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Derby qualifier to Whitaker and Animation II

Friday, 03 June 2011

Michael Whitaker wins in Hamburg. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Michael Whitaker and Animation II were victorious in the second qualification for the German Spring-Derby. The course was as expected a tough one, and featured all the elements needed for an exciting derby – the famous derby bank, walls in different shapes and sizes, gates and water. After his win Whitaker was optimistic about the derby on Sunday, saying, "I know Animation is going to cope with it, but you need luck on the day. I think she has a chance though!"

Only seven horse and rider combinations out of 54 were clear around the demanding track in Hamburg, and not unexpectedly several riders got in trouble around the track. The derby bank caused trouble for many, as quite a few horses decided that going down was not an option.

The first clear came from Pablo Barrios on G&C Sinatra (Epilot x Libero H), and British rider Guy Williams on his 15 year old Skip Two Ramiro (Skippy II x Romeo) were the next to handle the course without faults – the pair has previously won the Hickstead Derby. Guy’s time of 99.57 seconds was good enough to take the lead. The crowds went wild when German rider Jörg Naeve on Coolidge (Clinton x Contender) was clear with a time of 106.96, eventually good enough for fifth place.

Celta Yar and Mario Stevens produce a great clear. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Michael Whitaker has tackled quite a few derby courses in his life, and aboard the 18 year old Animo-mare Animation II he took the lead on the time 98.98. Carsten-Otto Nagel and Lex Lugar won the derby here last year, and with todays clear round the pair is one of the favorites for Sunday – they ended up as number six.

The German crowds got more to cheer for when both Rasmus Lüneburg on Teresia (San Patrignano Cassini x Silvester) and Mario Stevens on Celta Yar 2 (Elvis Amor x Principe Duero) produced clear rounds, they ended up as number four and seven.

"My best result here has been rank fifth, so I need to change that on Sunday," Michael laughed after the class. Guy Williams will give him a run for the money though, and said; "I'd like to win on Sunday, Skip Two Ramiro really likes the ring here!"

The top three today holds Carsten-Otto Nagel high up on the list of potential winners on Sunday; when asked they all answered that their favorite was Nagel.

For full results click here.

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