CHIO Aachen Kicks Off with the Vaulting Competitions



Kai Vorberg Shows Amazing Form at the Start of the World Equestrian Festival


He came, he saw, he conquered – and his fellow competitors were left astounded. On the opening day of the CHIO Aachen today Kai Vorberg did justice to his role as favourite among the vaulters, winning both the compulsory test ahead of his training colleague Patric Looser (Switzerland) and the freestyle ahead of the European Champion from France, Nicolas Andreani. In the ladies’ event the European Champion from Great Britain, Joanne Eccles, dominated the competition ahead of Megan Benjamin (USA), who won the World Championship title in Aachen in 2006.

The best vaulters in the world met up for the first time this year in Aachen, so that the CHIO Aachen is going to show where the land lies before the World Equestrian Games in September/October in Kentucky (USA). Furthermore, Aachen is also the final trials for the German competitors who are fighting for a ticket to the World Championships. After his successful prelude there shouldn’t be any doubt whatsoever that Kai Vorberg, who comes from Cologne, will be heading the German team. The second best German vaulter was Viktor Brüsewitz (Garbsen). Among the ladies Antje Hill (Neuss) was the best German participant, taking third place in the freestyle and fourth in the compulsory test behind the Danish vaulter, Rikke Laumann.

Team Bleyer Rheinland dominated the compulsory test of the team competition, the “Prize of the Sparkasse”, topping the rankings ahead of Team Lütisburg I from Switzerland and Team Freisaal from Austria. Bleyer Rheinland? Even dedicated fans of the sport may say “I’ve never heard of them”, because prior to the CHIO Aachen this team didn’t exist. It was founded especially for the international vaulting tournament in Aachen. Incidentally, the team was an emergency solution since Bleyer Rheinland is the result of the amalgamation of the hitherto rival teams Neuss-Grimlinghausen and Team Wintermühle-Köln. Both teams had been plagued by so many injuries over the last months that they wouldn’t have been able to send a team to Aachen. So the otherwise bitter rivals, the vaulters from Neuss and Cologne, joined forces and formed a new team. The second German representatives are also very interesting: Team PSG Rittergut Habighorst-Bord includes three juniors, who will represent Germany at the European Championships of the juniors. VV Ingelsberg already managed to convince the decision-makers in May and have already got their tickets for the World Championships, so in view of the long season ahead they decided not to compete in Aachen.

The aesthetically beautiful “pas de deux” competition, where a pair demonstrate their freestyle routine on a cantering horse, celebrated its premiere. All combinations are possible, i.e. the team can compose of two men, two women or a mixed pair. However, at the premiere in Aachen the competitors were exclusively all ladies. In the first round of the freestyle the Austrian vaulters Lisa Wild and Christina Leitger are in the lead ahead of the British team comprising of Joanne and Hannah Eccles. Ines Jückstock and Ann-Kristin Burmeister (Hamburg) are currently lying in third place.

The second CHIO day in the Albert-Vahle Arena in Aachen begins on Saturday morning at 10 am with the men’s freestyle competition, followed by the ladies’ freestyle at 11.45 am. A further highlight is the team freestyle starting at 2.30 pm, followed by round two of the “pas de deux“ competition at 5.30 pm.

Photo: Patrick Bußmann, redaktion@voltigierportal.de




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