The Germany I team won the Nations Cup, the final vaulting competition in the Albert-Vahle Arena. The team comprising of RSV Neuss-Grimlinghausen, Erik Oese and Sarah Kay, triumphed with a total score of 25.989, ahead of Austria and the second German squad. The sisters Joanne and Hannah Eccles secured themselves the victory in the pas-de-deux competition. Bidding farewell to the five-time CHIO Champion, Kai Vorberg, proved to be the emotional highlight of the day.
There was no double victory for Germany this year. The national coach, Ulla Ramge, was nevertheless satisfied with the results. “The other nations are close at our heels and some of them have even overtaken us,” the 49-year-old ascertained. She added though that the unique atmosphere in Aachen certainly inspires the competitors to top performances.
For instance in the case of Erik Oese. In the regular competition the 24-year-old from Dresden fell from his horse Sir Bernhard RS von der Wintermühle (lunger: Kai Vorberg). However, in the Nations Cup he didn’t make any mistakes and contributed 8.572 points towards the overall score of the German team. Together with Sarah Kay from Sörup (8.166) on Fruerholms Cato and the reigning European Champions RSV Neuss-Grimlinghausen on Arkansas he thus vaulted to victory in the Nations Cup.
In this competition the scores of the team, comprising of a vaulting group and two individual vaulters (one man and one lady), are added together to a total score. The trainer and lunger of RSV Neuss-Grimlinghausen, Jessica Schmitz, was also satisfied with the performance of her equestrian acrobats. “Every year I am absolutely delighted and can hardly believe it when we win,” the 31-year-old said. Three of the six team members are new this season, yet they still managed to continue their series of victories at the Soers.
The pas-de-deux competition turned out to be very exciting. Nearly all of the pairs put in world-class performances in both rounds. In the end the British vaulters, Joanne and Hannah Eccles, claimed the victory on W H Bentley. They were awarded a score of 8.519 for their freestyles – with their father steering the lunge rein. Second place went to Rosalind Ross and Devon Maitozo with a score of 8.372, incidentally they obtained the best score by far for the artistic execution of their choreography (over 9.1).
The attached photo shows a panorama shot of the vaulting competitions in the Albert-Vahle Arena. Photo: ALRV/Andreas Steindl.