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From youngster to international Grand Prix horse: Comme Il Faut 5

Sunday, 05 April 2020
Interview

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping In his parents' footsteps: Comme Il Faut. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping by Jenny Abrahamsson

 


 

Comme Il Faut 5 has followed in his parents' footsteps. His father is the famous Cornet Obolensky, and his mother the unforgettable Ratina Z. Together with Marcus Ehning, the 15-year-old stallion took team silver for Germany at the European Championships in Rotterdam in 2019 and has won Grand Prix classes all around the world. 

Comme Il Faut’s showjumping career started with Franz-Josef “Peppi” Dahlmann, who rode the stallion from the end of his fourth year until he was six. “Comme Il Faut was – and is – unbelievable,” Dahlmann tells. “I was working for Otto Becker at the time, when Hubert Vornholt asked if I could start to compete Comme Il Faut. Hubert had done everything with Comme Il Faut for the stallion approval, and was still doing the dressage work at home, while I jumped and competed with him. It worked really well.”

“Comme Il Faut was unbelievable from the first day I sat on him. I only had two horses in my life that were phenomenal from the first day on: Comme Il Faut and Cornado NRW,” Dahlmann – who has educated countless of horses for the big sport – says. “The rideability, the feeling over the jumps – it was all there.”

Photo © www.sportfotos-Lafrentz.de / Stefan Lafrentz. Franz-Josef Dahlmann with Comme Il Faut at the Bundeschampionat 2011. Photo © www.sportfotos-Lafrentz.de / Stefan Lafrentz.

“Since he is quite small and hot, his canter was more like that of a pony when he was five. However, he developed the canter quickly and as a six-year-old he was more like a normal horse. And his jump was always fantastic,” Dahlmann smiles.

When Comme Il Faut was five, Dahlmann rode him at the Bundeschampionat – the German Championships for young horses – and they made it to the final. A week after, they went to the FEI/WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken and ended up with the silver medal. At the Bundeschampionat the year after, when Comme Il Faut was six, they took the silver medal. “The round at the Bundeschampionat was as good as it gets for a young horse. We ended up with a score of 9,5 and he was amazing,” Dahlmann says. 

“From day one, Comme Il Faut had a super mind and he always gave you such a safe feeling. He is such a fighter and he would do anything to get over the fences. Comme Il Faut has a thousand feet and he always wants to land clear on the other side. He is just one of a kind,” Dahlmann says. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. Comme Il Faut with his groom Mel Obst. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

At the end of his sixth year Comme Il Faut moved back to Vornholt and spent a year breeding before his showjumping journey continued with Marcus Ehning – and a dream-team was made. Dahlmann has followed Comme Il Faut since he left. “My wife and I really hope that we can be able to follow Comme Il Faut in the sport for a few more years. We really believe and hope that they will make it to the Olympics in Tokyo – whenever that will be. We just love this horse, and my wife and I are always cheering him on with Marcus!”

Comme Il Faut’s current rider Marcus Ehning, who has had the stallion from he was eight, laughs when asked about his special partner. “He is a spectacular horse, but I actually don’t have to tell anyone that because everyone can see it for themselves!”


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