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Leading German riders set their sights on Badminton Horse Trials

Ingrid Klimke will head up the German challenge at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (6-10 May) this year.

Ingrid — who has competed at Badminton several times before, including finishing second in 2006 on the lovely grey Sleep Late — will bring her Pau CCI4* winner Horseware Hale Bob (pictured) to the Gloucestershire four-star.

She will be joined on the starting list by Bettina Hoy and Designer 10, who makes his four-star debut, and young British-based German Niklas Bschorer. Badminton first-timer Niklas brings forward his Bramham under-25 runner-up Tom Tom Go 3, as well as Lord Shostakovich, who jumped a double clear at Blenheim last year.

Also heading to Badminton for a first tilt at “The Great Event” is Claas Hermann Romeike, 22, whose father Hinrich Romeike was sixth at Badminton in 2007 on Marius Voigt-Logistik who went on to be Olympic champion in 2008. He rides Cato 60, with whom he had good CIC3* form in 2014.

German superstar Michael Jung’s plans remain up in the air, although he definitely intends to run both La Biosthetique-Sam FBW and FischerRocana FST at a four-star this spring. The decision on whether he heads to Badminton or Kentucky (23-26 April) rests on finance, as the German riders do not receive central funding for competition trips to America.

Andreas Dibowski has secured the support to make the journey this year and will be off to Kentucky with his European team gold medallist FRH Butts Avedon.

More Germans head to four-stars this spring than in other years because the later placement of the European Championships in the calendar, as well as the fact it is sometimes considered a less important championship than an Olympics or World Championships, means it is more feasible to also fit in a big four-star run in the spring.

However, world champions Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo will stick to CIC3*s in their preparation for the European Championships at Blair (10-13 September).

“That’s what the riders are planning at the moment, but of course with horses everything can change in five minutes,” said team trainer Christopher Bartle.

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