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Inside CHIO Aachen 2019: Friday 19th July

Friday, 19 July 2019
CHIO Aachen 2019

Home win for Germany’s Daniel Deusser in the RWE Preis von Nordrhein-Westfalen!

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof Daniel Deusser and Killer Queen VDM. Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

It was all smiles for the home crowd at CHIO Aachen as Germany’s Daniel Deusser was crowned winner of the RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia aboard his bay mare Killer Queen VDM. The course set by Frank Rothenberger asked tough questions for the 42 starters in the first round with just 11 reaching the jump-off to battle it out for the top spot. Early clear rounds put the pressure on the later starters with the leader board changing frequently as the competition remained wide open. Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts rode a speedy clear in the time of 45.79 seconds but Deusser produced a thrilling display of skill to shave over a second off Philippaerts time (44.65 seconds) and much to the delight of the patriotic spectators held the lead to take the victory. 

What’s it like to win in front of such a big home crowd? 

It’s always such a special feeling to win here at Aachen. When the home crowd gets behind you, you can really feel them, and the atmosphere is incredible. You always want to perform well, you always want to jump clear but when 40,000 people are behind you and cheering you on, it creates the most incredible atmosphere and it does influence your riding. 

Is Killer Queen VDM a star for the future? 

Absolutely, I really think this horse can compete at the highest level. I said last year, that I thought she was a horse with lots of potential and I am really happy with her performance today. 

The water jump seemed to cause a few problems today, what were your thoughts on it? 

It is very difficult to explain; it is the same water jump we jumped yesterday but in the other direction. Even my horse who is normally very good over the water, jumped it much higher today than she usually would. It is hard to say, perhaps because of the grass, as maybe we spend more time in sand arenas. The water jump itself was not too big or hard but for some reason the horses jumped it worse today than yesterday. Also, I saw a few horses jump it badly, which then gave me some mixed feelings on how I should jump it, and maybe meant we didn’t ride with the same confidence and enthusiasm that we would normally. 

You have qualified for the Rolex Grand Prix on three horses, which one will you ride on Sunday? 

I will be riding Tobago Z on Sunday.

Rider interview with: Kent Farrington

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

Being a rider based in America, how much preparation and organization of your horses and your team does the travel over to Europe entail? 

Living in America, it takes a lot of organization. I have a big team behind me that makes this all possible, so I’m very grateful for that. Obviously flying over and having the horses here, creates a scheduling issue. I have to have the horses here early enough that they can leg up for a big event.

How important are the physical and mental preparations for you to be a top show jumping athlete? 

I think being a top-level show jumper, or any athlete, is a combination of all factors. Mentally being prepared, physically being prepared, and in our sport, you have the added element of the horse also being mentally and physically prepared for the event. So, I try to have those in order, and then hopefully we can have peak performance on Sunday.

Behind the stable door with: Martin Fuchs' groom, Sean Vard

Photo © Tiffany Van Halle Photo © Tiffany Van Halle

Can you tell us about the horses you have here this week? 

This week we have Clooney for the Rolex Grand Prix, and then we have a new youngster and two more horses Chica BZ and Silver Shine. They are both going to do a big class each, Clooney will do the Rolex Grand Prix and then the youngsters will hopefully win their classes. 

What’s Martin like to work for? 

Martin is super, I’ve been working for him for three years now, I know his system. We keep everything very simple, once everything’s simple, he’s happy. Now, he trusts me, I do my own thing and it normally meets his standards – we work well together. 

From a groom’s perspective, what makes CHIO Aachen so special? 

From the moment you drive in the gate you just feel motivated to do better in every aspect of the job. From the warm-up, to the shopping, to the stables there is a really special vibe here. The atmosphere in the ring is so incredible too, it’s a different level.

About the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

The Rolex Grand Slam is considered by the sport to be the ultimate equestrian challenge, primarily due to the sporting prowess required to achieve this feat. It is a quest taken on by the world’s top riders, vying to secure the legendary status associated with winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

The format of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is simple: anyone who wins three Majors in a row receives the Rolex Grand Slam trophy and a €1 million bonus on top of the class’s prize-money. If that same rider then continues their success by winning a fourth Major in succession, they will be rewarded with an additional €1million bonus. If two shows are won in succession, the bonus is €500,000 or if an athlete wins only 2 majors in a period of four successive shows, the bonus is € 250,000.

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