Riders’ thoughts on Luhmühlen cross-country course – plus drone footage of the track *H&H Plus*

  • Find out what former Luhmühlen winner Tim Price and dressage leader Mollie Summerland think of the five-star course

    Former winner Tim Price describes the Luhmühlen Horse Trials cross-country track for the five-star as “pretty decent”.

    The track, designed by Mike Etherington-Smith, has 31 numbered obstacles.

    “He’s done very well to have a lot of variation and to use what little undulation there is,” said Tim. “He’s even found a bit of extra space out the back, so there are some new elements we haven’t seen before. It’s big and strong and the time will be quite influential.

    “Of course Mike was designing for a much bigger field when more UK-based people were coming out [before the Covid-19 travel ban] so by the stage the entry dropped, the course was built so we got ourselves a pretty decent track.”

    Mollie Summerland, who leads after the dressage, said: “I think the course is seriously intense – there are four waters and it’s a proper five-star track. I’ve been sending videos of the combinations to my trainers Robin Dumas and Dickie Waygood and they say it’s a proper five-star track and tests you right from beginning.”

    Fellow British rider Emilie Chandler commented: “It’s a good track and I’m look forward to having a ride round tomorrow. There’s plenty to be jumped, plenty of combinations, a lot of questions. I’d say it’s quite an intense kind of course, but all there to be jumped at same time.”

    Luhmühlen Horse Trials cross-country: the tricky fences

    Tim said the Meßmer water at fences 13, 14ab and 15 is one of the toughest questions.

    “Fence 13 in the water is quite a skinny skinny – it’s not much of a target,” he said. “Then it’s a courageous five strides or a more conservative six to a hanging log [fence 14a] which is really hung out over the water. It’s very gappy and a long drop down so it will take punchy riding and a brave and confident horse.”

    The final elements of this combination are an angled shoulder brush (fence 14b) and an angled house over a ditch (fence 15).

    Tim also said the Longines Kombination (fence 8abc), with a big table to two “very big corners”, all on a right hand bend in the main arena, will be a strong test.

    “All the distances are very demanding – you’ve got to go get them everywhere,” he said.

    Finally, Tim mentioned the LVM Wellenbahn (fence 17abc) where there is a narrow birch rail, followed by a drop and a corner.

    “It’s three strides to the drop off and three to the corner. The drop has got a bit of a ditch on the landing side, so you’ve got to really squeeze the horses off, you can’t let them pop off. You’ve got to carry that speed to the corner, so it need a bit of seat of the pants riding,” he said.

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