Equestrian Life
EQ Life tours Aachen: Day seven

 Boyd and his team

Boyd and his team, winners again today!




By Equestrian Life/Roger Fitzhardinge








Success continued today at Aachen for Aussie driver Boyd Exell, where he and his team won the second four-in-hand dressage test with a score of 31.86. Today’s event counts towards the overall classification.


Yesterday, the driving master produced a World Record score of 28.7 to win the first dressage test. What a proud moment for Australia! Yesterday’s dressage was a stand-alone event, while today’s counts towards the overall combined driving title. In second place was Chester Weber of the USA on 38.52, while Ijsbrand Chardon of the Netherlands was third on 41.98.


Boyd’s success at CHIO Aachen has been plentiful over the years; he has already won the four-in-hand driving competition eight times. Last year he finished second to Dutch driver, Ijsbrand Chardon, however he did break his leg shortly before the event began and that no doubt hampered his efforts. No such trouble this year!


The driving at Aachen continues over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday will see competitors contest the “high score” obstacles driving event, Saturday is marathon day (the second phase of the overall classification), and Sunday is another obstacle driving event (cones), which forms the third and final phase of the overall classification. 



Good luck Boyd!


Virbac Aachen Equimax small




Boyd Exell after his dressgage test


Boyd Exell after his dressage test.


Boyd Exell won again today in the second dressage test


Boyd Exell won again today in the second dressage test.





Today saw the top-level dressage stars in action in the CDIO5* Grand Prix. Yesterday we were treated to the CDI4* Grand Prix, and many of the same riders took to the arena in the 5* albeit on different horses. The stands quickly filled, especially in the later part of the draw when the big names began to file in one by one. 


A total of 31 competitors saw 23 with scores over 70%, so as you can imagine there were some seriously fantastic tests! The crowd certainly appreciated it, with many cheers and a wave of clapping following each combination out of the arena at the culmination of their test. Talk about atmosphere!


Isabell Werth – the “queen of dressage” – and Bella Rose (Belissimo x Cacir AA) were undoubtedly popular with their home crowd, eliciting a cheer before their test had even begun and before it ended! However, the biggest cheers were saved for last – especially when her score of 82.783% flashed up on the board. Werth and the chestnut mare were a unanimous first with the judges. Bella Rose shows a very good tendency for the passage and piaffe, gaining tens for the final centreline. A mistake in the one tempis (and only one mistake) made a mark below five, and there were also low marks in comparison for the extended trot (6.8 average). The mare still lacks a good active hindleg, and could sit more in some movements. Isabell is the master of half pass trot and this day she showed every inch of her ability to ride sidewards and forward with effortless ease. Her steely face changed to a beaming smile a few metres before the final halt. There was no doubt she knew she would win with that test.




Isabell Werth and Bella Rose


Isabell Werth and Bella Rose.



Dorothee Schneider, a team silver medallist from London and team gold medallist form Rio, rode Showtime FRH to second place with a score of 80.609%. This pair has been out of competition for a while but has certainly returned to Aachen in top form. A stunning creature who was immaculately presented, Showtime moved through the test with effortless ease, each movement blending with clear and fluent transitions. This mistake free test wowed the crowd; you could have heard a pin drop throughout the performance. Showtime had an amazing, uphill balance throughout the test in every movement and is now stronger and shows more fluidity in the piaffe, passage and transitions. The harmony between Dorothee and Showtime is very obvious; they exude confidence and have the chance of making every movement for a nine. Maybe one day, with time, good luck, and more strength, this may well happen all in one test. This is a super horse; he was a serious crowd favourite and understandably so.



Dorothee Schneider and Showtime were second in the CDIO5* GP


Dorothee Schneider and Showtime were second in the CDIO5* GP.



Charlotte Dujardin rode the most outstanding test on Erlentanz. This combination has not been together that long, but you would have believed they were born together. It was a consistent, easy and faultless test. It appeared seamless, accurate, and had great energy and expression. What can you say! Charlotte is a genius when it comes to riding a test and gaining every possible mark. They finished third on 79.152%.



Charlotte Dujardin and Erlentanz


Charlotte Dujardin and Erlentanz.



Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB were fourth with a score of 79%, and led for much of the competition. This immaculately presented combination again showed consistency throughout the test. The mare was keen and eager to please. The only thing that lacked steadiness was her tail; it was fairly constantly on the whirl. The mare shows great cadence and expression, and puts her heart and soul into her work, with Jessica looking every inch the super model… it makes for a wonderful picture. 


Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian finished fifth with 78.413%. This nine year old by Bordeaux, a liver chestnut, is going to make some waves. On the first few days here, he was quite electric and Cathrine rode him really round and deep, slow and relaxing him. She spent a lot of time simply making him feel at ease with himself. He came into the arena full of life, but mentally strong, and relaxed. The frame was beautifully uphill, and very well connected over the back and forward to the bridle. 




Virbac Aachen Equimax small



Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Blue Hors Don Olymbrio were sixth with 78.348%. Daniel is well known for his outstanding achievements with Blue Hors Zack. Don Olymbrio is by Jazz out of an Olympic Ferro-bred mare; this liver chestnut with white socks and a baldy face is seriously impressive. Daniel rode a really competitive test, showing a good frame on this short-coupled horse. This ten year old needs to gain better balance and strength to improve his piaffe, which was a weak link today. This is a horse for the future. 



Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Blue Hors Don Olymbrio


Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Blue Hors Don Olymbrio.



Therese Nilshagen and Dante Weltino certainly made heads turn; they finished seventh on 76.957%. This big black imposing stallion is so keen to do the right thing. This keenness and desire to please sometimes creates a little disturbance to some steps and hence the rhythm, simply because he tries too hard. As he becomes more confident and familiar with the test, for sure he will settle in to his impressive cadenced, powerful paces. Therese rode this big horse and her little stature with ease and grace. The harmony between the stallion and Therese is seriously evident and the general public feeling very positive for this horse. He has now become more confident in the walk phase of the test and is learning to relax, and not lose rhythm. However, he needs to reach more and this also will come when he learns better to turn on and off. Therese, who the EQ Life tour visited pre-Aachen, received an extra loud cheer from the Aussie crowd!!



Therese Nilshagen and Dante Weltino


Therese Nilshagen and Dante Weltino.



Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper were next, scoring 75.8%. They showed some seriously athletic and ground covering trot work. The greatest highlight being an extended canter that produces so much cadence, air and ground cover… it’s quite incredible. Some tension in the halt at the beginning was not a good start, and with this big horse trying to engage too much in the piaffe, it also would have lost a few marks here. This horse also is capable of being in the top few in the world. Of course, Steffen is the consummate competitor. For sure, he would be a little disappointed in the discrepancies in the judges’ scores: 72.609% through to 78.587%, and sixth to twelfth. But that’s another story! That’s dressage!



Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper in the CDIO5* GP


Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper in the CDIO5* GP.





The first event in the main arena today was the U25 class, and his was won by Tim-Uwe Hoffman and horse Casta Lee. The pair jumped clear and were by far the fastest, finishing the course in 65.68 seconds. Jan Andrew Schulze Niehues was runner up with Fitch, in a time of 68.95 seconds.


The jumping event for young horses went to the mare Hatrona, ridden by Philipp Weishaupt for German, while the STAWAG-Prize jumping event went to Swiss star Pius Schwizer and Chaquilot, with Philipp Weishaupt finishing runner up. 



It was a packed house for the Nations Cup


It was a packed house for the Nations Cup.



The Nations Cup team event saw a packed crowd late in the evening at the Main Stadium. Not a seat to spare, and the atmosphere was electric! 


Over two rounds of competition, Team Sweden rose to the task and finished with just four faults to their name. Henrik von Eckermann (Toveks Mary Lou), Angelie von Essen (Luikan Q), Evelina Tovek (Dalila de la Pomme) and Peder Fredricson (H&M Christian K) all produced solid rounds to finish atop the leaderboard. Henrik von Eckermann produced a double clear.



Peder Fredricson and H&M Christian K


Peder Fredricson and H&M Christian K.



In the first round, Peder Fredricson accumulated 13 penalties and was the drop score, however, last to go in the second round he had to jump clear for Sweden to maintain their one penalty lead of Germany - and that he did. A few hold your breath moments, in particular the last of the treble when he virtually jumped it from a trot, but clear nonetheless!


Second place went to Team Germany and third to Team France.





The trot up for the eventers was today, and all looked immaculate. The Aussie team all passed with flying colours: Chris Burton and Polystar I, Isabel English and Feldale Mouse, Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos and Kevin McNab and Willunga. Chris Burton and Quality Purdey are also entered as individuals.


Andrew Hoy (Bloom des Hauts Crets) and Chris Burton (Limited Edition) will also contest the Jump & Drive.



Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos - © Kirsty Pasto


Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos.

© Kirsty Pasto



The only competitor to fail the trot up was Japan’s sole representative, Kazuma Tomoto’s Tacoma d'Horset. A real shame and you wouldn’t see a more disappointed competitor. 


The dressage kicks off from 8.30am tomorrow. 








© copyright. Equestrian Life. Thursday, 2 December 2021