Congratulations on your victory in the “Rolex Grand Prix” at the CHIO Aachen, which you certainly had to fight hard for…
You can say that again! When I walked the course it was clear to me that it was going to be very, very difficult today. The obstacles were very demanding, the time was very tight. As the first to go in the class, I didn’t have the best starting position either. Which is why I am all the more delighted that it ultimately sufficed for the victory. Everything simply went so well for me today, it was a perfect day. I have dreamt about winning here as long as I can remember. When I came to the CHIO Aachen the first time at the age of five and walked passed the winners’ board, I thought: I would like my name to stand there one day! But I never dreamt that this would become true. To be honest, I still can’t believe it.
You just spent four weeks in Calgary taking part in several international shows there in Spruce Meadows. Was that perhaps the key to your success? Did you bring the motivation from Calgary with you to Aachen?
Yes, that really helped me, and I believe it was decisive for my success. I was able to prepare my horse “LB Convall” excellently for the impressive atmosphere in Aachen, so that he felt at home here from the very beginning. That was precisely my plan and it certainly paid off!
How was the “Rolex Grand Prix” for you?
It was simply phenomenal – from the very first moment through to the prize-ceremony. There is always a “full house” in Aachen, the crowd loves the sport. Then, that huge grass ring and the long history of the show. Being able to ride here is simply indescribable. I am especially proud to have won the “Rolex Grand Prix”, because Rolex simply stands for top sport. I can’t thank everyone enough for this unique day!
After this Major victory your personal Rolex Grand Slam has begun. How do you rate your chances of claiming the title?
What Scott Brash succeeded in doing last year was simply unique. To win two Majors in succession that alone is very, very difficult – not to mention the Grand Slam victory! Hence I am not expecting to follow Scott’s lead here. However, “Convall” is an exceptional horse. He is just nine years old and hasn’t competed at many top class shows yet. The fact that he was able to put in such a performance against the best pairs in the world here in Aachen, shows how special he is. So the chance is there!
So we will see you again at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Calgary in September?
Definitely! I wanted to compete there anywhere, whatever the outcome here in Aachen was. Of course, thanks to the Major victory it is even more worthwhile now. I am looking forward to taking on this challenge!
Interview by Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping / Photo (c) Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping/Kit Houghton.
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