The future is bright for Germany, with six German riders gaining top ten positions at Luhmuhlen CCI four-star this weekend – one of the last big competitions before the World Equestrian Games in Aachen this summer (20 August until 3 September). Frank Ostholt and Air Jordan 2, leaders after the cross-country, jumped a clear show jumping round to claim the 15,500 euro first prize. Bettina Hoy and Ringwood Cockatoo finished just over a penalty behind, taking second place.

Germany’s Dirk Schrade and Sindy 43 moved up the leader board into fifth position with Andreas Dibowski in sixth and Hinrich Romeike in seventh. Germany’s Stefanie Thompson also made it into the top 10, finishing ninth on Jacko’s Delight.

Mark Phillip’s cross-country course included plenty of new obstacles. “Last year the course was more forward on a straight line, this time there are more narrow fences on turns,” said Frank Ostholt.

“When I walked the course the fences were coming fast, but that made me attack,” said Bettina Hoy after her clear round on Ringwood Cockatoo. “It was a typical Mark Phillips course and brilliant preparation for Aachen.”

Australian and British riders gave the German contestants a run for their money. Australia’s Lucinda Fredericks and Headley Britannia took third place with Andrew Hoy and Classy Touch in twelfth. Hoy was pleased with Classy Touch: “It was a strong cross-country course and this was his first time at this level – I couldn’t ask any more of him,” he said.

Britain’s Sarah Cohen and Tom Cruise II finished in eighth place and William Fox-Pitt and Birthday Night moved up one position into eleventh. “I hoped I might get inside the time but today that was difficult and I’m very, very pleased with him [Birthday Night],” said Fox-Pitt, after clocking up 4.4 time penalties on the cross-country. “He made a couple of small mistakes but he’s learnt a lot and I’m delighted with him.”

Full Luhmuhlen reports to follow in this week’s Horse & Hound (on sale 8 June).