.
Julie and Steiny have completed their first test, scoring 67.586%. They reported on their Facebook page that the weather caught them out. “If only for a secure halt! That and the Aachen weather caught us out. We thought the mark would have been a little better. However, we do have another opportunity to try to improve things.”
They have the chance to do either the Grand Prix Special or the Freestyle tomorrow.
The class was won by German Hubertus Schmidt, an Olympic team gold medallist from 2004, this time competing on his Trakehner stallion, Imperio (score: 76.043%). The horse has just come back from a long injury break, and has constantly achieved top placings recently. The pair are on the long list for Rio. Also in contention for Olympic selection were the next placegetters: the two-time World Cup bronze medallist, Jessica Bredow-Werndl came second with Unee BB (74.90%). Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino came third with a score of 74.486% ahead of Fabienne Lütkemeier with D’Agostino (73.814%) and Jenny Lang-Nobbe with Loverboy (72.700%). The competitions in Aachen will ultimately decide who will represent Germany in Rio.
In the show jumping, the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe victory went to Canada, to the Olympic gold medallist of 2008, Eric Lamaze. The number one in the world ranking list, French rider, Simon Delestre, came second with Qlassic Bois Margot. Third place was claimed by Olivier Philippaerts from Belgium with Challenge V.
The Prize of the StädteRegion Aachen was held in the evening. Two-time Olympic team gold medallist, McLain Ward (USA), was the decisive winner with HH Carlos Z, completing the second phase in the fastest time of 27.7 seconds. In second place were the Irish rider Jonathan Gordon and his Oldenburg-bred gelding Fellini, who crossed the finish line in 29.87 seconds. Third went to Felix Haßmann on the Westphalian stallion, Horse Gym’s Balzaci.