If there’s one take away from the CCI5*/4* Luhmuhlen International Horse Trials in Germany this weekend, it’s that the Germans are in fighting form for Tokyo.
The CCI4*S Messmer Trophy is the final selection trial for the German team and despite significant foreign opposition, German riders held the top three places after cross-country. Those same three riders are likely to be the three first choice team rides in Tokyo and need little introduction.
Michael Jung (FHR Chipmunk), Julia Krajewski (Armand de B’Neville) and Sandra Auffarth (Viamant de Matz) all flew round without apparent effort to finish the day on their dressage scores. Both Jung and Auffarth followed with double clear rounds in show jumping on Sunday to secure first and second place. Krajewski had a single rail on Sunday within the time allowed to finish in fifth.
Australia’s Andrew Hoy, in fourth spot with his potential Tokyo ride Vassily de Lassos, was the only rider within two fences of the leaders going into Sunday’s show jumping round. A double clear moved the pair into third. Sweden’s Louise Romeike (Cato 61) jumped from fifth to fourth with a double clear of their own.
Sixth place went to New Zealand’s Tim Price on Vitali, the only bright spot of the weekend for Team Price. Saturday saw a rare day when almost nothing went right for the Prices. Tim had a run out on his other horse, Senza Fine, in the 4*. Having made a massive effort to get to the event, direct from Millstreet in Ireland with a quarantine period on the way, both Tim and wife Jonelle will be hoping to forget their 5* rounds. Tim retired after stops on both Ascons and Ringwood Skyboy and Jonelle was eliminated after a horse fall with Faerie Dianamo.
The opposite was true for Mollie Summerland of Great Britain, who led the 5* L riding Charly van ter Heiden after cross country and, with a single time fault in show jumping, became the first British rider in 16 years to win the title. The last to do so was Sharon Hunt on her 2008 Olympic ride Tankers Town.
“Charly is such an exceptional horse, I am so lucky to have him as I am quite inexperienced at the level. I am so happy,” said Summerland, with tears in her eyes.
German 5* debutant Christoph Wahler and Carjatan S took second and USA’s Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, third. Sadly, USA’s other representative, Jenny Branigan, was eliminated after a rider fall from Stella Artois at Fence 8c.
All scores are available at www.rechenstelle.de.