Germany took the Aachen nations cup on home ground, with Nadine Capellmann’s exciting new grand prix ride Elvis leading the charge.

In the absence of The Netherlands’ top team Germany were hardly threatened, scoring 222.374 to second placed Denmark’s 209.875. The team had four strong performances — their drop score was that of Hubertus Schmidt on 71.375% — with Nadine wowing the crowd and scoring 10 for her extended trot.

“I had a very good feeling from Elvis today, he was especially good in the piaffe and passage and the pirouettes were good, too,” said Nadine. “We had a mistake in the changes, but that was my fault not his, I prepared him too much for the change.”

Elvis is only eight years old and has made huge progress in the past year. “In December he was still at prix st georges level and then in May he won his first grand prix with 75%,” said Nadine of the Hannovarian chestnut gelding.

Another horse of the same description, Isabell Werth’s ride Warum Nicht, finished one per cent behind Elvis to cement Germany’s lead. It was only ‘Hannes’s second outing outdoors — the pair finishing a strong indoor season with second place at the World Cup in April.
“We had a few little mistakes where he was a bit tense,” said Isabell. “He needs a few more tests outdoors to get more relaxed. He is only 10 and just needs to learn not to be afraid outdoors with the new distractions like flowers blowing in the wind.”

Both Nadine and Isabell are hopeful for the World Equestrian Games after this team win.

“The result will have given us confidence for sure, but then the Dutch were not here with their full team,” said Nadine, with Isabell adding: “The World Equestrian Games are another situation altogether and I’m sure it will be very close.”

Team Great Britain finished sixth, with Emma Hindle and Lancet best of the British effort. The pair proved they are now a solid partnership with an accurate and consistent test. They had just one mistake in the one-time changes, leaving them on 69.333%.

Sandy Phillips’s Lara 106 handled the pressure in the main arena for a respectable 67.729.

“It was raining in the warm up and Lara was disconcerted by the umbrellas, but she went into the main arena and settled,” said Sandy. “She comes out better every time, for example the pirouettes were better today, and the judges love the way she moves.”

Laura Bechtolsheimer, by far the youngest team member at 21, had a slightly disappointing test with her parent’s Douglas Dorsey — the pair being capable of more than their 66.5%.

Richard Davison was the drop score with Hiscox Karachi, who showed excellent work that was thwarted by tension and a few small mistakes including a break in the changes. It was bad timing, as the Wild West Show was taking place in the show jumping arena as a nervous Karachi started his test.

“With guns going off and the public screaming it unsettled him and meant we didn’t get the halt and there was tension in the walk,” said Richard. “He’s got to learn to cope with these things but he is genuinely frightened. Technically he is very correct and he only makes mistakes when he’s scared.”