The Prix St Georges competition during the first day of Aachen, the Preis der VUV-Vereinigte Unternehmerverbände Aachen, was a Who’s Who of the top riders in the world with the up and coming equine talent who may be knocking at the door for the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2014 Alltech Normandy World Equestrian Games. The only US entry in the class, Steffen Peters and Jen Hlavacek”s Westfalen gelding (Weltino X Diamond Boy) held the lead with a 72.579 throughout an international field with dressage super stars such as Andreas Helgestrand, Edward Gal, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Isabelle Werth to make the familiar victory lap in the Aachen CHIO arena. With scores in the 70’s up to 6th place spectators braved the damp and chilly day to watch a class of 17 entries in the fist part of the small tour, which will finish with the Intermediaire 1 on Friday.
In a fluid and harmonious test with just one visible bobble in the second extended trot, Peters masterminded the movements with a large contingent of American supporters as owners Jen and Bruce Hlavacek passed out American flags for the prize giving ceremony.
In a weather pattern reminiscent of April in Kentucky the days leading up to Aachen were brilliant, warm sunny and dry leaving several spectators unprepared for the climate change on Wednesday as the rains came, with a consistent and chilling dampness. A wet shadbelly sheen was seen on competitors coats as they went through their movements. But weather is never really the news of Aachen but just a sidebar as the stands still had a healthy number of spectators for the Prix St Georges who gladly remained for the CDI Grand Prix evening class.
The 9-year-old Oldenburger, Famoso, came second with the Danish rider, Andreas Helgstrand (72.342) , ahead of the three-time World Champion from the Netherlands, Edward Gal. Gal, who in addition to taking the World Championship title with Totilas also won the “Dressage Grand Prix of Aachen” last year, scored 71.763 percent with his 9-year-old Dutch-bred De Niro son, Voice. Isabell Werth (Rheinberg/71.447) was the best German rider on the 10-year-old Oldenburger, Der Stern. Nadine Capellmann (Aachen/67.211) ranked eleventh on Diamond Girl, who is still only 8 years old.