Luhmühlen’s Meßmer Trophy CCI4*-S competition might not have top billing, but it’s as equally fierce as the CCI5*-L headliner. The division is a stocked pond of German heavy-hitters, as it typically is in a championship year — Luhmühlen will also host the 2019 FEI European Championships on Aug. 28-Sept. 1.
Not surprisingly, the German contingent holds nine out of the top 10 placings after the completion of CCI4*-S dressage today. Julia Krajewski and Samourai du Thot took the lead on 24.7. This extremely competitive pair has won the last seven international events they’ve completed and were leading the Event Rider Masters CCI4*-S last week after the dressage and show jumping phases before opting out of the final phase.
“Sam was very relaxed during the last few days, but today he was a bit of a handful,” Julia commented after their test. “Maybe I should have ridden him a second time yesterday, in order to be able to ride out the highlights even more in the test today. Nevertheless, I’m very satisfied with the result and think it’s good that the judges stayed true to their line throughout the entire competition.”
Looking ahead to cross country on Saturday, Julia said, “The course is more demanding than last year, absolutely worthy of a German Championship. Especially #5ABC and the water complexes are very technical. I don’t think it will be too easy to stay within the time as there are many questions during the course that require precise riding. Luckily Sam is a very fast horse with a good canter.”
Breathing down their neck, just a tenth of a point behind, is Ingrid Klimke with SAP Asha P on a 24.8. “It’s great how strong the mare’s nerves were in this atmospheric dressage arena,” Ingrid said. “She was really eager and highly motivated, while being relaxed at the same time. I was positively surprised, how well Asha managed to cope with the great Luhmühlen atmosphere.”
Rounding out the top three is Michael Jung with Creevagh Cooley on 25.6. Michael has three horses in the top 10 — Highlighter is 7th, and Corazon is 8th. “I have only been riding this mare a few weeks now and I am more than happy with her performance today,” he said of his top-placed mount. “She was extremely easy to ride, and I believe she is a really special horse with a bright future.
“I really like this year’s course,” he continued. “I think the Meßmer water complex could be tricky for some horses but I’m looking forward to riding the course on Saturday in front of the crowd here in Luhmühlen.”
A preview of the CCI4*-S cross country course, courtesy of CrossCountry App:
Hans Melzer, Germany’s team coach, noted the high standard in this year’s dressage phase: “The atmosphere is quite electric in the arena but all German horses presented themselves very well this morning.”
Of the course, Hans remarked, “I believe this year’s course is more demanding in comparison to last year. However, at the end of the track, there are fewer downhill tracks, which should be more comfortable for the horses.”
CCI4*-S Top 10 After Dressage:
You can view the complete CCI4*-S leaderboard here. Much more still to come — keep it here, EN!