Our first venture onto the Aachen show grounds was to attend a wonderful invitation only Media party held in the VIP center overlooking the warm up for the showjumping. Opening ceremonies was just concluding and we met Ingrid Klimke who was there to watch her young daughter Greta carry the flag of Italy. I had just e-mailed Ingrid a photo of her father the late great Dr. Reiner Klimke taken in 1999 shortly before his untimely passing of a heart attack. In fact Ingrid told me it was the last photo of them taken together, which is a very special honor for me. Now Reiner Klimke’s daughter has begun the third generation of Klimkes to grace the grand arena of Aachen.
Another family in attendance was Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum with her daughter Brianne Victoria Beerbaum and husband Marcus. Michaels-Beerbaum is an American born showjumping superstar who now competes for Germany.
We saw no Americans at the party who were laying low in preparation for the Nation’s Cup beginning on Friday. The party hosted celebrity heavyweight boxer Waldimir Klitscho, who we photographed with Annabelle Balkenhol and EuroDressage’s Astrid Appels. The German team was in full attendance, as were all Aachen officials and a large group of guests who after a fabulous meal were entertained with music and dancing.
Astrid and I left the guys behind as we were only able to get two invitations but were honored to have been included in the first big evening of the week. It is now raining after several days of beautiful weather, and we are about to venture into the drizzle to watch the Prix St. George class, specifically looking for Steffen Peters, the only American who will be competing with Weltino’s Magic. No time right now to caption photos, but enjoy what we have. Tomorrow is an early wake up call, and we will try to post images and more stories. Also please tune into eurodressage.com for detailed reporting and photos on today’s classes.