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Highlights from an action-packed Allianz Prize at CHIO Aachen 2023

Sunday, 02 July 2023
CHIO Aachen 2023

Saturday’s CSIO5* 1.55m Allianz Prize at CHIO Aachen was an action-packed affair. A total of 32 horse-and-rider-combinations had qualified throughout the week to take part, and the ten best pairs from round one moved on to the deciding winning round. 

The course set by Frank Rothenberger was a massive ask, counting 14 obstacles and 17 efforts in round one, including a triple combination at 8acb, and the double of liverpools – one of Aachen’s trademarks – at 12ab. However, it was the Rolex plank – nr. 2 in round one and the third last fence on a roll-back in round two – that caused most trouble.

Harry Charles and Aralyn Blue made the crowds gasp when the mare kicked the top plank in the winning round, only to turn it upside down in the cups! However, the luck did not last and the British rider had the last upright down to eventually finish 7th.

Photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ For others, the plank showed less mercy. Here Ben Maher and Enjeu de Grisien who slipped in the roll-back and lost their distance to have it down.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ It's a tough sport! As always, the double of liverpools had an impact and this time around Olivier Perreau was one of its victims... Luckily, the French rider left the ring on his feet and GL Events Venizia d'Aiguilly stayed calm without her rider on board.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Also Steve Guerdat's Albführen's Maddox took a dislike to the double, and the Swiss ace decided to retire.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ In the winning round, it was Kim Emmen and Inflame Go that posted the first clear. After all five riders ahead of Emmen had made mistakes, the Dutch rider opted for a steady clear which eventually placed her fourth.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ However, Emmen’s lead was short-lived, as Jana Wargers and Chacco's Lady entered the ring next and delivered a blazing round to take over the lead when the clock stopped on 42.16 for the German rider – that has had an incredible week at Soers.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Good reason to smile!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ While not quite as quick as Wargers, Marc Dilasser and the super-cute Arioto du Gevres – a pair that in Thursday’s Mercedez-Benz Nations Cup suffered an unfortunate fall on the very last fence in the second round – made a great recovery from their misfortunes earlier this week and slotted in just behind the German rider.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Powering through the course, Richard Vogel and Cepano Baloubet still made their high-speed round look perfectly controlled and did a text-book roll-back to the Rolex plank where many others missed or slipped. Crossing the finish line in 38.87, Vogel took the lead, pushing Wargers to second, Dilasser to third and Emmen to fourth.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ High-five! It's been a great week for Vogel and his team.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ In round two, the roll-back to the plank caused problems as the ground got slippy and many horses lost their balance in the turn. Daniel Coyle wisely decided to pull up Legacy in round two when their distance got lost.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Richard Vogel perfected the turn...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ ...but Philipp Weishaupt did it even better. As the last pair out, Weishaupt and Coby 8 gave it their best shot and were well on their way to victory, but their confident approach to the very last fence proved costly. With the fastest time of the afternoon – 37.77 – Weishaupt had to settle for fifth place in the end as the final fence fell to the ground.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The wonderful Coby!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Debrief for Team Maher who also had the plank down in the second round as Enjeu de Grisien slipped in the turn.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Cepano Baloubet's owner Veronica Tracy gives his groom Felicia Wallin a big hug.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ It's been Vogel vs. Wargers these two last days in Aachen. “It is a good feeling, coming into the final day with a bit of wind behind your back,” Vogel said ahead of the Rolex Grand Prix.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Kisses for Chacco's Lady.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ “When I saw the start list for the second round, there were many very fast pairs,” Marc Dilasser, who placed third, said. “My horse is also fast, but we had a bad day on Thursday, and today I am very happy that we were able to come back like this and do two very good rounds.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Cepano Baloubet putting on a show at the prize giving.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Congrats Richard and Cepano Baloubet!

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