Three Held; ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to One Competitor in the Luhmühlen First Horse Inspection

Pippa Funnell and British team Performance Manager Dickie Waygood. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Welcome to sunny Lower Saxony, in the north of Germany, where an exceptional batch of horses and riders representing twelve nations — and featuring three previous CCI5* winners in Felix Vogg and Colero (here, last year), Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street (Burghley, 2019), and Laura Collett and London 52 (Pau 2020 and Badminton 2022) — have convened to do battle at the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials, featuring the fourth five-star of the 2023 season. It all began this afternoon in the shadow of the capacious main arena grandstand when the 41 entrants came forward for the first horse inspection in front of the ground jury, and also a very large pizza vendor.

This week, that ground jury — though not the pizza vendor, alas — is helmed by President Nick Burton of Great Britain, ably assisted by Joachim Dimmek of Germany, who’ll be sitting at M for the dressage tests, and Dr. Katrin Eichinger-Kniely of Austria, who’ll be based at E.

Nicolai Aldinger and Timmo. Photo by Alex Jeffery.

Three horses were sent to the holding box through the course of proceedings, and one of them came very early on indeed: with three horses entered this week, including his Badminton ride Swallow Springs, Oliver Townend was the pathfinder for the trot-up, as he will be on Saturday’s cross-country course. Two of his three horses sailed through without a hitch — Swallow Springs and the exciting five-star debutant, Cooley Rosalent — but with the established Tregilder, he was first asked to trot again, and then sent for further examination. The same thing happened to France’s Florian Ganneval and Blue Bird de Beaufour, who will be contesting their third five-star this week — and while both horses were ultimately accepted into the competition upon re-presentation, it wasn’t to be the same story for Germany’s Nicolai Aldinger, who opted instead to withdraw his five-star debutant Timmo from the holding box.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

That means our list of starters is now down to 40, and we’ll see the first twenty of those take to the main arena tomorrow afternoon from 13.45 p.m. local time — that’s 12.45 p.m. British time, or 7.45 a.m. Eastern time. Our first to go — after the guinea pig test, which will be performed by Germany’s Malin Hansen-Hotopp and her reigning Blenheim CCI4*-L champion Carlitos Quidditch K — will be Oliver Townend and Cooley Rosalent. He’ll be followed into the ring by Boyd Martin on the first of his own three rides, Tokyo and Pratoni mount Tsetserleg (13:52 local/12:52 BST/7.52 a.m. EST), and Laura Collett will look to make an early bid for the lead as third in the ring with Dacapo (14:00/13:00/8:00 a.m.).

Kitty King and Vendredi Biats. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s a stacked day of sport throughout the afternoon, with further highlights including last year’s Burghley dressage leaders Kitty King and Vendredi Biats (14:37/13:37/8:37 am), who’ve put two unlucky five-star trips behind them and will be looking to make the third a charm; US partnership Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire (14:30/13:30/8:30 a.m.), who are adding to their impressive roster of international trips this week; 2019 Burghley champs Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street (15:15/14:15/9:15 a.m.); British-based US competitors in Katherine Coleman and RLE Limbo Kaiser (15:22/14:22/9:22 a.m.) and Hallie Coon and Global Ex (15:37/14:37/9:37 a.m.); and second rides apiece for Oliver Townend (he’ll ride Tregilder at 16:15/15:15/10:15 a.m.) and Boyd Martin (he’ll close out the day with a hotly-anticipated 5* debut for Annie Goodwin’s Fedarman B at 16:22/15:22/10:22 a.m.). Check out tomorrow’s five-star times in full at this link.

And that’s not all, folks: the day begins with the CCI4*-S, which will start at 9.30 a.m. local time (8.30 a.m. British/3.30 a.m. EST). You can find tomorrow’s starting order for this class here. 

Gireg Le Coz and Caramel d’Orchis. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Want to keep your eyes on the prize while the competition’s ongoing? Every minute of the action from both classes will be streamed via Horse & Country TV, and if you’ve been on the fence about committing to a streaming service, we’ve got a sneaky little deal for you: if you aren’t already an H&C+ subscriber, you can save 15% on an annual membership using code EVENTINGNATION15. The platform also has pay-monthly subscription options or one-off pay-per-view options if you just fancy tuning in for the week. Head over to our viewing guide for more info, and to keep tabs on the week’s timetable.

We’ll be bringing you full coverage from both the CCI4*-S, incorporating the German National Championships, which kicks off from 9.30 a.m. local time/8.30 a.m. BST/3.30 a.m. EST tomorrow, and the CCI5* — including deep-dives into the technical, academic cross-country course, designed once again by Mike Etherington-Smith. So fill your stein, manhandle your dinner sausages, and let’s Go Eventing – German style!

Longines Luhmühlen: [Website] [Entries] [Timing & Scoring] [How to Watch] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Form Guide]

EN’s coverage of Longines Luhmühlen is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products and Ocala Horse Properties.

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