Emile Faurie finished ninth in the grand prix today (Thursday, 14 July) in Aachen on a new ride he has only competed twice before. Emile and Weekend Fun scored 72.886%.
“I’m chuffed to bits,” said Emile, who has been riding the 15-year-old for Ulli and Bianca Kasselmann of PSI since February. “He can be a hot head and a bit of a goer, but I felt he stayed with me.”
Michael Eilberg scored 72% for individual 14th on his father Ferdi’s 16-year-old Marakov, a member of last year’s British silver medal-winning European team here.
“It was a clean test and in the 70s so I’m well happy,” he said. “He gets spooky and nervous but once he’s between the boards he feels more secure — he trusts that because he knows that.”
The British team lie in sixth in the Nations Cup ahead of Saturday’s special, with Daniel Watson and Sarah Millis pleased with their inexpereinced horses despite lower placings — Daniel was 31st and Sarah 38th.
The first Brit into the arena, Daniel was “over the moon” with Nicola Naylor’s 11-year-old Amadeus, who is only in his second year at grand prix and scored 66.886%.
“For his stage in training I’m happy he went in there and did that — he’s not experienced and hasn’t done much, so to go in an atmosphere like that is a massive thing for him,” he said.
Sarah received 64.229% for her test on her own and Katja Kuistilla’s Hofjuwel, another 11-year-old, who did his first international grand prix in March.
“In some ways I’m pleased — he coped well in that atmosphere, which is quite new to the pair of us,” she said. “We had two big mistakes and I have to find a route to maintaining the connection all the way through the test and getting the bigger marks.”
Ireland’s Judy Reynolds is in Aachen for a final run before the Rio Olympics with her parents Joe and Kathleen’s Vancouver K. She had a slightly tricky time going into the arena when she had to walk to avoid the previous competitor, the USA’s Shelly Francis on Doktor, and then the hot Jazz son nearly decided to leave the arena following Shelly. But she still scored 72.714%.
“We made two mistakes but I was pleased with the test and to get 72% from the Olympic judges on not a good day for us,” she said.
The German team took four of the top five placings today to lead, with their top three all scoring over 80%, believed to be a first for the sport.
Isabell Werth led after a mistake-free test on Weihegold OLD (83.271%), while Kristina Bröring-Sprehe took second on 82.314% with Desperados FRH. Dorothee Schneider claimed third with 80.7% on Showtime FRH and Sönke Rothenberger landed fifth riding Cosmo 59 (75.6%). Oddly, all the Germans apart from Isabell had errors in their two-time changes.
Only Rio-bound US rider Steffen Peters could break the Germans’ run, taking fourth on Legolas 92 with 77.243%. The USA lie second in the team competition, with Denmark third.
Full report of Aachen in H&H next week, out Thursday, 21 July.