Yesterday they won the Veolia Championat, today they stole the show in the Volkswagen Grand Prix: It was all about Christian Ahlmann and Colorit (Coriano x Capitol I) these two last days at the CSI4* event in Braunschweig. Ahlmann also wrote some history today; by winning the Grand Prix for the second time – his first victory came in 2003 – Ahlmann became the first rider ever to win the Grand Prix of Braunschweig twice.
The German rider has been on a winning wave over the last months, and today marked Ahlmann’s fourth big victory for 2016. If the former world no. one continues his form, chances are that he again will find himself on top of the Longines Ranking.
In a jump-off with only seven combinations, Dutch rider Willem Greve immediately set the tone with his wonderful stallion Carambole N.O.P. (Cassini I x Concerto II). Riding as fluent as can be, Greve and Carambole stopped the clock on 36.68 seconds. “Carambole N.O.P. jumped flawless. I could only hope for Christian Ahlmann to get a knockdown, but his form over the last couple of months is incredible. I knew he would be quicker,” Willem Greve commented on his second place.
After Greve’s ride, his compatriot Marc Houtzager and the only 9-year-old Sterrehof’s Calimero (Quidam de Revel x Libero H) gave it a go. They put in a nice and fair try, but could not make the time of Greve’s experienced and loyal stallion Carambole N.O.P. finishing almost two seconds behind. As one of three German riders in the jump-off, Patrick Stühlmeyer was very motivated for a good result. But unfortunately his number one horse Lacan 2 (Lando x Contender) knocked down the first fence in the jump-off, ending up on 7th position. Great Britain’s experienced Robert Smith and the 11-year-old Bavi (Balou du Rouet x Caretino) could not get the pace of the Dutch riders and finished on 39.07 seconds.
Sweden’s Peder Fredricson and the amazing jumper H&M All In (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Andiamo) took some risk towards the last fence and finished just behind Willem Greve and Carambole N.O.P. with a time of 37.09, sealing off a great weekend at the German event.
Then all German eyes were on Marco Kutscher and Christian Ahlmann. Riding S.I.E.C. Carsten, Kutscher did not take all the risk and finished on 39.06 seconds – a final 5th position.
As last to go, Christian Ahlmann and Colorit (Coriano x Capitol I) knew they had to deliver. “Colorit is a very good horse with lots of experience. He knows technical courses, he knows big courses. And he has been very well educated, which makes it easier for the rider,” Ahlmann said earlier on about Colorit. And as always, Christian kept his cool and led Colorit to a wonderful victory in the Grand Prix of Volkswagen at the Löwen Classics in Braunschweig shaving the time down to 36.14 seconds.
It was a classic Ahlmann-round, full of precision and rhythm. Taking the tightest of turns to the third last vertical, the German rider was spot-on as two fences remained. He cleared the penultimate oxer, before putting the 13-year-old stallion in top gear on the final stretch to leave the oxer intact and as he crossed the finish line the crowds erupted into applause as their home hero had delivered yet another win, this time ahead of Greve and Fredricson.
"Yesterday, time was the deciding factor. Today, the difficulties were in the big jumps but at the same time the course was fair. That also shows in the fact that there were only seven clears. The course designer build really well," said Ahlmann after about the competition. As to his winning partner, the German rider stated the obvious: "Colorit is in top form!"
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij // Picture © Fotodesign-Feldhaus
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