Technically, this is a press release. But it comes in Q&A form so that makes it alright to publish. Or not. Either way, that’s the way this Friday is rolling…

Next month, the world’s top show jumpers will descend upon Aachen, Germany for the last major event before the Rio Games. Think of it as an Olympics preview. Riding for Germany are Christian Ahlmann, Ludger Beerbaum, Daniel Deußer, Marcus Ehning and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum. CHIO Aachen was kind enough to line up this interview with German national coach Otto Becker to promote their event answer a few questions…

Your riders are very successful at the moment, what are your expectations for Aachen?

Indeed, they are all not only really successful but above all very constant [read: consistent]. Of course, we hope very much that we will be able to continue this in Aachen—to achieve this we all have to carry on working in a highly concentrated manner.

You have achieved so much—are you not bothered about the lacking victory in the Nations’ Cup in Aachen, or does it gnaw away at you?

Of course, I’d like to win in Aachen as a trainer, no question about it. But I don’t put myself under any pressure, you can’t force anything anyway. Take a look at my colleague Rob Ehrens from the Netherlands. He has been the Dutch national coach much longer than I have in Germany. But he has still hasn’t ever been able to win his home Nations’ Cup in Rotterdam yet.

You chose these five riders very early on. Why?

These five riders are to be our team for the Olympic Games in Rio, too. By nominating them early we would like to ensure planning security—for us, the athletes, the environment and, of course, first and foremost for the horses. This means that we can already jointly plan the way from Aachen to Rio for each individual.

[Editor’s note: The official Rio Olympic team for Germany will be named shortly after July 17 and is contingent upon the athletes performances in Aachen.]

You have been familiar with the CHIO Aachen for many years. What in your opinion makes the show so special?

For me, it always feels a bit like I am coming home. In spite of the size of the show, it has retained its family-like atmosphere, one has known many of the people for many years. And the CHIO always continues to further develop, it is a great combination between professionalism, super conditions, and atmosphere. And, despite all of its show and event character, the sport always remains the centre of attention in Aachen. Including also the fact that the conditions are perfect, the footing, the stables—everything is in a very good condition. And to enter the sold-out Main Stadium for the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup or Rolex Grand Prix, that is a pure goose-bump feeling, I have never experienced this feeling anywhere else in the world.