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Offel and Ukraine steal the limelight in Olympic Trials

Monday, 11 July 2011

Vivant at the WEG last year with Chris Chugg - now the stallion is successfull with the Ukrainian team. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.The Olympic Trials in Aachen this weekend gave several nations a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games next year. Not surprisingly it was Katharina Offel on the stallion Vivant and Ukraine who stole the limelight in this important qualification. Over 30 nations of the regional groups C and G of the FEI were eligible to compete, and countries such as Ukraina, Turkey, Hungary, Japan, Azerbaijan and Poland lined up to compete as the winning individual rider and the most successful nation qualified for the Olympic Games.

Offel was the best of the individual riders aboard the 12 year old stallion Vivant (Fuego du Prelet x Landino), previously ridden by Australia’s Chris Chugg and purchased for the Ukrainian team by Aleksander Onishchenko in January this year. The pair was clear on the fences in both rounds, but got one time penalty in the second round. Another Ukrainian rider was second; Björn Nagel on Niack de L’Abbaye (Diamant de Semilly x Rocky du Carel). This stallion was also purchased for the team by Onishchenko back in May, and was previously very successful under Australian rider James Paterson Robinson. Nagel was also clear on the fences, but had to see two time penalties being added to his score in the second round. Jamal Rahimov from Azerbaijan was third on the stallion Warrior (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Heartbreaker) with a total of three time penalties. Rahimov is only 23 years old, and in February he was crowned the Rolex One to Watch when he climbed from rank 469 to 198 during that month. As the best individual rider Offel also received a wild card for the CHIO Aachen 2011.

There was a jump-off for the individual spot available for the best placed rider of Olympic Qualification Group G. Taizo Sugitani from Japan went all the way to the top here, ahead of Jasmin Chen - and Taizo's time was almost two seconds faster than Chen’s.

It was the Ukrainian team consisting of Offel and Nagel, as well as Casio Rivetti on Verdi (Andiamo x Libero H) and Oleg Krasyuk on Canvas PKZ (Clinton x Jasper), that went all the way to the top in the team qualification. With a total of twelve penalties, they left Turkey behind as runner-ups on a score of 25 penalties.

For full results for the individual riders click here.

For full results for the teams click here.

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