Even after the veteran Ringwood Cockatoo and Bettina Hoy had a surprise run-out on cross-country, the German team didn’t blink. With a substantial lead already in place from the dressage and show jumping phases, their remaining three riders easily carried the German flag to clear cross-country rounds and the team championship during the Aachen CIC***, July 3-4 in Aachen, Germany.
Hoy and her beautiful gray gelding Ringwood Cockatoo,who turned 18 this year, held a significant lead going into cross-country after finishing well ahead of everyone in dressage and show jumping. She was the sure favorite until she picked up 20 jumping and 20.4 time penalties cross-country for 17th place.
The cross-country course of 28 fences, including 39 efforts, was nearly 4,000 meters long with an optimum time of 7 minutes.
When Mark Todd, the New Zealand star on the gray gelding Gandalf, also suffered a run-out and realized he was out of the game, the field was wide open for Germany.
“It’s brilliant jumping here today,” said Todd after his cross-country ride. “It’s a marvelous crowd—there’s really a lot of people here. It’s much harder than it looks. There’s a lot of jumping, and it’s tiring for the horses, but I’m having a great run. [we just had] one silly run-out at the corner hedge [fence 13].
“I thought at first I should play it safe, but I said, ‘No, we’re here; we’ll go for it.’ And it didn’t work out—so, still, it’s great to be here eventing,” added Todd, who placed 21st. “When I was show jumping I always wanted to do this, but it never worked out. Now I’ve come back to eventing, and it’s just great to be here.”
The German team took the overall win with 140.4 points, 33.5 points ahead of their nearest rival, Great Britain with 173.9.
At the end of the day, Andreas “Dibo” Dibowski won the DHL Individual Championship with FRH Serve Well (45.1), followed closely by Ingrid Klimke on FRH Butts Abraxxas (46.7), with Dirk Schrade in third on King Artus (48.6). Dibowski and Serve Well have found Aachen much to their liking, as they were also part of the gold-medal team during the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games at the same venue.
Klimke, who was also part of the gold-medal team at the 2006 WEG and at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, wasn’t the only competitor thinking about the upcoming European Eventing Championships. But she was the only rider to jump clear in the time, an effort that was surely noticed.
Mary King of Great Britain and the Irish Sport Horse Imperial Cavalier finished .1 points behind Schrade for fourth and was the top-placed non-German. She said she tried to catch Klimke when she heard she was within the time cross-country, but with 2.8 time faults she wasn’t quite fast enough.