Christian Ahlmann and the 12-year-old stallion Codex One landed Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen – one of the toughest competitions in the sport. In doing so, the German rider became the new contender for the Rolex Grand Slam and a potential 1m euro bonus.
“Normally it’s better to ride last, but not today,” said Christian, 39, who forced his four jump-off rivals into making mistakes from first draw, thus taking victory with the only treble clear.
“This is a dream come true for me and for sure, I will be at the Spruce Meadows Masters [the next leg of the Rolex Grand Slam] in September.”
The runner-up was Kent Farrington (USA) with the 12-year-old Dutch-bred gelding Voyeur, who recorded the fastest time but with a very expensive pole falling at the final fence.
Third went to Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue, with Daniel Deusser (Cornet D’Amour) fourth, with USA rider Lauren Hough fifth with two down in the final round on Ohlala.
British contenders Ben Maher (Cella) and Scott Brash (Hello Sanctos) both lost their chances with four and eight faults respectively in round one.
Katrin Eckermann and Firth Of Lorne suffered a heavy fall at the water – for the second time this week – and we’ll bring you news of their wellbeing as soon as we have it.
Don’t miss the full report from the CHIO Aachen in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound (out Thursday 24 July).