Four-star challenge: the Grand Prix of Hesse

It was a real challenge, worthy of four stars: the Grand Prix of Hesse at the International Festhallen Reitturnier Frankfurt (IFRF) presented by Deutsche Vermögensberatung AG (DVAG). Of the 43 starters, only four pairs remained without mistakes - including not a pair from Germany. In the jump-off, two men from Belgium, Rik Hemeryck and Koen Vereecke, the Frenchman Julien Anquetin and the Briton Graham Gillespie competed against each other. The Briton Gillespie went into the jump-off first with Veneno, was running quite quickly and had to record a throw-off. The Belgian Vereecke followed Kasanova de la Pomme and was more than two seconds faster than Gillespie, but he also had to accept a drop. The Frenchman Julien Anquetin had already impressed with extremely fast rides in the festival hall last year, took home three victories in 2022 and followed on from that in the Grand Prix. With the ten-year-old Z Ice Cube Z, he took full risks, high speed, short turns - at 30.65 seconds, the Frenchman was another tenth of a second faster than Vereecke and also made no mistakes. As the last of the four riders in the jump-off, Rik Hemeryck rode into the festival hall on Navarro van het Eelshof. He also risked everything, was doing great, but caught the turn on the last line a little too daringly close. Navarro braked on the penultimate jump. So the victory went to France, the 31-year-old Anquetin was happy: “Ice Cube has always had one or two drops here in Frankfurt, but I learned from him that I shouldn't put too much pressure on him, that I should let him jump alone has to leave and that worked today. In addition, he is an absolutely fast horse. He did a great job.” Pia Reich became the best rider from a German perspective. The 30-year-old was very confident in the round with the eleven-year-old Levisto son PB Löwenherz, but made a time error and was therefore out of the jump-off. “There were very good riders and horses here this weekend,” explained the head groomer from Paul Bücheler’s stable in Switzerland. “So we had quite a few participants in the jump-off in the last few days, and today in the Grand Prix we took it up a notch. The requirements come pretty quickly one after the other, so it's not that easy, but I'm super happy with how my horse did it today." In 2019, the Löwenherz was eight years old at the start in the Festhalle, back then in the youngster category. Trip. Four years later he came fifth in the four-star Grand Prix - these are the developments that international show jumpers hope for. “I would like to warmly congratulate Matthias Rath and his team – they have done a great job here, for all of us and for the city,” emphasized Dr. Andreas Franken, member of the board of DVAG. “We had decided on Wednesday that it would have gone well if people left the festival hall with shining eyes. I think it worked really well.”

Special honors
Adding up all the successes of the IFRF days, Teike Carstensen was honored on Sunday evening as the most successful show jumper of the 50th birthday tournament; in the men's category, the Frenchman Edward Levy received this honor.

Honorary Congratulator
The Prime Minister of Hesse, Boris Rhein, did not miss the opportunity to personally convey his congratulations to those who won the Grand Prix and congratulate them on their 50th tournament anniversary. “A big thank you that we can now experience the 50th International Festhallen Riding Tournament here in Frankfurt am Main. It's really a really great experience. It's one of the really great sporting events and you have to say - in the world, internationally!" The Prime Minister further emphasized: "It's a great experience - not just in terms of sport, that anyway - but it's simply an incredibly great atmosphere here in Frankfurt Festhalle.” And at the end of his little speech, Rhein asked: “Just keep it up, make us happy with this tournament and the wonderful equestrian sport!”

Graf-zu-Rantzau Trophy for the IFRF
For the 50th birthday edition of the International Festhallen Equestrian Tournament Frankfurt (IFRF), the President of the German Equestrian Association (FN), Hans-Joachim Erbel, presented the Linsenhoff-Rath organizer family with the 2023 Graf zu Rantzau Trophy The award, named after FN honorary president Breido Graf zu Rantzau, recognizes the FN tournament organizers from all over Germany for their commitment and their nationwide role model. The IFRF not only offers international sport at four-star level in jumping and five-star level in dressage, it also includes national and regional sport, the smallest young equestrian athletes, the charity spirit and the pre-Christmas spirit.

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