Thursday, Jun. 6, 2024

Johnson Finishes Just Behind Freund At CAIO Aachen

The U.S. drivers had to be encouraged by the results of the CAIO Aachen (Germany),July 13-18, especially considering the upcoming World Championships to be held in August in Hungary.

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The U.S. drivers had to be encouraged by the results of the CAIO Aachen (Germany),July 13-18, especially considering the upcoming World Championships to be held in August in Hungary.

S. Tucker Johnson achieved an excellent second place at Aachen, and Chester Weber was seventh, although for both drivers the dressage did not go as well as usual. Michael Freund, who trains Johnson and Weber, took his fourth victory at Aachen. He won the dressage (39.2) ahead of last year’s Aachen winner, Australian Boyd Exell, (39.36) and the 1996 World Champion Felix Brasseur of Belgium (40.64).

Weber won the German Driving Derby at Riesenbeck (Germany) just two weeks before Aachen, also winning the dressage there. But at Aachen, as he was driving his test, some clattering metal barrels were pulled along on the paved road next to the ring, so about three movements–including the walk–were totally lost, and the concentration for the rest of the test was destroyed. Two of the five judges punished it harshly with a ninth place; the other judges were more forgiving, placing Weber in third, fifth and sixth place.

Johnson had another problem. Usually the cross at X is marked with light-colored shavings; this time it was marked with black soil on the green grass. “I had trained my horses to go over the white stuff, but with the black soil they thought that there was a hole in the ground and were very irritated. And we had to pass the X 15 times,” said Johnson. Nevertheless, with a seventh place (44.48) for Weber and a fifth place (43.68) for Johnson, they were still very much in the game. U.S. driver James Fairclough placed 19th among the 26 teams with a 58.4.

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Marathon Makes Its Mark

Mark Weusthof, a member of the Dutch 2002 World Equestrian Games gold-medal team, won the marathon, although he was only chosen to compete at the last minute, replacing Ijsbrand Chardon, and had not been nominated. With a 24th place in dressage, his victory in the marathon moved him up to sixth place in the overnight standings, but 13.5 penalties in the cones left him 15th (157.37).

While Weusthof’s Dutch team colleague, Koos De Ronde, was runner-up in the marathon, Johnson drove to an excellent third place. “I am extremely happy. We had no problems in the hazards. What made the marathon difficult was the wet and soft ground between the hazards due to the heavy rain showers in the last days, but the track was very well prepared,” said Johnson, who has only owned three of his horses for 1

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