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Christian Ahlmann on the 2021 European Championships: “Even if it is difficult to plan at the moment, we all need something to work towards”

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Christian Ahlmann. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.
Christian Ahlmann. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



After the initial cancellation of the 2021 European Championship due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, the showjumping community received good news last week. After months of discussions, the FEI decided to allocate next year’s Europeans in jumping to Ludger Beerbaum’s Riesenbeck International – pending on a final approval from the organisers’ side.  

Several chef d’equipes and riders asked the FEI to reconsider their decision to cancel the Europeans. They were joined in their appeal by the European Equestrian Federation, that by the FEI was given a mandate to present a realistic proposal as to host, venue and dates that also would address all the concerns that originally led to the cancellation. 

Now, Ludger Beerbaum and his team at Riesenbeck International are working towards hosting the 2021 Europeans in jumping – scheduled to run from August 30 to September 4.

The host nation’s Christian Ahlmann was happy to receive the news and is confident that Beerbaum and his team will get the job done. “First of all, I am happy to see the Europeans going ahead – and that the event will be hosted in Germany makes it even better,” Ahlmann comments to World of Showjumping. “Riesenbeck International is a fantastic venue. For sure it is a big challenge for them to host the Europeans; not only financially but also because it is a whole new level of competition. There has not been a championship of this magnitude at the venue yet, but I believe that if Ludger and his team don’t know how to make it then nobody else does either. I am confident that everything will be 100% organised and ready for both horses and riders. I am very happy that there are people like Ludger and his team in this sport, who took the step forward. They made a decision, took the responsibility, and try to do something – even if we live in very difficult times right now.”

“It is very, very important to have a goal and even if it is difficult to plan at the moment, we all need something to work towards,” Ahlmann continues.

We need something to dream about. Having a horse with the ability for a championship, and an owner who supports you in reaching that goal is not enough – we need these events in the calendar to aim for.

At the moment, Ahlmann has two horses he can see jumping at a major championship in 2021: Dominator 2000 Z (Diamant de Semilly x Cassini I) and Clintrexo Z (Clintissimo Z x Rex Z).  “However, I think right now this is not the question mark. We all have bigger problems and other things to think about. Hopefully in the summer, we will have a horse ready to compete at a major championship. In general, it is impossible to make a plan right now. Personally, I am not sure the Olympics are going to happen – I think the situation seems too difficult. At the moment, I think no one knows what is going to happen but of course I hope that both events – the Olympics and the Europeans – will take place. We have to take it week by week and month by month and stick to a plan that includes both of these events taking place, or at least one of them.”

Looking forward to 2021, Ahlmann does not see a big difference in getting ready for a major championship even if the amount of shows in the lead-up most likely is going to be less than in the past. “I think the build-up towards the Europeans and the Olympic Games will be same as usual: To be a part of the team, you need very good, consistent results. You need to have a good season. In case we have very few shows, it is for sure going to be harder to get into the rhythm and reach the right shape. I hope that we will be closer to a normal in a few months, so we can get ready.”

For the rest of the year Ahlmann has his eyes set on CHI Geneva and the few World Cup events that are still in the calendar. “There are a few more goals for this year to look forward to,” he says. “When it comes to 2021, I think we have to wait and see what kind of shows we have and make a plan accordingly. We just have to make the best out of it.”


No reproduction withouth written permission, copyright © World of Showjumping


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