Leading German showjumper Marcus Ehning is always a joy to watch for his perfect poise in the saddle, sympathetic hands and his competitive edge, all of which has made him one of the world’s most successful riders. But we reckon Marcus’s winning performance in Sunday’s Rolex grand prix (2 September) at the CSI5* Stephex Brussels Masters could actually be perfection.
Riding the hugely talented stallion Comme Il Faut 5 (Cornet Obolensky x Ramiro) and with his foot to the floor, Marcus’s round is simply breathtaking — and don’t we all wish we could ride like the maestro himself?
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The pair were last to go in a six-strong jump-off and tackled Uliano Vezzani’s track with jaw-dropping precision. Every turn is perfectly executed, they meet every 1.60m obstacle on a deadly accurate forward stride, Comme Il Faut shows amazing athleticism and their acceleration down to the final oxer would leave Frankel quaking in his boots. The pair crossed the line nearly four seconds faster than their nearest rival, Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow (Zacramento).
“I had a very good run,” said Marcus with typical modesty. “From fence one to two I took my time but the rest of the course was really good. I was pretty much 150% sure that he would not knock down the last fence because he loves his speed — I felt quite safe.
“Comme Il Faut is an incredible horse. He has an unbelievable heart. He loves this kind of speed and now he is also so good in his turns.”
With Dublin Horse Show, which was meant to take place this week (15-19 July) cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic,
Douglas reflected in defeat: “I think I could have done a round that was one to one-and-a-half seconds quicker, but it still wouldn’t have been good enough to beat Marcus.”
Marcus, who won the Aachen grand prix in July, now heads to Spruce Meadows, Canada, this week (6-9 September) for the CP International where victory would take him to the next step of his Rolex Grand Slam bid.
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