Saturday, May. 18, 2024

Voss Cashes In At Hamburg

The American contingent makes their mark as well as they go for the big money.

It’s not often you can pick up a paycheck of $147,038 for one day’s work, but that’s just what German rider Thomas Voss did at the Hamburg CSI, May 1-4 in Hamburg, Germany.

Voss rode Leonardo B to victory in the Grand Prix of Hamburg, the second leg of the rich Global Champions Tour.  It was Voss’ first appearance in a Global Champions Tour class—he’d gotten a wild card entry to show. 
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The American contingent makes their mark as well as they go for the big money.

It’s not often you can pick up a paycheck of $147,038 for one day’s work, but that’s just what German rider Thomas Voss did at the Hamburg CSI, May 1-4 in Hamburg, Germany.

Voss rode Leonardo B to victory in the Grand Prix of Hamburg, the second leg of the rich Global Champions Tour.  It was Voss’ first appearance in a Global Champions Tour class—he’d gotten a wild card entry to show. 

American rider Richard Spooner rode Cristallo to 4 faults in Round 1 and a clean go in Round 2, taking home $15,481 for seventh place.  Americans Laura Kraut and Lauren Hough had first-round faults that kept them out of Round 2.

Voss’ big-money win didn’t come without some drama.  Just 18 of the 48 starters returned for Round 2, with 12 of them carrying clean-round scores.  When the first four to attempt Round 2 had clear rounds, it looked as if it might be a day with lots of double-clears.

But it wasn’t so.  Of the 12 clear rounds returning, only Voss and Albert Zoer on Sam could keep all the rails in the cups a second time.  The two had to jump off for the big check.

Voss went first on Leonardo B, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding.  He turned in an efficient clear round but clocked a beatable time of 48.35 seconds.  Zoer had to go for it aboard Sam, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.  He got the time, stopping the clock in 48.21 seconds, but a rail fell at the last fence, costing Zoer almost $60,000 in prize money.

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Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, the freshly crowned FEI Rolex World Cup Show Jumping champion, claimed third on Checkmate.

Spooner got a piece of the pie in the Global Champions Tour class, but in the Mercedes Benz Championship of Hamburg, all the Americans qualified to jump off and showed well.  Kraut took second with Miss Independent and Spooner was third on Cristallo.  Hough rounded out the field in seventh with a four-fault jump-off round on Casadora.

Kraut and Miss Independent led the class with a speedy clear jump-off in 42.04 seconds.  For a while, it looked as if her time would hold, but Irishman Denis Lynch sliced more than a second off it with the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Lantinus. 

Kraut was thrilled with “Missy’s” performance.  The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare was on the U.S. team at the 2006 World Equestrian Games (Germany) but had most of last year off due to an injury.  Kraut brought her back early this year but chose not to jump her in the Olympic Selection Trials (Fla.) in March.  Kraut won those trials on Cedric, whom she’s riding on the U.S. team on the Samsung Super League tour.  She’s aiming Missy for the big money in the Global Champions Tour.

“This was the first big class for Miss Independent since the St. Gallen [Switzerland] CSIO in June last year,” Kraut said.  “Yesterday in the opening class, we had quite a poor performance with three rails down, but today the first round went very well and I decided to go for it in the jump-off.  I would not have minded if Denis had kept to his plan and not gone for victory!”

Spooner, who chose not to show his horses in the Olympic Selection Trials, has also made the Global Champions Tour a priority this year.  He and Kraut are based out of a 15-stall barn in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, for the summer. 

In a 1.50-meter speed class at Hamburg, Spooner took fourth on Ace, Hough rode Quick Study into seventh and Kraut guided Likido to 11th.  Hough and Kraut also placed sixth and seventh in a speed derby.

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The show concluded with the $221,792 German Show Jumping Derby, which German rider André Thieme topped in an emotional performance.  When five riders qualified for the jump-off, Thieme was going to have to excel to defend the title he won last year.  He rode Nacorde to a brilliantly fast and clean jump-off for the win.

“First I had thought I would not put myself under too much pressure.  I told myself that if it didn’t work out, I had already won the derby last year,” Thieme said.  “But the closer the derby came, the higher the pressure got, and finally it was much worse than last year.  My father told me, ‘You are not the fastest one and you need the pressure to wake up.’  He was right.

“It was also a very emotional win because Nacorde’s owner, Friedrich Biemann, has been very ill the last few months and this was the first show the doctors allowed him to come to.  He is not only an owner of Nacorde—at the horse shows, he is the groom as well, and we plan everything together.”

British riders swept the top three places of the first qualifying class for the derby.  Robert Whitaker won on Finbar V ahead of his father, John, on Give Me Remus.  Robert Smith took third on Mr. Springfield.  John Whitaker’s day didn’t go so well in the derby, however. 

Give Me Remus jumped down the bank readily, but put on the brakes suddenly before the next fence, a trakehner ditch with water.  John went over the horse’s head, hitting his face on the top rail of the fence and then lying facedown in the water. 

Though the fall looked bad, John waved to the crowd as he was loaded into an ambulance, and it was later announced that he had a split lip and some bruises. 

Birgit Popp

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