This year there have been quite a few changes to the course with a lot of the parklands being impacted by the Adelaide Public transport infrastructure works. This has made the course a little bit more twisty than usual, but has provided the course designer Mike Etherington – Smith (GBR) to improve and add to the jumps.
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.
There were some long days spent at the Aachen CHIO grounds to spectate at everything from dressage to showjumping, 4 in hand carriage driving, and of course my favorite, eventing. Apart from the sport aspect, the statistics are staggering. This is a huge event. For 2016 they are summed up as follows. 350,000 spectators, 334 competitors, 567 horses, 2.7 million Euro price money over 9 days of the event.
The first day for me included the Eventing dressage, The Grand Prix special and culminated with the Eventing showjumping, along with walking the cross-country course for the following day.
The following day I tried to follow some riders at some of the more thrilling (difficult) jumps before settling in at the Rolex Water complex where I managed to get a prime spot after a while for photographing the last 10 or so riders coming through. As the cross country was run as the last phase in a reverse order, it meant the last 10 riders were currently in the top 10 spots. The winner ended up being Ingrid Klimke, second Michael Jung and third place Australian Shane Rose, With Chris Burton also being in the top 10. This meant that the Nations Cup winners in eventing was the German team, second being the Australian team. Good effort.
Some of the other events I watched that day was the Hickstead jumping in the Main arena, the 4 in hand Marathon driving on the Cross-country track and the very fun Jump and drive, where the rain did not dampen the spectators or competitors enthusiasm
A day off thrills and luckily only a few spills. Things were tight at the top and the time for the course was influential, with only a few of the top combinations making time. This allowed Shane Rose on CP Qualified to move up to third place. Ingrid Klimke on Hale Bob managed to hold on to first place and Michel Jung on Biosteque Sam finished in second. The Nation's Cup was won by Germany and Australia came second Full results here http://resulting.chioaachen.de//show/10/event/57/championship/C1/standing/ — Regards Walter Post free ads at HorseOz Classifieds at www.horseoz.com/forsale
What dressage performances. So many under 40 penalties including Aussies Shane, Emma and Chris almost there. But the Germans dominated with Sandra heading towards the 30 and Ingrid and Michel not far off being the top 3 riders. Obviously the German team is in the lead followed by the Australians. The jumping phase later on that day did not change things much. But things are close which will make for an exciting day on Saturday and the cross-country. — Regards Walter Post free ads at HorseOz Classifieds at www.horseoz.com/forsale
A eventing Master-class with Captain Mark Philips after lunch emphasised position and balance for being 2 of the most important things in riding a horse, especially when jumping. Later in the afternoon the appreciative crowd was treated to the jumping round for the Equitana Australia Open Exhibition Eventing. The dressage for this was held earlier in the day. The course proved challenging with no clear rounds over the combination of cross-country and showjump obstacles. The winner in the end was the leader after dressage Tania Harding riding JIRRIMA YABBA DABBA DOO — Regards Walter
Today is the first day for Equitana and along with it the start of The Way of The Horse, and along with it a brand new life for the horses to be gentled into being ridden #Equitana #horses — Regards Walter
In close fought nail biting show jumping contest Hazel Shannon on Clifford won the horse trials in the Victoria race course Park lands in front of an appreciative and knowledgeable crowd in the historic Grandstand as well as the Corporate Hospitality tents. Will Enzinger took out a double with Wenlock Aquifer coming second by just under 15 points, with his other horse Britannica MVNZ being 4th. Andrew Cooper narrowly slipped into 3rd place on Evergem Perfection. Hazel also scored a bonus when she won the dual the dual crown of eventing after accumulating the most points between the Melbourne International 3 Day Event and this event. This netted her a welcome $10,000 dollars extra. The dual crown is planned to be a triple crown next season, adding Sydney to the mix. — Regards Walter Post free ads at HorseOz Classifieds at www.horseoz.com/forsale