Philipp Weishaupt and gigantic Chico 784 (Cordalme Z x Sandro) were not to beat in the CSI4* Hagen Grand Prix presented by Deutschen Kreditbank AG, which also was the first leg of the 2016 DKB-Riders Tour. "Chico is much faster than it looks like – he is very, very big but he has the head of a thoroughbred. He is very sensitive, has a fantastic overview in the course and has huge scope," Weishaupt commented after his win.
The 1.60 competition saw eleven riders go clear in the first round, and further to the winning round where six riders cleared the course once more.
Ireland's Cameron Hanley was second to go in the winning round with the 9-year-old Cas 2 (C-Indoctro x Numero Uno), and as the first to go clear he went up in the lead. He didn't keep it for long though, as the next rider Manuel Fernandez Saro with U Watch (President x Nabab de Reve) shaved off 0.24 seconds on Hanley's time taking over the lead.
Japan's Taizo Sugitani did a fantastic jump-off that was two seconds faster than Saro's, riding Avenzio 3 (Animo x Erball xx) and it looked like a round that would be hard to beat.
But when Weishaupt and Chico 784 are in the right mode, nothing seems impossible for them and after shaving more than a second off the leading time they not only took over the lead – they kept it as well. Detailing his jump-off, Philipp said: "The combination had a short distance in between, and Chico has a huge stride so to ride that fast in to the combination would normally cause the horse to kick the pole on the b-element all the way to the crowd. But this just shows how intelligent Chico is; to come back like that in the combination. "
Two more riders went clear in the winning round, and did their best to end on top. Germany's Philip Rüping with Copperfield 40 (Contendro I x Drosselklang II) got closest – squeezing into second place between Weishaupt and Sugitani hence securing double German on top. Andre Thieme with Conthendrix, also a son of Contendro I, had to settle for fourth place.
Weishaupt's winning mount Chico is bred by Madeleine Winther-Schulze, and Philipp has been riding him from the very beginning: "It is something very special with Madeleine as both breeder and owner. It is more or less family to her, so I'm sure she is especially proud when Chico does well. I still remember very well when I passed by Madeleine's on the way to Braunschweig when Chico was four to try him, and I got to the indoor and had this monster in front of me," the German rider laughed. "Chico probably noticed that I wasn't that exited about him, because I was just on his back for two seconds before he threw me off. But I can't say anything bad about Chico, he is a great horse with a fantastic character," Weishaupt continued.
Rüping was a happy runner-up: "This weekend went way over expectations. I really had a great weekend and was clear in all the big classes. I know Copperfield for a little less than a year now and he is a very special horse. He is a very sensitive and very intelligent horse, and it took me a little to get to know him good enough. Now we found a very good harmony, and that could be seen in the class today. I'm very happy to have him.
Tazio Sugitani ended third, and was all smiles: "This show was very important for me as it was a selection event for Rio. If I get selected, Rio would be my sixth Olympic Games. My horse Avenzio is 17, but he is still fresh and gets better and better the more he goes."
Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson
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