“You can feel the crackling”

“The atmosphere here in Frankfurt in the Festhalle is a very special one: you can feel the crackling, you notice how the audience is moving along.” The crackling inspired him. Philip Rüping from Paul Schockemöhle's stable won the peiker CEE Champions Cup at the International Festhallen Riding Tournament in Frankfurt. Second place went to 29-year-old Graham Gillespie (GBR) from Great Britain, third place went to Daniel Lahmann (Twistringen).

With the twelve-year-old stallion Baloutaire, Philip Rüping raced through the jump-off course flawlessly in 39 seconds. 18 riders had qualified for the jump-off in this 1.50 meter show jumping event; course manager Frank Rothenberger had designed an extremely fair course that was easy to ride. 18 riders gave their all in the jump-off course, but in the jump-off itself only five pairs remained without mistakes - and none were as fast as the rider from Paul Schockemöhle's stable. “Baloutaire was bred by Paul at Gestüt Lewitz and he is also a very popular breeding stallion here, so this success makes Paul’s breeder’s heart beat faster,” says Rüping happily. “On the first day Baloutaire was a bit shy in the hall, but he quickly acclimatized and he is a very fast horse. If I hit my rounds fairly well in the jump-off, I'm always doing well.” That worked!

The Champions Cup on Saturday was also the second qualification for the Hesse Grand Prix on Sunday. “I just discussed my plan for tomorrow with my coach Andreas Kreuzer, but we haven't quite come to an agreement yet. (smiles) Baloutaire did two great rounds today, yesterday Chatolinue jumped very well in the difficult tour.” Both horses are equipped with everything they need to compete in the Grand Prix – the decision hasn’t been made yet. While Rüping is still wavering, Graham Gillespie's situation is clear: as in the Champions Cup, he will rely on the 15-year-old Veneno in the Hesse Grand Prix. “I bought Veneno from Donald Whitaker in Dagobertshausen about a year ago,” says the runner-up. “He is very fit and very experienced, I hope it stays that way for a while.” His other horse was sold shortly before Frankfurt. So I only have Veneno with me and will therefore compete with him in the Grand Prix.”

Daniel Lahmann has only been in the saddle of the eleven-year-old Belgian Monty Python de l’Amitie for around nine months. “My girlfriend used to ride him,” he says. “But then she broke her wrist, I took it over and she couldn’t get it back.” Monty liked the left-hand bends more than the right-hand bends, so he had to go a little further in the jump-off, but third place meant he was 39th -year-old super happy. For him it was his first podium finish ever at the Frankfurt Festhallen equestrian show. Lahmann will test his young horse Pablo van het Geinsteinde in the Grand Prix: “I have this eight-year-old with me for the Grand Prix. This will be his first time on such a difficult course. He jumped very well here yesterday and I hope it works out as well as it did today.”

After three out of four days of the tournament, tournament director Matthias Rath is enthusiastic about the decision to increase the jumping to four stars: “We also did the same thing in dressage by waiting and then sustainably increasing it to five stars. We have now managed to achieve four stars in jumping. That’s the plan for the next few years.” (KiK/pe&pa)

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