“Winning in Aachen—in front of this fantastic crowd—is an absolute dream,” said Nick Skelton. The dream came true for the fourth time for the veteran British showjumper. He’d won the Grand Prix of Aachen in 1982, 1987 and 1988, and returned this year on Big Star to become only the second rider to claim the prestigious title four times. Italian legend Piero d´Inzeo also accomplished the feat.
In front of 40,000 enthusiastic spectators in the sold-out stadium at the Aachen (Germany) CHIO, Skelton guided Big Star to the only clear jump-off round in a three-horse race to win the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. Beezie Madden was the sole U.S. rider in the line-up and claimed seventh with Cortes ‘C’ with a clean first round and 4 faults in the second round. (see full class results) Laura Kraut also earned good ribbons all week at Aachen. (see all show jumping results)
The win started Skelton on the Rolex Grand Slam challenge. If he can manage to win the grand prixs at the Spruce Meadows Masters in September and in Geneva in December, there’s a million Euros at stake. “Now, things are going to get really exciting for me,” Skelton said.
After the U.S. dressage team’s exciting third-place finish in the Nations Cup at Aachen, Caroline Roffman had great success placing second in the Under-25 CDI Grand Prix freestyle with Sagacious, while Steffen Peters and Legolas placed eighth in the CDIO Grand Prix Special (73.37%) and sixth in the freestyle (78.67%). Tina Konyot rode Calecto V to 13th in the Special (71.10%) and 10th in the freestyle (74.90%). German rider Helen Langehanenberg dominated all three CDIO Grand Prix classes with scores in the 80s. (see all dressage results)
Tiana Coudray led the charge of the U.S eventers at Aachen, placing 10th in the CIC***, which was won by Christopher Burton of Australia on Holstein Park Leilani. The other U.S. riders didn't fare well over the cross-country.
Four-in-hand driver Chester Weber claimed third individually at Aachen as well.
In Monte-Carlo, Monaco, at the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix, Richard Spooner scored a remarkable third victory in the class with Cristallo. He topped a thrilling jump-off against British rider William Funnell and the winner of the GCT series last year, Edwina Alexander. “It is a small arena here in Monaco but for some reason it seems to suit me. For the rest of the season I will keep doing the Global Tour for as long as they will have me,” Spooner said. Laura Kraut, who was showing in Aachen rather than Monaco, still leads the GCT series standings. (see GCT Monte-Carlo results)
Leslie Howard scored a big win in Calgary, Alberta at the Spruce Meadows Canada One Tournament, riding her new mount Tic Tac to the top of the $100,000 ESSO Challenge CSI-W. (see all Canada One results)
Hear Howard’s reaction to the win…
On home turf, Irishman Paul O’Shea topped the $75,000 Equine Insurance Services/Great American Grand Prix with Primo de Revel at the I Love New York Horse Show.