Christian Ahlmann fulfilled his childhood dream today with this 12-year-old Hanoverian Codex One: The 39-year-old from Marl was the only rider to jump clear in the jump-off of the Rolex Grand Prix, the Grand Prix of Aachen. "It is simply fantastic", the overwhelmed new Aachen Champion commented, who triumped in the major competition at the Soers for the first time in his career.
Frank Rothenberger did a good job. The course designer wanted four to six riders in the jump-off and ultimately five reached the final. After the first round 15 pairs had jumped clear. However, only Christian Ahlmann, Marcus Ehning and Daniel Deußer as well as the US Americans Kent Farrington and Lauren Hough reached the showdown.
Ahlmann was the first to enter the stadium packed with 40,000 spectators to master the 410-metre long course containing 12 obstacles and 15 jumps, that Rothenberger had designed. „Normally it is better to ride last. But not today“, laughed Ahlmann. His plan was to jump clear and put his fellow competitors under pressure and he succeeded in doing so. All of the other riders beat the time of the 2011 World Cup winner (46.59), but they didn't jump clear.
Speedy Gonzalez, Kent Farrington was the fastest. The 33-year-old took 43,91 seconds to ride home with Voyeur, ahead of Marcus Ehning with the KWPN-stallion Plot Blue (46.01) and World Cup winner Daniel Deußer (46.44) with the Westphalian-bred Cornet D’Amour, all finished on four faults. Lauren Hough had the second fastest time – 44,71 seconds – but she picked up 8 faults along the way.
With this victory, Christian Ahlmann`s personal Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has begun. Because the rider who wins the three Major shows the CHIO Aachen, the Spruce Meadows "Masters" and the CHI in Geneva in succession, wins the Grand Slam and will become a sporting legend – as well as receiving an additional one million Euros in prize-money.