German ladies drive forward to victory
The Global Champions Tour of Germany opened with the Mercedes Benz Championship of Hamburg, the prize for which included a new car from the sponsors, and it was a case of Germany first and the rest no-where. With 55 starters from 16 nations, the almost complete domination of the German riders could hardly have been expected although the already huge crowd of 14'000 were obviously hoping that at least one of the home side would reach the podium. Course designer Frank Rothenberger made sure that clear rounds were hard to achieve in the first round with the line that included the combination causing particular problems as it was followed by an upright six strides later and then a huge oxer a further eight strides away all heading towards the collecting ring. However the almost innocuous upright at the finish caused nearly as many problems and ended the chances of Ludger Beerbaum and Bernardo Alves.
A tight time of 82 seconds also contributed to whittling the field down, those falling victim to the clock included Nick Skelton and Christina Liebherr.
However despite all this, no-one could have predicted that of the eight clear rounds only the Ukraine's Cassio Rivetti would prevent a German clean sweep. Marco Kutscher who had been second to go in the first phase with his World Cup mount Cornet Obolensky who showed no ill effects from his Las Vegas outing when they galloped round for a safe clean sheet in 47.67. The only possible upset to German win ended swiftly as Magic Bengtsson felled both the third and sixth fences leaving Cassio Rivetti an honourable seventh but after that it was then only a case of which German would win.
Carsten-Otto Nagel made an excellent effort with Corradina who has jumped consistently since Frankfurt in December and the pair crossed the line in 45.11. Christian Ahlmann's latest star ride Sebastian could not quite catch them and both Phillippe Weishaupt (Leoville) and Marcus Ehning (Leconte) were forced into errors. That just left two ladies. Meredith Michaels Beerbaum needs little introduction although Checkmate is perhaps less famous as her partner, but first Janne-Fredericke Meyer had to see if she could challenge for the lead. Cellagon Lambrasca really tried hard and despite a small slip, the pair still stopped the clock at 44.89 to just get in front. But her lead did not last long as Meredith, one of Mercedes' spokes persons, cantered in.
A turn inside a flower pot that no-one else had attempted made all the difference and a brand new Mercedes was hers, when she crossed the line in 43.01. But it turned out that in fact this win was more down to Checkmate decision in the jump off than his riders. “I had no plan to go inside that flower pot but as we landed Checkmate obviously thought that the optimum route and as he so clearly thought he knew best, I just went with it and it worked out well. I really wanted a new car so I am very pleased with my horse today.”
1. Meredith Michaels Beerbaum Checkmate 0 faults 43.01
2. Janne-Fredericke Meyer Cellagon Lambrasco 0 faults 44.89
3. Carsten-Otto Nagel Corradina 0 faults 45.11
Janne-Frederick Meyer “You know when Meredith is in the jump off you are going to have to do very well to beat her, but this class was a big chance for me to qualify for the GCT Grand Prix so I was really trying hard. However, at the prize giving Carsten and I were wondering if it was not time for Meredith to perhaps have a baby so we might have more chance of winning!”
Roger Yves Bost- “I like the Hamburg format especially the other classes because although it is nice to ride only two at Valencia, that is a small vacation maybe, it is better to have three or four at a show especially if there is a young horse class as there is here.”
Meredith Michaels Beerbaum and Checkmate
For full event results click here
© Cyberhorse 2009 Lulu Kyriacou