Last day at Aachen, a walk in the Park
I managed to score a ticket for the Kur that was left at reception by another guest. It was a bit like finding Gold. Not even a spare seat at the stadium as you would often see at supposedly sold out shows.
And what performances they were. I enjoyed the Spanish rider’s freestyles the most. They seemed lighter, happier. Maybe they did not have the technical aspects perfect though as the best Spaniard lagged by about 14 % to the winner Isabel Wert with 89.6% Weihegold.
Then a quick 15 minute lunch and to my seat for the Rolex Grand Prix Showjumping. The best of the best come here to try to claim a share of the 1 Million Euro price money. 40 Riders and their trusty super athlete steeds in the first round, the 18 best for a second round, followed by a jump off. The jumps were huge with some at 1.65 meters. The patchy rain did not help, but 4 riders progressed to the jump off and it came down to 0.4 seconds. Excitement plus in front of 40,000 fans there were groans and applause as riders and horses got themselves in and out of trouble with Gregory Wathelet on Coree being the eventual winner.
A range of officials presented the prices, from the German Defence minister Ursula von der Leyen to the 91 year old legend of showjumping Hans Gunter Winkler. Google him.
Then the closing ceremony with a Dutch feel as the Netherlands were this year’s partner country. More Friesian horses than you could poke a stick at. Shame about the rai, but not even that could dampen the spirits and everyone stayed and enjoyed themselves.
Back to the hotel for the last time via the Mercedes Shuttle I’ve been privileged to share. Then a walk in the adjoining parklands. Aachen has a number of mineral springs that are claimed to have curative properties, so the place has a bit of a health resort feel. This park had plenty of water features and in the corner an interesting bit of a forgotten garden complete an overgrown iron hothouse frame.
Enjoyable walk before my final dinner and drink at the hotel.