The entry list for CHIO Aachen CICO3* went live this morning, and 43 combinations from 11 countries are set to do battle on the Nations Cup stage. The U.S. sent a full team to Aachen last year for the first time, and this year Clark Montgomery will once again represent Team USA, this time with Loughan Glen.
Many national federations are using the event as a final run for horses on their World Equestrian Games teams, and Germany will not name its squad until after the event, so it’s going to be a critical competition for the reigning Olympic champions. Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW will anchor the German team along with London Olympic bronze medallists Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo.
For Australia, Paul Tapner and Kilronan are the sole combination competing that has also been named to the main WEG squad. Other teammates Chris Burton and Graf Liberty, Andrew Hoy and Rutherglen, and Kevin McNab and Clifton Pinot have been named to the alternate list.
British WEG team members William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning and Zara Phillips and High Kingdom will make their final prep runs before Normandy. And team alternates Harry Meade and Wild Lone will look to make a case to serve as Izzy Taylor’s replacement on the squad after Allercombe Ellie’s withdrawal.
For Ireland, WEG team members Sarah Ennis and Stellor Rebound and Joseph Murphy and Electric Cruise will compete, as well as alternates Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just A Jiff.
A good chunk of the New Zealand WEG squad is competing, anchored by Andrew Nicholson and Nereo, who finished in fourth place just outside the medals in London. Luhmühlen winners Tim Price and Wesko will also compete, as will his alternate horse Ringwood Sky Boy. Lucy Jackson and Willy Do, who have already been slated as an individual combination for Normandy, are also entered.
Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden have not yet named their WEG teams, but all have combinations entered at Aachen, so it’s an especially important event for these riders with selectors on the grounds waiting to make their final decisions for Normandy.
The cross-country course is once again designed by Rüdiger Schwarz — click here to see last year’s course preview — and Frank Rothenberger also returns this year as the show jumping course designer for the main stadium. Martin Plewa, Christina Klingspor and Alain James will preside as the ground jury, and this is a valuable chance to get these WEG horses in front of WEG ground jury member Alain once last time before Normandy.
Aachen marks the halfway point of the FEI Nations Cup series. After Fontainebleau, Ballindenisk, Houghton Hall and Strzegom, Germany leads the standings, followed by Great Britain and the Netherlands. The remaining events in the series are Malmö, Montelibretti, Waragem and Boekelo. Click here to see the full FEI Nations Cup standings.