German Heike Kemmer has taken the lead in the CDIO Grand Prix Nations' Cup at the 2008 CDIO Aachen which kicked off today. The tropical temperatures gave the whole show a summery feel, but right after the end salute of the last rider of the day, torrential rain poured out of the thunderclouds which packed the sky above Aachen and severe lightning lit the sky.
Heike Kemmer took the lead in the Grand Prix with a 72.250% score. Aboard her own and her friend Betina Fink's Hanoverian gelding Bonaparte (by Bon Bonaparte), Kemmer produced a safe, clean ride with the flying changes as highlight. Eighteen riders rode the CDIO Grand Prix today, sixteen more will go tomorrow in the second part of the team championship test.
Austrian Victoria Max-Theurer landed a provisional second place aboard the Oldenburg stallion Augustin (by August der Starke x Rohdiamant) bred by Vici's mom Elizabeth Max-Theurer. The massive bay stallion shows world class potential but needs a bit more maturing in the piaffe. A mistake in the flying changes every two strides kept the score just below 70%: 69.042%
The CDIO Aachen is the final stage on the German Olympic selection process and much was expected of the 23-year old Mattias Alexander Rath who became Germany's second best competing rider this spring. Unfortunately things didn't run as smoothly for the newcomer, who won the men's title at the 2008 German Championships in Balve. Several hiccups in the piaffe and single tempi changes reduced his score to 66.75%.
"I would really like to have repeated the performance I gave in Balve, especially with the Olympic Games in mind. But unfortunately the fine tuning between myself and Sterntaler wasn't quite right today," Rath explained. "I will do everything in my power to make sure that this first impression is forgotten when I ride the Grand Prix Spécial on Friday."
Edward Gal and his sensational Dutch warmblood Totilas (by Gribaldi) won the Prix St Georges with. Two halts and a rein back in rollkur head position meddled with the overall harmonious silhouette of this combination. They won the class with 73.250%. The black is owned by Kees and Tosca Visser, the couple behind the renowned international show jumping stable Eurocommerce. The Australian Hayley Beresford, who has been working for Isabell Werth for the past two years, showed marvellous things aboard the Oldenburg mare Rhapsodie Queen (by De Niro x Lord Liberty G). The trot was fantastic, but in canter, the light footed mare loses expression and ground cover. They scored 71.200%
Text and Photos copyrighted: Astrid Appels - Eurodressage.com