Ingrid Klimke, Germany’s defending ERM champion, experienced all the highs and lows of eventing on the first day of competition at The Longines PfingstTurnier Wiesbaden. She started with an absolute bang aboard SAP Hale Bob OLD, delivering a flawless dressage test as the final rider to go and smashing her personal best to set a new ERM record on a jaw-dropping score of 16.4. That bests the previous ERM dressage record of 20.5, set by Tom Carlile and Upsilon at Barbury Castle in 2017, by 4.1 marks.
“He was coming in there like, ‘Here I am. I know my test in and out, so just enjoy it.’ I have known him for 10 years so we are so close, so I know him in and out,” Ingrid said. “Yesterday he was a little bit spooky and wild and pretending that maybe he could explode (in his test). But then today he came out like, ‘I know it’s dressage day. I will be calm and do everything you ask me to do.’ He’s so sweet.”
Ingrid could afford to have one rail down in show jumping and still hold the overnight lead, but three poles ultimately tumbled to drop her well down the leaderboard to sixth.
Germany’s Julia Krajewski and Samourai du Thot sat in second place after dressage on 21.0, and a clear round inside the time over Christian Wiegand’s show jumping course boosted them into the lead.
“Now I can enter the ring and even though we was a little bit nervous outside, he comes in and it feels like a safe place now, so then I can really ride. I’m very proud that he’s so consistent now. It’s quite cool to know that even if he might be a little bit nervous or something happens, he’s always with me,” Julia said.
“We’ve known each other for eight years now, so it’s a very long relationship. We know a little bit what the other likes and doesn’t like. He hates when I wash his head. Even though he’s small, he just takes it high enough that I can’t reach him, and he knows I can’t reach him because when someone bigger wants to do it, it’s no problem.”
Germany’s Michael Jung and Star Connection delivered the fastest clear show jumping round to remain on their dressage score of 22.2, which moved them up to second following the first two phases. Star Connection has been making a comeback following injury and last competed at the level at Jardy in 2017 when he won the ERM leg.
“He’s a bit spooky. He’s also a bit sensitive with other horses; he’s a bit shy. This was a difficult test for him. It’s quite a big atmosphere for him. I’m very happy to have him back. He’s such a beautiful horse. He’s so comfortable to sit and ride, and he always concentrates and has nice movements. It’s really nice to ride him.”
Australia’s Bill Levett and Shannondale Titan sat in sixth place after dressage on 26.0 and find themselves in podium contention after adding just 0.8 time penalties in show jumping to sit third on a score of 26.8.
“We’ve been around a lot now with him and we know the right set up (for dressage). If you give him too much (warm-up) he gets tired, so he just needs a good school about three hours before his test, and then he only needs about 10 minutes before the test and then you take him in, because he knows all the stuff,” Bill said.
“It’s all about the show jumping (at Wiesbaden). You have to jump clear there to stay in contention. On cross country, my guy isn’t the fastest, but he’s genuine, and this track will suit him. Out of all the legs, this is the one that suits him the best.”
Six of the 15 combinations in the field (40%) jumped clear show jumping rounds inside the time allowed of 83 seconds. Germany’s Andreas Ostholt and 19-year-old Pennsylvania 28 moved from seventh to fourth with a clear round to remain on 27.4.
Australia’s Chris Burton and Lawtown Chloe also jumped clear and inside the time to remain on their dressage score of 28.3, which moved them from eighth up to fifth place after show jumping.
Click here for scores following the first two phases.