Christian Ahlmann takes the GLOCK’s 5* Grand Prix for Germany
Five Olympic winners, seven overall world cup winners, five world champions, over 20 European and Continental champions as well as more than a third of the current top 100 in the world ranking list. The third staging of CSI5* International Show Jumping at the GLOCK HORSE PERFORMANCE CENTER Austria embodied all that really counts in the world of show jumping. The four-day, top-class event reached its climax with the GLOCK’s 5* Grand Prix, enjoying a prize pot of 350,000 euros. For the 40 assembled contestants it was not only about the large prizes at stake but also points for the world ranking list and the chance to qualify for the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg. Moreover, those athletes whose countries had already qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games could demonstrate their eligibility for definite starts in Rio de Janeiro on the strength of good results here.
That was precisely what Christian Ahlmann from Germany did. The current number three in the world was one of twelve penalty-free riders who qualified for the chance of victory in this competition with jump-off over 1.60 m. With twelve-year-old Epleaser van’t Heike, son of For Pleasure, he was second to enter the deciding round and did everything exactly right. From the first to the last of the eight obstacles and nine jumps in the jump-off, he judged the distances perfectly, galloped through at a rapid pace and the clock stopped at 45.08 seconds.
“I really stepped it up right from the start in the jump-off. Winning in the GLOCK’s 5* Grand Prix is the perfect end to a perfect tournament. We riders, the horses and everybody involved feel very happy here. Conditions couldn’t be any better and I would like to thank the Glock family cordially on behalf of all the riders”, said the candidate for a starting place in Rio. “Now first of all, I do hope that Germany become UEFA champions. After that we can tackle the Olympic victory project”, he said with a cheeky smile.
His compatriot Daniel Deusser (GER) almost took the victory from him. With his eleven-year-old BWP gelding, First Class van Eeckelghem, the twice runner-up European champion managed the course in 45.12 second, thus only four hundredths slower than Ahlmann. "He lost that on the way to the last jump”, was the winner’s analysis of his competitor, with a twinkle in his eyes.
Third place in this extremely thrilling jump-off went to Robert Whitaker (GBR), who was first starter in the jump-off and set a time of 45.50 seconds with his Holstein gelding Catwalk IV. Max Kühner (AUT/T), with his powerful grey stallion Chardonnay 79, was the only Austrian rider to enter the jump-off. He stayed superbly penalty-free, coming sixth in 47.99 seconds.
06 - CSI5* GLOCK’s 5* GRAND PRIX
Int. jumping competition with jump-off 1.60 m
Competition counts for the LONGINES Ranking list
1. Epleaser van’t Heike - Ahlmann, Christian (GER) 0/45.08 jump off
2. First Class van Eeckelghem - Deusser, Daniel (GER) 0/45.12 jump off
3. Catwalk IV - Whitaker, Robert (GBR) 0/45.50 jump off
4. H&M Zilverstar T - Philippaerts, Nicola (BEL) 0/46.54 jump off
5. Cassis 54 - Davis, Lucy (USA) 0/47.95 jump off
6. Chardonnay 79 - Kühner, Max (AUT/T) 0/47.99 jump off
7. Comanche - Michaels-Beerbaum, Meredith (GER) 0/48.34 jump off
8. Lord Pepsi - Estermann, Paul (SUI) 4/45.24 jump off
9. SFN Zenith N.O.P. - Dubbeldam, Jeroen (NED) 4/46.08 jump off
10.Tarioso Manciais - Schwizer, Pius (SUI) 8/45.92 jump off
11.Caretina de Joter - Tops-Alexander, Edwina (AUS) 8/48.85 jump off
12.Sterrehof’s Calimero - Houtzager, Marc (NED) 12/46.44 jump off
Link to results