Postcards from Aachen: the horse who won £300k but just likes to ‘eat and chill’

  • Leading German showjumper Marcus Ehning triumphed with the brilliant 15-year-old gelding Pret A Tout in the prestigious Rolex grand prix at Aachen on Sunday (22 July). Despite netting a cool £300,000 for his rider in one of the world’s toughest jumping competitions, this equine athlete is a totally chilled out character, who is happiest than when he’s eating, says groom Mel Obst.

    Can you tell us about Pret A Tout?

    “Pret A Tout is the easiest horse we have, he has a super character and is so brave,” says Mel. “He is very calm, you can give him to anyone to hold and he will behave, he is just lovely and easy. When he is jumping he is like ‘I am doing my job and focused’ after he has finished he is like ‘I am chilled, I just want to eat’ when he is eating he is very happy — I think he even had a bit of grass in the prize giving! In the stable he is so relaxed and such a wonderful horse to be around, I am so lucky to work with him.”

    How was he rewarded after winning the Rolex grand prix?

    “A lot of food — he loves food,” says Mel. “He loves carrots, apples, everything.”

    Do you get nervous watching Marcus Ehning compete?

    “No, I am usually ok actually,” says Mel. “When I watch I usually stay very calm, I think whatever happens it will be OK! When he is in the arena I start to get a little bit nervous, but I always try to hide it!”

    How did you feel when you realised Marcus had won the Rolex grand prix?

    “I felt unbelievable, it is so exciting for us!” says Mel. “We had an amazing week at CHIO Aachen and to win the Rolex grand prix tops off an incredible show for us. To win this and the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup feels like a dream. It took some time to sink in that we had actually won the grand prix — I suddenly realised Luciana’s time was slower and that we had won, it was unreal.”

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    Will you now head to Spruce Meadows in Canada for the next leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

    “We have some amazing horses that could certainly compete well at Spruce Meadows,” says Mel. “The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is something every rider wants to win, and I would really love for us to go to Spruce, but we will have to see!”

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