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June 19, 2010

Klimke Retains Lead At Luhmühlen CCI****

Ingrid Klimke (Germany) and Butts Abraxxas were fast and clear round Capt Mark Phillips’ Cross Country course to retain their lead at Luhmühlen, the third leg of the HSBC FEI Classics. Photo by Kit Houghton/FEI.

German rider Ingrid Klimke was thrilled after a superb cross-country ride on Butts Abraxxas kept her in the lead at the Luhmühlen CCI**** (Germany), finishing on her dressage score.

Klimke said her nerves were not affected at all by the recent birth of her second child. “I’m really thrilled. My plan worked, my horse felt confident and fit and although I had thought I would take the long route at the corner in the arena, when I got there I decided I would like the challenge," she explained.

Klimke declared herself “eager for tomorrow," but she has no room for error in the final phase. Olympic team bronze medalists from Great Britain Sharon Hunt and the 16-year-old Tankers Town have moved up three places to lie second and are just 3.8 penalties behind Klimke.

Hunt, who has raised the Irish-bred chestnut since he was a youngster, is competing at Luhmühlen for the first time. “Tankers Town is an experienced horse, and I expected to do well here, so I’m relieved that I have. It was a big course, with a lot of wide, square fences,” she said.

Oliver Townend of Great Britain had to re-motivate himself after a fall from his first ride, Carousel Quest, at the third water complex, but he had a classic round on the Tattersalls CIC****-W (Ireland) winner Ashdale Cruise Master. Townend is now sitting in third place. “It makes a big difference when you’ve been on a downer and then you have a lovely ride like that. It gives you hope,” said Townend. “He’s becoming a very good horse—we just need more time together.”

Thirty-seven riders completed the cross-country course, out of 41 starters. Thirty-two riders rode clear rounds, eight of which were inside the optimum time of 10 minutes, 27 seconds.

Capt. Mark Phillips was praised for his flowing track. Klimke’s Olympic teammate Andreas Dibowski of Germany, currently in fourth on FRH Fantasia, said there were a “lot of happy horses, and that means it has been a good course.” Townend agreed, saying it was a sign of a good track if positive riding was rewarded.

Lucy Wiegersma of Great Britain has two horses in the top 10—she is fifth on the powerful chestnut Woodfalls Inigo Jones and eighth on Granntevka Prince. Two New Zealand riders have also ascended to the top 10: Joe Meyer moved up 10 places to sixth with a fast round on Clifton Lush and Andrew Nicholson, who is also 14th with Armada, rose seven places to seventh on Mr. Cruise Control.

Allison Springer of the United States and Susanna Bordone of Italy both dropped down the order with 20 time faults each, to 15th and 17th, respectively. U.S. rider Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe maintained her placing of 25th with a clean cross-country ride and 14 time faults. Great Britain's Mary King sits ninth on Apache Sauce, but she had a run-out in the arena with Kings Temptress.

There was also disappointment for Paul Tapner of Australia when Kilfinnie ll ran out at the brush arrowhead coming out of the coffin. Nick Gauntlett of Great Britain faced similar troubles, when his stallion, Chilli Morning, refused to jump the preceding ditch.

Francis Whittington of Great Britain recorded the only horse fall when Sir Percival, who had been going brilliantly, fell when angling the wide hedge out of the arena. Both horse and rider were uninjured in the fall.

Cross-Country Results

  1. Ingrid Klimke/FRH Butts Abraxxas (GER) 39.2 + 0 = 39.2
  2. Sharon Hunt/Tankers Town (GBR) 43.0 + 0 = 43
  3. Oliver Townend/Ashdale Cruise Master (GBR) 42.8 + 0.8 = 43.6
  4. Andreas Dibowski/FRH Fantasia (GER) 44.2 + 0 = 44.2
  5. Lucy Wiegersma/Woodfalls Inigo Jones (GBR) 44.8 + 0 = 44.8
  6. Joe Meyer/Clifton Lush (NZL) 49.0 + 0 = 49.0
  7. Andrew Nicholson/Mr Cruise Control (NZL) 48.2 + 0.8 = 49.0
  8. Lucy Wiegersma/Granntevka Prince (GBR) 48.2 + 2.8 = 51.0
  9. Mary King/Apache Sauce (GBR) 51.0 + 1.6 = 52.6
  10. Andreas Ostholt/Franco Jeans (GER) 53.3 + 0 = 53.3

For more information and results, follow the event on Luhmühlen's website.

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