Christian Ahlmann and the Zangersheide-stallion Caribis Z took home the CSI5* Leon Melchior Open Stallion Competition at Jumping Mechelen on Sunday night. A packed Nekkerhal witnessed the acclaimed German rider win the competition for stallions in honor of the late Leon Melchior, the father of Ahlmann’s partner Judy Ann Melchior. Harrie Smolders and the spectacular Emerald became the runners-up.
At the first day of Jumping Mechelen it was all about breeding. Besides the championship for the stallions, a free jumping competition for 2-year-old horses took place, the young 6- and 7-year-old stallions competed against each other and a competition for Belgian bred horses took place.
Christian Ahlmann and the talented 8-year-old Caribis Z (Caritano Z x Canabis Z) – a grandson of Judy Ann Melchior’s former ride Carlaya Z – took the victory in the prestigious CSI5* 1.45m ‘Leon Melchior Open Stallion Competition’.
In a thrilling jump-off it was Christian Ahlmann who could beat the amazing time of Harrie Smolders and the great Emerald (Diamant de Semilly x Carthago): 32.80 seconds. In front of a highly enthusiastic crowd Ahlmann let his only 8-year-old Caribis Z gallop from start to finishing, stopping the clock at 32.45 seconds. Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca rode Stephex Stables’ 9-year-old stallion Balou de Coeur Joye (Balou du Rouet x Argentinus) to third place with a smooth jump-off: 33.17 seconds. With Caribis Z, Emerald and Balou du Coeur Joye on top, all horses on the podium were owned by Belgian stables: Stud Zangersheide, EuroHorse Axel Verlooy and Stephex Stables.
Great-Britain’s Joe Clee and his exceptional mount Utamaro d’Ecaussines (Diamant de Semilly x Quidam de Revel) gave it a try, but left some gas in the tank for this week’s major classes, ending in fourth position. Jur Vrieling and the Belgian bred VDL Glasgow van Merelsnest (Nabab de Rêve x Darco) – bred out of the full-sister of McLain Ward’s legendary mare Sapphire – showed their potential for the top-level, finishing fifth.
The Belgian bred horses competed against each other over two 1.45m courses and Belgium’s 27-year-old rider Jens Nijs and Chocolade Z (Chellano Z x Goodwill) got the best result in the second round. The best 25% competitors out of the first round came back for the second, but no one could beat Nijs and Chocolade Z, finishing on 61.31 seconds. The newly awarded VLP Talent of the Year Jeroen Appelen became the runner-up with Filesto van de Herkant (Oklund x Darco), while Thomas De Wit took the third place with Gazelle van de Bylocke (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Caesar van de Helle).
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij// Pictures © Dirk Caremans/www.hippofoto.be.
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