The spectators watch Ingrid Klimke with attention at the world’s largest horse show. The world-class rider experiences a special premiere. There are four firsts in show jumping.

Last rider André Thieme didn’t have to compete in the second lap, he was allowed to celebrate without further riding. The German team won the traditional CHIO show-jumping with confidence and celebrated on the warm-up arena.

Led by the European champion from Plau am See, the national team won in Aachen under floodlights. “It’s super pleasant,” commented the happily grinning Thieme: “I could get used to it.”

The quartet around the 2021 European Championship winner with his mare Chakaria won ahead of Belgium and Great Britain in pouring rain. “It was a real team effort and that’s very important,” commented national coach Otto Becker. “They delivered – and that makes me all the happier.”

With a flawless first lap, last rider Thieme gave the team security. “I wasn’t sure, she’s never been to Aachen,” he said. “She’s just the way she is, she’s a fighter – and she fights for me,” enthused the rider from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

“Just a great feeling”

The host quartet also included Christian Kukuk (Riesenbeck) with Mumbai, Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann (Pinneberg) with Messi and Belgium-based Jana Wargers with Limbridge. All four couples rode in the CHIO team for the first time. Last year, the host team took sixth place.

Christian Kukuk’s appearance in the first round was unfortunate. The rider from Riesenbeck conceded eight penalty points with Mumbai round and delivered the discarded result. Things went better in the second round, Kukuk and his stallion stayed clear. “In the second round it was just a great feeling,” commented the rider: “We fought back.”

The performance of the two women in the team was also impressive. Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann from Pinneberg with Messi and Jana Wargers, who lives in Bocholt, Belgium, with Limbridge remained undefeated in the first round. In the second, Wargers had a knockdown after her horse lost a horseshoe on the course. “I saw the iron fly,” Wargers said. Meyer-Zimmermann even rode flawlessly the second time.

For national coach Otto Becker, the jumping, which was endowed with one million euros, was “an endurance test with a view to the World Cup”. Other candidates for the World Championships in August in Herning, Denmark, are Marcus Ehning from Borken, Christian Ahlmann (Marl) and Daniel Deußer, who also lives in Belgium.

“Satisfied with the horse, not with the rider”

Ingrid Klimke had previously experienced a botched premiere. At her first ride in the German national dressage team, she started with unexpected and unusual mistakes. The most successful eventing rider in the world rode into the arena too late with Franziskus and once in the wrong direction at the beginning of the Grand Prix. Klimke admitted self-critically: “I’m satisfied with the horse, but not with the rider.”

The eagerly awaited debut of the 54-year-old rider from Münster in two CHIO national teams, eventing and dressage, started with mishaps and a “bucking” Franziskus. The rider from Münster, who was decorated with a total of ten gold medals in eventing at European Championships, World Championships and the Olympics, then rode her dressage debut in the national team properly to the end.

After the Grand Prix and before the Special on Saturday, the German dressage team is in second place in the Nations Cup. Denmark leads by 229.740 percentage points ahead of the host team (228.499) and the Netherlands (219.608). Klimke’s rating was the discarded result for Germany, since only the three best results from each team are included.