Germany’s Marcus Ehning has been there too a few times in Madrid.
The 49-year-old multi-hyphenate winner topped the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Madrid on Sunday, for the third time in his storied career.
“Winning here for the third time means I am getting old,” he deadpanned, “but I am still here!”
The German’s latest victory comes on new ride Coolio 42. Developed by countryman Marcel Marschall from the young horse classes to five star, the 10-year-old black gelding helped Germany to a third place finish in the CSIO5* Nations Cup in St. Gallen in June. The pair averaged 21% clear round rate over 14 rounds at the height (Jumpr App).
With Ehning in the stirrups that stat has jumped to 50% over a smaller sample size of two rounds.
The 2000 Olympic team gold medalist took over the ride in August when the DeMartini-family’s Elmrock BV, the same owners of Ehning’s top horse Stargold, acquired the horse. He spent September and October getting acquainted with Coolio at 2* and 3* events. In November they contested their first 5* in Verona. The pair jumped double clear in the 1.55m class to a fourth place finish and collecting a single rail in the World Cup qualifier to finish 13th.
On Sunday in Madrid, they captured their first podium finish with the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Madrid, besting a 10 horse jump off that featured LGCT Super Cup winner Julien Epaillard, 2023 Western European League World Cup winners Kevin Staut and Ben Maher, and world no. 1 Hennrik von Eckermann.
In the end, two tenths of a second separated Ehning and Maher on the podium (42.13 to 42.38). It was a second ever World Cup appearance for both horses.
They were far from fastest on the day, however. Brazilian Olympian Pedro Veniss stopped the clock at 40.26 on Boeckmanns Lord Pezi Junior but dropped a pair of rails on the way. von Eckermann and Calizi crossed the timers in 41.02 with four faults.
Ehning, a three-time winner of the World Cup Final, has Riyadh in his sights for 2024: “I will try to qualify for the Final and at the moment I am in a good position, so I hope I keep having good results.”
After six rounds, Maher now tops the Western European League on 52 points. Germany’s Rene Dittmer sits in second on 42, followed by Richard Howley (IRL) and Staut (FRA) on 40. Eight legs remain in season, with a rider’s seven best scores counting to their total.
The Western European League next stops in La Coruna, Spain December 3.