Germany's Marcus Ehning and his powerful 8-year-old mare Calanda (Calido I x Chasseur I) just won the prestigious Sparkassen Youngster Cup Final at CHIO Aachen. In a jump-off with many long lines between the fences, the stylish master of showjumping Marcus Ehning galloped his mare Calanda to the victory, although he was almost beaten by his student Bertram Allen aboard the great talent GK Casper (Canto x Quantum).
Ehning's jump-off rounds never look like the fastest ones, but because of his excellent riding style and fluent lines they always end up extremely quick. Tonight, Ehning lived up to his reputation giving Calanda the most fluent, subtle ride possible, stopping the clock at 42.15 seconds.
In total seven 7-year-old horses and seven 8-year-old horses qualified for the jump-off after clearing the massive first track. Spain's Sergio Alvarez Moya – winner of both qualifiers – did not make it through to the jump-off, after knocking down the third part of the triple combination 11c in the first round with Unicstar de l'Aumone (Ninio de Rox x Timorrak des Isles). One less opponent for Marcus Ehning, but being third to last starter, the German rider still had to fear world number one Simon Delestre and Bertram Allen.
Riding the small, but enormously talented mare Utah d'Aiguilly (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Quick Star), France's Simon Delestre came very close to Ehning and Calanda. With just a tiny hitch going into the penultimate double, Simon and Utah finished on 42.71 seconds. Ireland's Bertram Allen finished third in both qualifiers aboard GK Casper (Canto x Quantum), but would not let that happen again. By only 0.04 seconds, he could not make the time of his mentor Marcus Ehning. But this probably had more to do with GK Casper's huge jumps than Bertram's riding. An amazing pair for the future!
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij // Picture © Tiffany Van Halle
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