Same story, different day — the Germans are controlling the competition at the conclusion of dressage here at CHIO Aachen, topping both the individual and team standings on home soil. Julia Krajewski leads with Chipmunk FRH on 19.4, with defending winners Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD in second on 22.1, and Bettina Hoy and Designer 10 in third on 22.3.
Julia and “Chip” are coming off a dominant performance at Bramham CCI3*, where they won on their jaw-dropping dressage score of 19.4. The 10-year-old Hanoverian (Contendro I X Havanna, by Heraldik I) owned by Dr. Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff, just missed matching his personal best score today, though still delivered 19.7 to top the leaderboard.
That score is even more impressive when you consider that Julia’s role as junior national coach for Germany took her to Fontainebleau in France last week for the FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders and Juniors. She coached the German juniors to team bronze, with Brandon Schäfer Gehrau also winning individual bronze, before rushing home to prepare for Aachen.
“I have to say I wasn’t too sure how it would go because I was away last week,” Julia said. “I’m very proud of how he came in the stadium and concentrated and did everything I asked. It was the first time in such a big atmosphere for him. It’s a good feeling to know your horse trusts you and you can go for the marks. It’s like he understands what he’s supposed to do, which is very cool.”
Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD have never finished lower than third in three consecutive appearances at Aachen, and they are poised to repeat that trend after the first phase. Bobby, a 14-year-old Oldenburg (Helikon xx X Goldige, by Noble Champion) scored 22.1 for second place.
Bettina Hoy and Designer 10, her own 14-year-old Westphalian Dali X x Caesy X Conception xx), led through much of the morning and sit in third place on 22.3 at the conclusion of dressage.
“We feel a bit like an old married couple now because we know exactly how to warm up and what to expect and what he can do — how I have to do the last few minutes just rising trot before I go in so that he’s not getting tired in his back,” Bettina said. “He’s also very good in his mind.”
Bettina resigned from competing on teams for the German Olympic squad in March to devote more time to coaching the Dutch national team, and she has continued to campaign Designer 10 at the highest level of the sport.
“Having been in the top squad for almost 36 years, it certainly does make a difference not feeling that pressure,” Bettina said. “I didn’t realize until the press was off how much pressure there always has been. I’m just doing it for fun now. It’s not for glory, it’s not for medals, it’s certainly not for money, but it’s the one thing I really love doing.”
Looking to our U.S. contingent, Kim Severson and Cooley Cross Border, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Diamond Roller X Whos Diaz, by Osilvis) owned by the Cross Syndicate, lead the way for the team in seventh place on 25.5.
“I had one silly moment about picking up the wrong lead, and he got a little bit fragile in the right lead canter work, but a lot of it is a lot better. … I was really happy with his canter lengthenings because I was struggling with the feel of that and how to half halt without taking too much away,” Kim said.
“The one (flying) change is good. Sometimes I get into trouble and I don’t get the good one because I’m working on the bad one. The bad one is just where he’s at right now. Sometimes you’re going to get it, sometimes you’re not. I haven’t really been successful in the ring yet because I have to set him up just so and you don’t always get that in the ring.”
Buck Davidson and Carlevo, an 11-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino X Ramatuelle, by Levernois) owned by Carlevo LLC, scored 29.0 for 19th place.
“You always think of what you could have done better, but the good thing is that’s the best he’s been in the work all week,” Buck said. “He definitely grows in the ring and gets better in the ring. The atmosphere doesn’t bother him at all.”
Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monte Carlo just missed matching their personal best score at the level but still delivered one of the horse’s strongest tests in recent memory. “Patrick,” a 12-year-old Irish/Thoroughbred cross (Formula One X Glamour) owned and bred by Jacqueline Mars, sits 26th on 31.2.
“Everyone knows he’s not super flashy in the dressage, but honestly he’s one of my favorite horses to ride in the dressage because he’s such a little workhorse and he wants to do everything right,” Lauren said. “Hopefully he keeps being a good pathfinder for the team the rest of the weekend.”
Will Coleman and OBOS O’Reilly, a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse (OBOS Quality X Omard Clover Queen, by Clover Hill) owned by the Four Star Eventing Group, scored 34.2 for 38th place. “Oboe” delivered scores in the 20s at both Badminton and Tattersalls, and while the score isn’t what he hoped for, Will said he is determined to put in strong jumping phases for the team.
“He had to turn around pretty quick for Aachen, and we just haven’t been able to really prepare the same way we had for (Badminton and Tattersalls),” Will said. “It was still an opportunity to come here. We didn’t have the best test, but there are still two phases to go. Hopefully we can make those a little bit better.”
Click here to view full scores, where are tightly bunched as we look ahead to tonight’s show jumping, with one rail separating the top five and two rails separating the top 15. Frank Rothenberger always sets a challenging track for the eventers in the main stadium at Aachen, one of the biggest stages in the world.
Germany leads the team competition on 72.4 after dressage, but scores are also very close after that. Zealand sits second on 82.5, with Great Britain in third on 85.2 and the U.S. in fourth on 85.7. Click here to view the team standings.
Tune in to watch show jumping on ClipMyHorse.TV starting at 5:45 p.m./11:45 a.m. EST. Check back to EN later today for the full report. Go Eventing.