The individual World Champion, Michael Jung, set off on the track as the favourite and the proud winner certainly lived up to the expectations. After the dressage and jumping, he was heading the field with the 11-year-old Stan the Man xx/Heraldik xx son, and after jumping clear in the cross-country in a time of 7.06 minutes, he held on to this lead, finishing on an overall score of 34.70 minus points. “Sam showed his quality in all three disciplines, it is almost incredible, how he manages it. The feeling, how he jumps, how he gallops, is simply unbelievable. Yes, I am now the favourite for the European Championships in Lühmühlen, but the cards are reshuffled every time and we all start from zero again.”
Second place went to the Italian eventer, Stefano Brecciaroli with Apollo van de Wendi Kurt Hoeve. The pair ended the cross-country on 40.40 minus points. “Aachen is a fantastic show and my horse did an excellent job here. I am delighted at coming second behind the World Champion,” said the overjoyed Italian rider.
The British rider, William Fox-Pitt, came third in the overall individual standings: “I was delighted to be able to ride here – it is my first time here at the CICO in Aachen. The time was very tight, but my horse was fantastic. I really enjoyed myself on the course. The atmosphere is amazing, it really gives you a lift.“
The team victory goes to Great Britain ahead of New Zealand and Sweden
Great Britain won the team classification, Germany fell back to fifth place. The second best German rider was Andreas Dibowski, who finished fifth with his mare Fantasia. “I really enjoyed the course, Fantasia is very experienced so I didn’t have to worry about the very technical challenges. However, I was in a bit of a dilemma after two of my fellow team members had picked up faults, so I decided to try and ride home safe, but of course I did keep an eye on the time,“ stated Dibowski, who has competed for Germany at three Olympic Games to-date, where he won team gold in 2008. “We hope that our performance here is a good omen for the European Championships here in our own country. Last year we didn’t do well at all at the European Championships, so we want to make up for that this year.“
Andreas Dibowski withdrew his second non-team horse before the cross-country, because the pair only ranked 32nd after the dressage and jumping. Marina Köhncke also had to withdraw with her horse Calma Schelly after suddenly getting a migraine. Simone Deitermann was eliminated before the cross-country after taking a fall in the jumping competition.
In addition to Andreas Dibowski the German team comprised of Andreas Ostholt with Franco Jeas, Kai Rüder with Leprince des Bois and Michael Jung with Leopin. “I am delighted with our ride. I know that Leopin is a very fast horse and that you can’t afford to lose any time in Aachen. We did very well. The conditions here are perfect: the ground, the weather and the crowd. The spectators cheer us on and it is a wonderful feeling when you ride into the stadium at the end,” commented Michael Jung, who ranked tenth with Leopin in the individual classification (-47.80).
The German team rider, Kai Rüder (40) who comes from Fehmarn got off to a good start, “then we had a small mishap at the Normandy Complex. We jumped too far down and didn’t get back on to our line quickly enough, so we missed the jump,“ Rüder reported. “Whereas most of the faults happened at the Rolex Complex in 2010, this year the faults were evenly spread out over the whole course this year,” the 2000 Olympic Games team member stated, who finished 30th on a score of 86.30 minus points.
Andreas Ostholt was rather unlucky too. “I am rather disappointed it certainly brings you back down to earth with a bump. But that’s how it is,“ explained Ostholt. The German individual rider, Julia Mestern, finished in 14th place with Schorsch.
The World Champion, Michael Jung, really put his foot down with his team horse, Leopin, a 12-year-old Sachsen-Thüringen-bred gelding. After the dressage and jumping he ranked 15th with an interim score of 48.00 minus points, and he managed to end the cross-country course clear in the time.
Andrew Nicholson: “I have a really fast horse, we started off a bit too quick, but once you have found a good rhythm you should stick to it, so I didn’t try to slow him down and he did his job very well. Full credit to the course designed. The course was very good to ride. The crowd was fantastic and I found it very exciting riding here.”
Ingrid Klimke: “We almost managed it, but almost doesn’t count. The refusal was very annoying, but nevertheless I am delighted that I am riding here again.” The individual starter was lying in fifth place before the cross-country, but dropped back to 27th place due to the refusal and the time faults she collected.
Photo: Michael Jung taken earlier this year.