The atmosphere in the Deutsche Bank Stadium in Aachen was indescribable this evening. At the FEI European Championships Aachen 2015, 20 riders battled it out in the Prize of the Firma HORSCH, der Entsorger, the consolation run, for a place in tomorrow's Final, the HAVENS Pferdefutter-Prize. The best five secured their places in the Final and to do so they had to score at least 213 points.
Accompanied by the applause of the approx. 3,000 visitors and a big fan community, Verena Klein rode to victory in this class with her 11-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion, Olena Joe Cody (Rum Olena x Top Clicerine Cody). In the team competition, the pair didn't qualify for the Final due to a break of gait. Today, however, the stallion, whom the young professional trainer has been riding for the last two years, performed magnificently. Above all, the horse and rider excelled in the Spins and the Circles, finishing the run on a score of 216.
The British reiner, Doug Allen, finished a close second, just 0.5 points behind them, with the 7-year-old black, American Quarter Horse stallion Hangten Shiner (Hangten Surprize x Ebony Shines, owner: Christine Brazeau). The Swedish rider, Johan Fridberger came third with Anna Petterssons, a 13-year-old American Quarter Horse mare, Mega Jac Dance (Martuas Mega Jac x BH Song and Dance), on a score of 213.5.
After her fantastic ride, Verena Klein was congratulated exuberantly by the entire German team. "It was simply tremendous riding in front of the cheering crowds," beamed Verena Klein, who has already succeeded in notching up many major victories, whereby it was her first international FEI competition. "Olena Joe Cody always knows exactly when things get serious. That was also the case this evening. Aachen is simply indescribable. I am absolutely delighted and I am incredibly proud of our team. I am competing here as an individual rider, but it felt like I am one of the team. They have given me incredible support."
The national coach, Nico Hörmann, was also visibly proud of his reiner. "I am so happy for her – Verena has worked hard to achieve this result and the whole team is delighted for her. Our aim was to win this evening and we succeeded in achieving this goal. This is our hall and that is what we wanted to prove to everyone." This means that Germany has five riders in the individual final: In addition to Verena Klein, these are Grischa Ludwig, Elias Ernst, Oliver Stein and Volker Schmitt.
After Doug Allen qualified this evening, Great Britain also has to excellent riders in the individual final. Francesca Sternberg already came fifth yesterday with Ten Reasons after scoring 215.5. Today, her husband Doug Allen followed her lead. Chef d’Equipe, Simon Barnes, was delighted with the result: "Our team were under quite a lot of pressure, because we only had three riders. The reining scene in Great Britain is not very big, so it is not easy to put together a team for such a first-class, international event like this. Doug did a fantastic job this evening. We now have two people in the individual final and we are very happy."
Two riders shared fourth place on a score of 213, the Danish rider Rebecca Jenssen with Whiz Be San Badger (Who Whiz It x Goodlookinandeasy) and the Swiss reiner Daniel Schmutz with BH Cielo Dry (Cielo Dry x Ist A Broadway Girl).