Will Coleman became the first American in history to win the prestigious CHIO4*-S Aachen (Germany) today, finishing on 30.50 penalties with Off The Record, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by the Off The Record Syndicate.
The U.S. team also turned in its best-ever performance at the competition, finishing second behind Great Britain, which led from start to finish. Ireland took third place.
Coleman was 11th after dressage and show jumped clear to move up to third. He then turned in the fastest time on Rüdiger Schwarz’s cross-country course, adding just 0.8 time penalties to his dressage score and adding the first American name to the Winner’s Board at the entrance to the main stadium in Aachen.
“The names on the winners’ board are the best in our sport. I consider myself very lucky to be up there with them. I am totally overwhelmed,” Coleman said.
Laura Collett and Dacapo (Great Britain) finished second on 32.70 penalties, and Emilie Chandler (Great Britain) and Gortfadda Diamond were third on 33.90 penalties.
Coleman has been partnered with “Timmy” since the gelding was a 4-year-old. They’ve had a successful year in 2021, winning the Cloud 11-Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CCI4*-S (North Carolina) in March before finishing 15th at Timmy’s first CCI5*-L at Kentucky. They were a last-minute substitution to be the second alternate for the U.S. eventing team at the Tokyo Olympics, and traveled with the team to train in Aachen in July, but headed back to the U.S. as the team traveled on to Tokyo. They most recently placed second at the Mars Great Meadow International CCI4*-S (Virginia).
“Off the Record is unique. Some days you get him out of the stable and he is like a kitchen table. A kitchen table with turbo engines,” Coleman said. “His effort is what makes him so special. It took me time to figure that out. We have a good relationship now, but when he is full of energy, he is difficult, he can buck and rear, but because he is so highly strung it is the way it comes out, but he is not malicious. Figuring that out has helped us.”
Watch part of Coleman’s winning cross-country round:
Tamie Smith and Mai Baum got the U.S. team off to a great start; their second-placed dressage score of 25.20 had the team standing third. The Americans moved into second after show jumping, thanks to clear rounds from Coleman and Ariel Grald aboard Leamore Master Plan. All four riders turned in clear cross-country rounds, adding only time penalties to their total and maintaining their place on the podium behind Great Britain. Smith finished 10th individually on 40.40 penalties, Grald was 16th on 45.60 penalties and Sydney Elliott was 26th with QC Diamantaire on 55.40 penalties. Lauren Nicholson, competing as an individual, finished 24th on Vermiculus with 52.40.
View full results here.