Early Bird Gets the Aachen Action: CCIO4*-S Cross Country Live Blog

Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Rise and shine, all my fellow eventing nerds (and good reasonable-time-of-the-morning to all of our friends tuning in from the UK and Europe!) — it’s cross country day at one of my personal favorite events, CHIO Aachen.

If you aren’t sick of hearing us say it already, definitely add this event and its weeklong festival to your bucket list. Today’s cross country is just one small part of a World Equestrian Festival that spans all major disciplines and boats the absolute cream of the crop in terms of competition.

ANYWAY, enough poetic wishful thinking about actually being there this year — for now, I’ll settle for tuning in with you all for some cross country day fun.

The course designer here at Aachen is Rüdiger Schwarz, assisted by Kai-Steffen Meier, and he’s built a 4*-S track of 25 numbered fences, comprising of 39 jumping efforts. The optimum time is 6 minutes and 55 seconds – that works out at an average speed of 570 meters per minute. You can get a bit of a view of the track here.

In most countries, you’ll want to grab a subscription to ClipMyHorse.TV to be able to view the action both live and on-demand. FYI, your USEF account connection to ClipMyHorse.TV will not grant you access to Aachen live streaming – you must have a separate subscription to CMH (monthly or annual). Click here to see ClipMyHorse.TV subscription options.

How will today’s events fit with the form? Follow along with EN’s Form Guide here.

Keep scrolling to see my live blog, and keep this page refreshed periodically for the latest updates. Here’s to safe rides to all, and Go Eventing!

EN’s Coverage of CHIO Aachen is brought to you with support from Kentucky Performance Products and Ocala Horse Properties.

CHIO Aachen: [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Timing & Scoring] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage]

6:54 a.m. ET: And that will do us for cross country at Aachen. Yasmin Ingham, who was the original leader after dressage, will claim the individual title here with Banzai du Loir, all but stamping her ticket to Europeans (with which horse though?!). Michael Jung finishes second with fischerChipmunk, and Tamie Smith will take third overall with Mai Baum (with Liz and Phillip not far behind in 5th and 6th). Team Germany will take the SAP Cup, followed by Team USA and Team GB. This is the first British winner EVER at Aachen, and what better way to do it than with the reigning World Champion! Here’s a look at the final finishing scores — and stay tuned for Tilly’s report to come later today!

6:51 a.m. ET: Tom is currently riding for both a British individual and team win here – he’s got about 4 seconds to afford to make this happen. OH NO! He has a 20 at the B of the Sunken Road, and it will be Yasmin Ingham who wins the glory individually today! That will also drop GB out of the gold spot on the leaderboard, I believe, moving the U.S. up to second.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:50 a.m. ET: Oh my goodness – Michael Jung picks up just one second too many, guaranteeing Britain will win for the very first time here – either Yasmin Ingham or Tom McEwen! Here’s a quick look at Michael through the corners at 18:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:48 a.m. ET: Michael is through the final water, Tom is into the Rolex water with JL Dublin.

6:46 a.m. ET: Ah man. The wheels fall off a bit for Tim Price and Falco, who pick up two late 20s, one each at the two final combinations. Tom McEwen and JL Dublin, overnight leaders and last of the day, are away!

6:44 a.m. ET: Tim Price and Falco are still flying! Michael is clear through the Rolex water.

6:43 a.m. ET: Will is well into time as he finishes and he will be sorely disappointed about this result today. Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH are now on course.

6:40 a.m. ET: Oh no! Will has picked up 20 at the A element of the Sunken Road after Timmy slipped on the turn. What a bummer. Ah, he’ll be really kicking himself there. Now, for the team, this means Phillip Dutton’s score will count and Tamie’s will be the top U.S. individual score. Germany has taken over the top spot, so it will come down to Michael Jung’s finish with Chipmunk. Tim Price and Falco are clear through the Rolex water. Will was given a 40 for crossing his tracks on the long route at the Sunken Road.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:38 a.m. ET: Will may not have much team pressure at the moment, but he is riding for a shot at the individual podium here this weekend. He’s only about 4 penalties out of first place as it stands right now.

6:36 a.m. ET: Kevin McNab and Miss Pepperpot run into trouble again at the A of the Sunken Road at 16. Gireg le Coz has been Eliminated for missing the jump at 21. Will is clear through the Rolex water complex.

6:34 a.m. ET: Gireg le Coz and Aisprit de la Loge pick up a late 20 and are the first to have trouble at the angled combination at 21. Will Coleman is away with Off the Record.

6:30 a.m. ET: The final pair for Australia, Kevin McNab and Miss Pepperpot are away. Next to see will be 2021 Aachen winners. Will Coleman and Off the Record, who will have little pressure riding on their shoulders with three clear rounds from the U.S. so far. Sadly Miss Pepperpot picks up 20 at the A element of 5, similarly to teammates Bill Levett and Sligo Candy Cane.

6:29 a.m. ET: Joseph Murphy and Calmaro were evidently given 15 penalties for the out of the sunken road at 16, but it was so quickly removed that I never saw it on the scoreboard. They’re home clear with time. Gireg le Coz has a bold ride through the Normandy Bank complex.

6:28 a.m. ET:

6:25 a.m. ET: Robin Godel is the latest to just get the wider part of the second corner at 18B after taking a direct line to make the three strides happen. Grandeur du Lully CH slides over the second corner a little, and they’re given question marks for the score there. I think those will be removed pretty quickly, from my view. Joseph Murphy is clear through 14 and French rider Gireg le Coz joins us now with Aisprit de la Loge.

6:24 a.m. ET: Last out for the Irish, Joseph Murphy and Camaro are away. Really love this horse, just a real “true event horse” look about him, if you know what I’m talking about.

6:23 a.m. ET: A peek at the environment in the Aachen stadium:

6:20 a.m. ET: A look at updated team standings:

6:18 a.m. ET: Yasmin is home with just three seconds of time! She’ll finish the weekend on a score of 27.1 and takes the clubhouse lead. Robin Godel is the final Swiss rider to start the fourth rotation, aboard Grandeur de Lully CH.

6:16 a.m. ET: Yasmin Ingham is clear through the brush corners at 18. We may see some question marks for their jump at 18B, but we’ll see. Here’s a look at her and Banzai du Loir through the Sunken Road.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:13 a.m. ET: Another thing to remember here is that some of these pairs, particularly the Brits and Germans, will be looking ahead to the European Championships, which means not every round will be one that is used to chase the time and the glory this weekend. Sandra Auffarth is going to pick up enough time to give the U.S. the top spot on the podium!

6:12 a.m. ET: Looks like the way things are shaking out, the U.S. will finish at least on the podium as a team, and they’re currently in silver position. They could yet improve this stead if Germany picks up any jump penalties or a significant amount of time.

6:11 a.m. ET: Caroline Powell is home with 7.6 time faults. Yasmin is away!

6:10 a.m. ET: Catching up a little — things move fast here! — Sandra Auffarth and Viamant du Matz, 2022 winners at Aachen, are on course for Germany and New Zealand’s Caroline Powell is making her way home on a clear with Greenacres Special Cavalier. Reigning World Champ Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir will be the next starters.

6:08 a.m. ET: Tamie is home clear with 2.8 time! She’ll finish at least in the top 10 on a final score of 33.7 and keeps Team USA in the running to at least hang on to third as a team.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:05 a.m. ET: Tamie is probably going to get into time here as well; they’re approaching the final combination before the arena and are clear at 21.

6:03 a.m. ET: Shenae Lowings has also been given 15 now for fence 18. An influential one this year! Caroline Powell and Greenacres Special Cavalier are on course and clear through 4. Tamie is clear through 16.

6:01 a.m. ET: Haven’t seen her yet, but Tamie is on course and clear through 6. Shenae Lowings is clear through 16, and Ben is home clear with some time.

5:58 a.m. ET: Ben Massie has taken some interesting and economic lines here, so we’ll see if he can get a little closer to that time. Australia’s Shenae Lowings is on course and at the Rolex water with the OTTB Bold Venture. Tamie Smith will be the next starter.

5:55 a.m. ET: Cathal is another pair to not hang around one bit, but yet will still get into time faults as he heads to the arena questions. No one has made the time here at Aachen in at least the last two years, to give you an idea of how influential it is.

5:54 a.m. ET: Clear jumping with time for Melody Johner and Toubleu de Rueire for the Swiss. We’re also joined by our next French rider, Benjamin Massie and Edition Fonroy. Cathal Daniels is clear through 15. We are just one more rider away from our next U.S. pair, Kentucky winners Tamie Smith and Mai Baum.

5:50 a.m. ET: Great Britain drops into bronze position now — pending Gemma’s 15 penalties, if those were to be removed. Cathal and Rioghan Rua are clear through 5.

5:49 a.m. ET: Cathal Daniels and the #supermare Rioghan Run are next away.

5:48 a.m. ET: Next out for the Swiss and clear through the water complex at 8-10 are Melody Johner and Toubleu de Rueire. Kirsty Chabert and Classic VI are making their way towards the arena now.

5:47 a.m. ET: And now the Germans go into gold as Kirsty Chabert and Classic VI have a very surprising 20 at the Normandy Bank. This is also contingent on Gemma Stevens’ 15 penalties, which are still on the scores right now.

5:45 a.m. ET: Christoph and Carjatan S are among the quickest of the day, stopping the clock at 6:59 just four seconds over. This will slot him in front of Liz Halliday-Sharp and Miks Master C and also keep the pressure on for the current silver-placed Germans.

5:43 a.m. ET: Also on course now are the next for the British, Kristy Chabert and Classic VI, who were also at Kentucky this spring.

5:41 a.m. ET: For Germany, Christoph Wahler and Carjatan S is having a cracking round thus far and is clear through the Normandy Bank at 11. Here’s a look at Jonelle’s tumble, which she valiantly tried to save!

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:40 a.m. ET: Here’s an updated look at the team standings in the SAP Cup competition:

5:37 a.m. ET: Liz is clear through the brush corners at 18. It looks like Jonelle has fallen from Mclaren at the Rolex water at 9. Noooo! This will be a big blow for the Kiwi team. Liz Halliday is nearly home, she’s going to have several seconds of time as Mikki looks quite strong still. She stops the clock 11 seconds. This clear, plus Jonelle’s fall, puts the U.S. back into a podium spot. Liz will take the clubhouse lead on a score of 36.5.

5:36 a.m. ET: Here’s a replay of what happened with Liz at fence 6:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:35 a.m. ET: Jonelle Price and Mclaren are next away, riding the wave of a stellar show jumping round yesterday. Liz is through the Rolex water and clear through 11. Bill Levett finishes with the 20 penalties and a little over 40 seconds of time.

5:33 a.m. ET: Iiiinteresting — I am going off commentary here as I didn’t see it fully in real time, but it looks like a part of the MIM rail at the vertical MIM rail at 6 dropped when Liz jumped it. But since the top rail did not break, this should not be 11 penalties. I’ll have a GIF shortly.

5:32 a.m. ET: Carouzo Bois Maroutin slips a little on the turn to the final fence, but he and Maxime are home clear with just a bit of time. Liz Halliday-Sharp is now away for the U.S. aboard Ocala Horse Properties’ and Debbie Palmer’s Miks Master C.

5:30 a.m. ET: Patrick Ruegg’s elimination has been updated to a fall of rider instead of a fall of horse. Gemma’s 15 penalties are still present on the live scores. Maxime Liven and Carouzo Bois Maroutin have about 20 seconds as they enter the arena.

5:29 a.m. ET: Sligo Candy Cane is another to look almost a little surprised by the ditch at the coffin at 4, but he and Bill use their footwork and experience to navigate safely. Now they actually slide past the A element of 5 — perhaps just not seeing the fence in time after a quick turn? They’re clear with a hard ride on the direct route. This will drop the Australian’s pretty well out of the sights of a podium finish.

5:28 a.m. ET: 10 seconds over for Susie, plus she now has question marks for that moment at 18. Bill Levett and Sligo Candy Cane are now away for the Aussies, now without a drop score after the elimination of Bec Braitling and Caravaggio.

5:27 a.m. ET: Susie kicks out the right flag at the brush corners at 18 — honestly hard to tell in real speed if the horse’s shoulders were over the fence or off to the right.

5:25 a.m. ET: Next out for the French are Maxime Livio and Carouzo Bois Marotin, who some U.S. fans will recognize as one of the top 10 finishers at Kentucky this spring. Here’s a belated look at the speedy Gemma Stevens and Flash Cooley:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:23 a.m. ET: After a couple of hairy moments, now it looks like Patrick Ruegg and Fifty Fifty have fallen at fence 15, a Trakehner fence. It looks like they are both up and walking away.

5:21 a.m. ET: This could be important – Gemma comes home just 3 seconds over, but she’s been given 15 for a missed flag at 18B. We’ll see if that stands! The next of the Irish is away in Susie Berry with Kilcandra Capitol.

5:20 a.m. ET: Gemma gives Flash Cooley some vocal encouragement as she comes through the angled combination at 21. She’s still flying as she comes into the arena and is going to be fairly close to the time.

5:19 a.m. ET: For the Swiss, Patrick Ruegg and Fifty Fifty hesitate a little at the ditch at 4A, but they’ve over it without penalties. Gemma Stevens and Flash Cooley should be making their way into the final part of the track at the arena now.

5:17 a.m. ET: Malin Hansen-Hotopp and Carlitos Quidditch K makes her smashing Aachen debut complete with just 5.6 time collected today. Nicely done!

5:15 a.m. ET: Gemma is certainly not out to hang around and have a walk in the park today, and she’s got Flash Cooley thinking forward and bold from the beginning. Malin lives a little dangerously at the Sunken Road but gets away with it!

5:14 a.m. ET: Clarke Johnstone is home with a little more time than Phillip. That puts Clarke and Menlo Park onto a finishing score of 45.5. Next out for the Brits are Gemma Stevens and Flash Cooley. Malin is clear through 15.

5:13 a.m. ET: 5.2 time and a total score of 38.0 for Phillip and Z, confirmed.

5:12 a.m. ET: Phillip’s time is currently listed as 10:03, which definitely isn’t right so we’ll see if he actually got a little closer to the optimum. Germany is on course now, with Malin Hansen-Hotopp and Quidditch K clear at the Rolex water.

5:10 a.m. ET: Phillip is clear and adds 15 seconds of time; he will have wanted to go a little quicker, but that’s a good score to go on for the U.S., currently the drop score for the Americans.

5:09 a.m. ET: First of the Kiwis is underway, Clarke Johnstone and Menlo Park. Phil is clear through 21 and should be in the arena by now.

5:06 a.m. ET: Ah no! Bec and Caravaggio part ways at these tricky corners at 18, when they just got off their line and “Ernie” twisted a little in the air to make the wider part of the corner happen. Bec tumbles out the right door and she looks no worse for the wear but will be bummed to end her first trip overseas this way. Here’s a look at Phillip into the Rolex water:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:04 a.m. ET: Bec is clear through 13, while she’s joined by the first U.S. team rider, Phillip Dutton and Z.

5:01 a.m. ET: U.S.-based Australians Bec Braitling and Caravaggio II are now on course, making their Aachen and senior squad debut this weekend.

5:00 a.m. ET: Sarah Ennis and the very keen Action Lady M are home with no jump penalties added, coming home about 35 seconds over the clock. Here’s a look at this pair through the penultimate combination at 21:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

4:59 a.m. ET: Nadja Minder now has 15 penalties showing on her card at fence 18A, the first of two brush corners.

4:57 a.m. ET: Nadja Minder and Aquila B puts in a good round for the Swiss, collecting just a few time penalties to go onto her mark. Right now, she’s the drop score for the Swiss but that could change depending on how the rest of her teammates’ rides go. For France, Luc Chateau is away with Cocorico de L’Ebat.

4:55 a.m. ET: The first Irish rider, Sarah Ennis and Action Lady M, are on course now and navigating the big, circular water at fences 8-10 (that’s how you know you spend a lot of time at one complex, when there are 3 questions in one place!).

4:53 a.m. ET: Frida Anderson’s 15 penalties have been removed, which puts her into the clubhouse lead on a score of 39.7.

4:51 a.m. ET: Cross country adrenaline, in one video:

4:50 a.m. ET: Frida Anderson adds 4.8 time to her score as she crosses the finish. We now move into the team rotations, with Switzerland first of the bunch, sending Nadja Minder and Aquila B first away. Here’s a look at team standings ahead of cross country:

4:48 a.m. ET: Frida Anderson and Box Leo have question marks on their score box for fence 8, likely the B element of the water combination, a narrow arrowhead in the water.

4:46 a.m. ET: Lara is the quickest of the bunch so far, stopping the clock just 2.8 time penalties’ worth ahead of the optimum time. Belgium will be eyeballing the riders here as potential European Championships representatives as they aim for Paris qualification this year — and Lara just made more than a small statement.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

4:45 a.m. ET: Lara Liedekerke-Meier also takes a left-handed line to the second corner at 18 with Ducati d’Arville, jumping just the wider part of the second corner with a big effort.

4:42 a.m. ET: A couple finishes to update you on — Jarno Verwimp and Mahalia are home clear, as are Hector Payne and Dynasty. Frida Anderson and Box Leo as well as Lara Liedekerke-Meier and Ducati d’Arville are out on course and both clear so far.

4:36 a.m. ET: Hector Payne and Dynasty, the first of our British riders, are the next away. Church’lle rattles the MIM-clipped vertical at the final combination, but it stays up and they’re home safely with about 51 seconds of time.

4:35 a.m. ET: I didn’t see either on the live feed, but Arthur Marx has been assessed 15 for a missed flag at 12B and a 20 penalty incurrence at 16B.

4:33 a.m. ET: Dan and Carmango are safely home, and he’ll be more than irritated about that 20 but he still pumps his fist with a finish at his first CHIO Aachen!

4:32 a.m. ET: Also on course now are France’s Arthur Marx and Church’lle as well as Jarno Verwimp and Mahalia.

4:29 a.m. ET: Dan and Carmango have picked up a 20 at the brush arrowhead at 16A, part of the Sunken Road. This is a tricky area of the course, that sits right in the middle of a combined driving obstacle, and it looks like “Fritz” just didn’t quite lock on to the strategically narrow and easy-to-miss fence.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

4:27 a.m. ET: Dan Kreitl is clear through the ring-around-the-rosey Rolex water at 9 and 10.

4:27 a.m. ET: You can see how gray it’s looking out there today in this shot of Samantha Lissington at fence 5.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

4:25 a.m. ET: And here is our first U.S. rider! Dan Kreitl and Carmango are on their first big overseas trip and represent the U.S. as individuals this weekend. Nicolai Aldinger and Timmo are home with about 29 seconds of time.

4:23 a.m. ET: Ricker Ridge Sooty has to get his front end up quick to nip over the MIM Rail at 6, with Samantha glancing back to make sure the rail has stayed up (it did).

4:22 a.m. ET: Our next individual representatives to see will be New Zealand’s Samantha Lissington with Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ. I really hope his barn name is Sooty.

4:20 a.m. ET: Timmo leaves a bit of a knee jumping into the Rolex water but he’s safely clear through here. I know almost nothing about this horse, but he looks like a good, agreeable type that I’d quite like to ride around a big track like this.

4:19 a.m. ET: It looks like both Calvin and Altair de la Cense both took a tumble at the A clement of the Rolex water, but they both look to be ok. Our next starters are Nicolai Aldinger and Timmo for Germany.

4:18 a.m. ET: Looks like Calvin and Altair de la Cense will end their day much earlier than planned with a parting of ways at the Rolex water at fence 10. Rebecca-Juana Gerken and TSF Solara are home clear with some time, but they were also pretty speedy especially as one of the earlier pairs to see.

4:15 a.m. ET: Anna Siemer shows us that the time may be gettable today, stopping the clock just a few seconds off the optimum. Calvin Böckmann and Altair de la Cense are our next to see and our penultimate Germany individual pair.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

4:13 a.m. ET: FRH Butts Avondale jumps more the left side of the righthand corner at 18, and Anna’s foot actually hits the white flag as a result. She gives FRH Butts Avondale a big pat, and they actually aren’t too bad on time here with about 35 seconds to get home as she enters the arena. The rain is a little heavier now!

4:11 a.m. ET: Anna Siemer and FRH Butts Avondale are clear through the Rolex water complex at the top of the track and are joined by Rebecca-Juana Green and TSF Solara — who has a U.S. sire in the great Windfall II. Pathfinders Lubissa Lubekke has been assessed 15 penalties for missing a flag at this time, at the right-handed corner at 18B.

4:07 a.m. ET: Next to see as Lubissa makes her way home via the questions in the arena — she’s clear with about 34 seconds of time — are Germany’s Anna Siemer with FRH Butts Avondale. They also rely on a bit of footwork to navigate the early coffin at 4.

4:04 a.m. ET: Lubissa is having to ride in some morning rain, but it’s not enough to have a huge effect on the going right now. This track, with its notoriously tough time, is a tricky balance between riding forward and boldly, while also maintaining the ability to control and turn tightly. Not every horse will be suited for this track, but the ones that will will really relish the challenge.

4:01 a.m. ET: And we are officially underway as Libussa is away and has a bit of a rough ride through the first combination at 4AB but is on her way!

3:59 a.m. ET: The CrossCountryApp preview of the 4*-S course here is now available! Click here for a fence-by-fence preview. Our first riders to see today will be the individual riders, with the team rotation starting a little later. Germany has the largest number of individual slots as host nation, and we’ll see a handful of their riders out first beginning with Libussa Lübbeke and Caramia 34.

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