Maikel van der Vleuten started off the Grand Prix-day of CHIO Aachen with a win in the very competitive SAP Prize. Riding VDL Groep Quatro, Maikel chased the clock from start to finish – winning it in 56.25 seconds. As last rider to go, Germany's Hans-Dieter Dreher came closest with his successful stallion Colore finishing as runner-up in 57.14 seconds.
Although the SAP Prize was a very competitive class, some riders used it as their final preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next month. Christian Ahlmann showed amazing form with Taloubet Z, while both Daniel Deusser and Ludger Beerbaum competed their Olympic mounts First Class van Eeckelghem and Casello.
Home rider Felix Hassmann was the first rider to get the German crowd really excited this morning. Aboard Horse Gym's Balzaci (Balou du Rouet x Landadel), he rode a fast round and took over the lead in 57.82 seconds. But, soon Ireland's Bertram Allen delivered an even faster round with High Valley (Obourg x Kashmir van Schuttershof) stopping the clock at 57.47 seconds.
Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten seemed very determined to take today's victory in the SAP Prize though. With VDL Groep Quatro (Quaprice Bois Margot x Caletto I), Maikel kept on raising his speed during the course defeating Bertram's time by bringing it down to 56.25 seconds. Germany's Hans-Dieter Dreher really tried to secure another home victory in Aachen, but finished as runner-up in 57.14 seconds with the 14-year-old Colore (Contender x Lord).
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij // Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson
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