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Future So Bright: Cornwell 9

Friday, 05 January 2018
Future So Bright

Some horses just stand out. Cornwell 9 is one of them. The Westphalian stallion by Cornado I x Grossadmiral turns eight this year, and caught our eye during the winter season – making impressive appearances on five-star level with Germany’s Christian Ahlmann already as a 7-year-old.

In our new series Future So Bright, we catch up with the world’s best riders on some of their most exciting talents – that might develop into becoming the next big thing in the international ring. 

“I bought him when he was turning three,” Christian tells us. “He had done some free jumping, and was just put under the saddle. There was so much energy and scope in him, it was unbelievable,” the German rider recalls. “His breeder lives half an hour away from me and I bought him from a group of people, who had bought him as a foal and shared the ownership. At the end of his 6-year-old season Marion Jauss took over the ownership, securing him for the sport and I am very happy about that.”

“Cornwell did some young horse classes and then we did the approval, so he is an approved stallion,” Christian tells about the very beginning with Cornwell. “We built him up very carefully, only doing a few shows in a year. He really did not do many shows, because he was so easy and not spooky at all,” Christian explains. “I jumped the World Championships for young horses with him when he was 5-years-old and he was in the jump-off, placing 5th in the end. He did the same when he was 6-years-old, and this year we decided to skip the Championships with him.”

At the end of 2017 Cornwell made some impressive rounds on five-star level – with such ease that he looked way older than his actual years. “We are on the way to the highest level with him,” Christian says. ”What makes a big difference with him, is that whatever you ask from him, he does. He doesn’t make a big scene out of things – now when the fences are getting bigger, he actually jumps even better. In the youngster classes he was jumping clear nine out of ten times, with a feeling that he never made an actual effort. Now that he needs to work a bit, he jumps better. I think he is really a horse for the ring; he does 20-30 percent better in the ring than at home. For me, this is really important; your best moments should be in the ring and not at home!”

Building up talented young horses has a lot to do with finding the right balance between moving up and down between different levels.

“Actually, Cornwell did not do so much in his life, he has done very few shows. At the end of the year we pushed him a bit, and during this winter he did some 1.45-1.50m classes, simply because he does it so easily. I think it is good for him, to get used to the bigger fences and I think he will get stronger this way. But we have to slow down now and we will go back to the smaller classes again.”

But what are Christian’s own hopes for the grey stallion? “I hope he is a horse for the really big things. I am planning to keep quiet with him, give him the time he needs and guide him in the right direction. Already now he is on a very good way and in a very good place for his age, but we will develop him quietly.”

If Cornwell will be the next Championship horse for Ahlmann, only time will tell. “That we will see in the ring. It is so difficult to judge horses only from the feeling – from my feeling, he can do everything. But there are a lot of talented horses in the world, and the very last step to the top only a few of them can take. It is way too early to say, we will have to wait and see… but I do hope so!” 

Text © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen // Pictures © Jenny Abrahamsson

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