Friday, May. 24, 2024

McEwen Moves Into First At Aachen CHIO4*-S After Show Jumping, Coleman Leads U.S. Charge



Aachen, Germany—June 30

A common rider refrain before cross-country is, “There’s a lot to do out there,” but at the CHIO Aachen, that holds true for the show jumping as well. The second phase of the SAP-CUP CCIO4*-S takes place in the venue’s massive main stadium, which features plenty of spectators and a long, winding course set by Frank Rothenberger on grass.

“It felt like Aachen,” said U.S. rider Will Coleman after his round. “Frank Rothenberger is one of the greatest to put the colored poles up, and he knows how to set a good track for any horse. He always builds a good one here for the eventers. It’s just such a privilege to go into that arena.”

Some competitors—17 out of the 44 starters—found themselves up to the task tonight and jumped clear, including Coleman, who finds himself in fifth (28.10 penalties) before tomorrow’s cross-country. Great Britain’s Tom McEwen and JL Dublin moved up from second after dressage to first after first-phase leader Yasmin Ingham on Banzai Du Loir picked up 2 time penalties. Germany’s Michael Jung slid into second on the strength of a clear with fischerChipmunk FRH. See the full show jumping results here

Tom McEwen and JL Dublin (Great Britain). Lisa Slade Photos

Coleman was the 2021 winner of this competition with Off The Record, and he elected to bring “Timmy” back this year.

“I really don’t think about it, honestly,” he said of his past win. “Every time you come here, even if it’s the same horse, it feels like a totally new experience, and you have to ride your horse every day based on how he is.”

Fellow U.S. rider Tamie Smith sits in ninth with Mai Baum—dropping down from fifth after dressage with one rail—while Liz Halliday-Sharp is 14th after having one rail and 0.8 time penalties with Miks Master C, and teammate Phillip Dutton’s clear with Z moved him up from 24th after dressage to 18th. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team is in fourth, dropping down from its second-placed standing after dressage


“The show jumping felt hectic, like Aachen feels,” said Smith. “It’s just spooky, and he was tense and extra careful and a little bit wild. I don’t think the course in general was overly difficult; I just think the atmosphere and all that stuff is tough. That’s the beauty and the bad about having a horse that’s ultra careful, and there’s nothing like the ring at Aachen, but it’s good experience.” 

But, as all the riders noted, the competition is far from over. 

“I think, from the four times I’ve been here, this is the toughest,” said Coleman of the cross-country track. “You have to be precise on your lines, all the way around, and the speed at which you’re going to try and get close to this time just makes it really easy to make a small mistake. I think the course is set up that a small mistake is going to be very expensive.”

Will Coleman and Off The Record (USA)

In addition to the U.S. team, Dan Kreitl is here riding Carmango as an individual, and they’re sitting 36th. This is not only his first time riding at Aachen, it’s also his first time seeing the showgrounds at all. 

“I’d never been to Europe before this trip,” he said. “First time to Europe, first time to Aachen. It’s awesome. I heard it was big, and people try to describe it, but they do not do it justice. I was totally shocked. I’m just so thankful and grateful for the opportunity to be over here. It’s so much fun to ride in that atmosphere and that huge arena. I’m so glad to be here and loving every second of it. 

“I think for me it looks like a tough enough course,” he said of tomorrow’s cross-country, which starts at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. Eastern Daylight). “People have said it’s going to ride harder than it walks and really intense. I feel like me being super focused and keeping my horse really focused is the plan tomorrow, but I plan to go for it and run fast and jump big and see if we can make the time.”  

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum (USA)
Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH (Germany)

Important Links: CHIO Aachen website / Orders of go and results / Livestreaming / All of the Chronicle’s coverage / Full entry lists for all nations




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