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Ahlmann wins Battle of the Titans in Aachen

Saturday, 22 July 2017
CSIO5* Aachen 2017

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Christian Ahlmann and Caribis Z took a popular home win in Aachen. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Saturday's main class in Aachen, a 1.55m with a winning round, turned out to be a real thriller – or better, a Battle of the Titans, as the field was the best of the best only. The privelige to jump was given to the best 32 pairs from five previous classes of the week.

The concept of the winning round, where the ten best riders from the first round – or all the clears – qualify for the winning round where everyone starts on a score of zero, today meant that out of the 31 pairs that jumped 16 were qualified to join the winning round.

As the first to go in the winning round, Michel Hendrix (NED) on the 11-year-old gelding Baileys (Indoctro x Come On) set the pace for the class with a time of 48,57 seconds and for a while it looked like he would walk away as the winner, as those who chased his time had to pay the penalty with poles falling. Both Cian O'Connor (IRL) on the 10-year-old gelding Callisto (Quasimodo Z x Jokinal de Bornival) and Felix Hassmann (GER) on the 14-year-old stallion Balzaci (Balou du Rouet x Landadel) were faster than Hendrix, but had the last fence down.

But then came Christian Ahlmann (GER) on the 10-year-old stallion Caribis Z (Caritano x Canabis Z), and as they crossed the finish line with a time of 44,33 seconds and took the lead the packed stadium at Soers felt ready to explode. Right after Ahlmann, Steve Guerdat (SUI) entered the ring on the 9-year-old mare Ulysse des Forets (Col Canto x Le Tot de Semily) giving it his best. With a time of 44,54, the pair had to settle for second place just a few hundreds behind the winner. 

Bertram Allen (IRL) on the 13-year-old mare Molly Malone V (Kannan x Cavalier) placed third with a time of 44,81 seconds, and Nadja Peter Steiner (SUI) on the 13-year-old mare Celeste 26 (Casall x Landgraf I) took the fourth place with a time of 46,12 seconds pushing the early leader Hendrix to finish fifth in the end.

As Ahlmann is not qualified to ride the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, he was delighted with the result: "I am very happy – this was my Grand Prix," he commented to World of Showjumping after the class.


Text and picture © World of Showjumping

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