Ingrid Klimke storms into the lead at European Eventing Championships with legendary 17-year-old horse

  • Despite German rider Ingrid Klimke suffering a horrible injury in a fall earlier this year, she showed no signs of weakness when producing a faultless test in the European Eventing Championships dressage with 17-year-old eventing stalwart, SAP Hale Bob OLD.

    The pair have stormed into the lead in Avenches, Switzerland, scoring an impressive 20.2, which included being awarded two 10s for their final halt.

    “I really enjoyed that a lot – I’m very happy to be here, know that I have a wonderful horse, and I wish to do it for him,” Ingrid said after her test. “But I have to support him and to help him to show that he is the best horse in the world.”

    When Ingrid and ‘Bobby’ came into the arena, he looked quite on his toes.

    “He was very ‘on’ when he came in after the applause — he thought maybe we were doing cross-country already, so I had to take another extra loop to calm us down before we went in,” she explained. “But the moment I entered the ring, I knew exactly that he knows his job inside out, so I can really enjoy it and I could ride very precisely from point to point.

    “After so many years now, it’s really a pleasure to ride through the test while you know that he is absolutely focused and with me, and smooth and round and supple.”

    This means that, with Ros Canter and Allstar B still to go for the British team in the European Eventing Championships dressage, Germany are only 1.4 penalties behind the Brits in the team competition.

    France are in third, just under 10 penalties adrift of Great Britain. A huge contributor to their success in this first phase was Maxime Livio, who delivered a flawless test with the 11-year-old grey gelding, Api de Libaire.

    “I knew I just needed to do my job with my horse – I’ve known since I started riding him two years ago that he is talented for all three phases,” explained Maxime. “He is really, really nice and you can try to fight with him for the best score and against the best horses in the world. It’s good to be where we want today and it’s good for the team. I’m very pleased because he was totally connected to me and and when he is like this, he is a super student because he tries all the time.”

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