CHIO Aachen 2011: The Netherlands Win the Mercedes-Benz Prize

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Three nations tied in second place, including Germany.

After a nail-biting second round the Dutch team took the lead with a total score of twelve penalty points. If Ludger Beerbaum had jumped clear in the second round, Germany could have taken the victory, but unfortunately his mare Gotha picked up eight faults.

“The weather conditions made it very difficult for all of the horses here, a lot of horse picked up faults in the second round,” commented Marcus Ehning, who did not compete in the Nations Cup, because he is expecting his second child any moment. “As soon as my wife goes into labour, I will leave the CHIO,” explained the rider, who was the winner of the Grand Prix of Aachen in 2006.

Each with a final overall score of 16 penalty points, three nations tied in second  place: Germany, Ireland and Great Britain. The Dutch team comprising of Eric van der Vleuten on VDL Group Utascha SFN, Gerco Schröder on Eurocommerce New Orleans and Jeroen Dubbeldam on BMC van Grunsven Simon was very strong. The scratch result was Jur Vrieling on VDL Bubalu.

The best German rider was Carsten-Otto Nagel on the Holsteiner grey mare, Corradina. The pair that won team bronze at the European Championships in 2009 and team gold at the 2010 World Championships in Kentucky, jumped clear in both rounds. The only lady in the team, Janne Friederike Meyer, who had saddled her ambitious gelding, Cellagon Lambrasco, jumped clear in the first round and picked up four faults at the last obstacle of the second round. The pair from Holsteiner were members of the gold-winning German team at the 2010 World Championships in Kentucky, won the Grand Prix in Frankfurt and came third at the German Championships earlier this year. Like Ludger Beerbaum and Gotha, Christian Ahlmann and the 11-year-old KWPN stallion, Taloubet Z, whom he rode to victory in the World Cup Final in Leipzig in 2011, also collected twelve penalty points in total. Taloubet Z is the son of the also internationally successful stallion Galoubet – Team World Champion in 1982 in Dublin and three-time Champion of France. The graded stallion, Taloubet Z,  not only won the World Cup Final in 2011, but he also triumphed in the Grand Prix in Hanover and Helsinki in 2010 and won several World Cup qualifications.

Gotha’s sire is no stranger to the three-time Olympic team gold medallist: Goldfever was the outstanding horse, with whom Beerbaum won the Grand Prix of Aachen two years in a row in 2002 and 2003. Gotha came first in the World Cup in Stuttgart in 2009, won the Riders Tour and came second in the World Cup Final in 2010. “She used to be very difficult, but today she is a little star,” Beerbaum commented about the Hanoverian mare.

The Netherlands is currently leading in the FEI Nations Cup series on 39.5 points, ahead of Ireland (30 points) and Germany (27 points). Aachen was the fifth venue of the series.