Germany showed they are the team to beat at the forthcoming FEI European Championships with an emphatic win at the Nations Cup at Aachen.
The German team took a stronghold on the competition leading from the outset to take victory by 45.6 penalties over last year’s victors Australia with the Swedish team taking third. It is the ninth victory for the German team since the Nations Cup was introduced.
Germany’s individual riders also dominated the individual competition with Ingrid Klimke taking top honours with Horseware Hale Bob Old with reigning European champion Michael Jung in second with La Biosthetique Sam FBW.
Klimke was always in contention for the top spot, lying in second after the dressage on a score of 34.5 behind Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo who scored 31.8. Demonstrating Germany’s dominance, the top three was rounded out by Jung (34.7).
Klimke said after her win: “When Bobby was still alone in the preparation area, he would like to go back to Sam immediately.” She had already started gallop training for the European Championships in the past three weeks, which had become noticeable. “At all the minutes, we were ahead of time. In any case, he has enough energy reserves for Strzegom,” she said.
Jung said after his round: “For Sam it was a great preparation for the CCI4 * Burghley,” indicating he will once again be heading to the UK to contest the event he won two years ago.
Auffarth lost her lead to her compatriot with a rail down in the show jumping and then went on to add two time penalties across the country. This allowed Australian rider Shane Rose to take the final podium spot with CP Qualified.
There were mixed fortunes for the British riders. The team were lying fourth after the dressage with strong performances, particularly Pippa Funnell and Billy The Biz who scored 38.3 (seventh). However, Funnell had an uncharacteristic fall close to the end of the show jumping phase resulting in elimination. With all three team members scores counting it was too much work for the team to make the podium with a final finishing position of fifth. There were strong individual performances with Alex Bragg, competing as an individuall, finishing in seventh and Piggy French finishing in eighth.
Despite this, Great Britain maintains its lead in the overall Nations Cup standings (470 points) ahead of Germany who have closed the gap (400 points). The next Nations Cup event takes place at Le Pin au Haras (10-13 August).