Tag Archives: Christian Ahlmann

Christian Ahlmann Faultless in His First Rolex Grand Prix Victory at CHIO Aachen

Winner Christian Ahlmann riding Codex One. Photos © Rolex/Kit Houghton.

20 July 2014, Aachen, GER: Germany’s Christian Ahlmann today produced a faultless display of riding to win his first Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, and in so doing, became the new live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Riding his stallion Codex One, who has only recently returned to top flight competition following a long injury, Ahlmann was one of only five riders who produced double clear rounds on a challenging Frank Rothenberger designed course. The jump-off resembled an international penalty shoot-out, with three riders representing Germany and two from the USA. Going into the ring first Ahlmann rode a deliberately aggressive but clear round setting a tough challenge for his fellow riders.

Knowing that only a clear round would make the grade, the four who followed Ahlmann into the ring, Marcus Ehning, Kent Farrington, Daniel Deusser and Lauren Hough, clearly felt the pressure and each had one fence down. Ahlmann was the only rider to ride three clear rounds to win the Rolex Grand Prix crown and the first equestrian Major of 2014.

Ahlmann, like many of this year’s competitors, had dreamt of winning the Rolex Grand Prix at Aachen from a very young age and felt the pressure going into the stadium for the jump-off. “The pressure was there when I went into the jump-off first, and I therefore tried to not take a major risk but put my colleagues under pressure so that they would be forced to take some big risks. This is a dream come true for me and for sure, I will be at the Spruce Meadows Masters in September!”

Second place Kent Farrington riding Voyeur
Second place Kent Farrington riding Voyeur

Over 360,000 spectators enjoyed not only top class competition but superb weather during the ten days of competition at CHIO Aachen, with the final week temperatures soaring to the mid 30 degrees centigrade four days in a row. Sunday came with a cooling breeze, making conditions ideal for the highlight of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix.

This year’s CHIO Aachen featured many of Rolex’s equestrian Testimonees, including all the Show Jumping riders Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Steve Guerdat, Kevin Staut, Eric Lamaze and Rodrigo Pessoa, as well as Zara Phillips and Isabell Werth. Recently selected to represent Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games, Zara was part of the team who came second in the Nations Cup Eventing at Aachen, her first major contest since the birth of her daughter Mia in January. Isabell enjoyed an excellent few days of competition in the Dressage arena with an individual victory and four Top 5 finishes in the nine competitions.

But the glory goes to Christian Ahlmann with a victory which will etch his name in the record books. As Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, a former winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, said, “The Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday at CHIO Aachen is, in my opinion, the equivalent to winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games. To win is a highlight of a rider’s career and to potentially become a Grand Slam winner is just a dream come true.”

Rolex is a partner to some of the greatest equestrian shows in the world, including the three Majors: CHIO Aachen, the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, and CHI Geneva. These shows form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping which is the first global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the Grand Prix at each show in succession.

Rider Quotes:

Kent Farrington:

“This is an amazing show; you know, I’d say this is the best show in the world. There are unbelievable crowds here; you know I think this is by far the pinnacle of our sport.

Rolex has done amazing things for our sport and I think that it’s brought it to a higher level around the world with their support now in the United States in addition to what they’ve always done here and at venues like Aachen and Geneva. You know, it really brings our sport to a new level of professional sport.

For me it was really exciting just to be here. I was thrilled with how my horses performed this week… unfortunately a little bad luck at the last fence here – I was hoping we could pull it all off. If I had to do it again I don’t know if I would have changed anything; I think that was just bad luck.”

Third place Marcus Ehning riding Plot Blue
Third place Marcus Ehning riding Plot Blue

Marcus Ehning:

“I was really proud of my horse; he’s 17 years old. He’s already jumped amazingly in the Nations Cup and two rounds clear and one fault in the jump off… the time was good, a bit unlucky but I’m really happy with him.

For me this [Aachen] is the best show in the world and for sure as a German it’s always amazing how the crowd is, how the public is… so many spectators, lovely weather this year and I think it was the perfect show this week.

Rolex is an amazing sponsor for us and we are very proud about it and for us it’s a really big goal. Rolex pushed the sport forward in the showjumping and we are really happy about it.”

For further media information, please contact:
Georgie Wells
Tel: +44 207 592 1207
Email: georgina@revolutionsports.co.uk


Ahlmann and Aragon Are Victorious in Verona

Elisa Gasparini, Brand Manager Longines Italy, presents Christian Ahlmann with his winner’s watch. Photo: FEI/Stefano Secchi.

Verona (ITA), 10 November 2013 – Germany’s Christian Ahlmann was a very happy man after winning today’s third leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League series at Verona in Italy.  The 2011 FEI World Cup Jumping champion borrowed a horse from his partner, Judy-Ann Melchior, at the last moment, and he could hardly believe how well the 12-year-old gelding, Aragon Z, performed for him in front of the packed house of wildly enthusiastic spectators this afternoon.

“Judy has loaned me her horse for two shows – Verona and Doha – because my top horse had a rest and just before Verona was not ready to come here.  With Aragon it has been working really well from our very first moment together, so I’m delighted!” said the 38-year-old rider who fended off some fearsome opposition in a thrilling 12-horse jump-off against the clock.

Great Britain’s Scott Brash lined up second with Ursula Xll while Italy’s Luca Moneta pleased the home crowd when slotting into third with Neptune Brecourt.  It was a ferocious battle for maximum points today, but Ahlmann looked completely in control and looks well set for another strong campaign on the winter-long Longines FEI World Cup Jumping circuit.  Brash, meanwhile, moves to the top of the Western European League leaderboard having already accumulated 41 points after his opening leg win in Oslo and his prominent finish today.

Plenty to think about

Course designer, Italy’s Uliano Vezzani, gave them plenty to think about this afternoon with a track that required a clear understanding of each horse’s stride-capacity and attention at every turn.  Ahlmann said, “There were faults everywhere but, when I walked the course, I thought the most difficult part of the track was the triple (combination).  It was big enough, and the white planks (fence 12) were really big.  The last fence was a big oxer into the corner, and the black fence (vertical at four) didn’t jump so well yesterday or again today, but it was a good course and really fair and we had a really great jump-off,” he pointed out.

It was the triple-bar at fence five that provided the early drama however, when, second to go, three-time FEI World Cup Jumping champion, Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, ended up on the ground after her lovely mare, Bella Donna, uncharacteristically jammed on the brakes after an attempted take-off.  But the biggest surprise was the number of horse-and-rider combinations who made it all the way to the final oxer, fence 13, only to leave that one on the floor.  Its high-profile victims included Germany’s Marco Kutscher with Cornet’s Cristallo, Canada’s Eric Lamaze with Powerplay, Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson with H&M Tornesch, last year’s Verona winner Sergio Moya from Spain, this time riding Carlo, German super-star Ludger Beerbaum with Chiara and Brazil’s Doda de Miranda with AD Uutje.  It was like the “who’s who” of the sport all faulting at exactly the same point.

Another whose luck was out today was the promising young Italian, Lorenzo de Luca who won a class earlier at the show.  He seemed en route to record just the third clear round of the competition until the 11-year-old Vignet Cooper suddenly switched off on the turn to the narrow oxer at fence 11.  Once the lines of communication opened up again the chestnut horse jumped on effortlessly, but six faults would leave the 26-year-old rider well down the order in the final analysis.

Red-hot bunch

The 12 who made it through to the jump-off however were a red-hot bunch and Moneta instantly threw down the gauntlet with one of his trademark caution-to-the-wind rides.  The 45-year-old and his top horse, Neptune Brecourt, have enjoyed a superb year and finished 10th individually at the PSI FEI European Championships in Herning, Denmark this summer.  Skilled against the clock, they posted a tremendous target time of 44.93 seconds, and now it was up to the rest to catch them if they could.  And it wouldn’t be easy.

Vezzani this time set them turn upon turn around the ring, and then asked for a strong gallop down to the infamous black vertical that Ahlmann earlier described.  Second to go, Athina Onassis de Miranda chose a cautionary approach with her lovely mare AD Camille Z, jumping clear but collecting three time penalties, and when Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Winningmood hit the first of the two remaining parts of the former triple combination and Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and Ego van Orti picked up one time fault it was definitely not going to be a lady’s day today.

A real threat

Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour looked a real threat as they scorched home more than a second up on the clock, but the top pole on the last fence rolled in the cups and then hit the floor for four tiresome faults.  Ireland’s Denis Lynch has often spoken of his childhood dream of riding on a racetrack and, putting All Star into over-drive even before the start-line, he was well in contention until hitting the oxer at fence two, now the penultimate obstacle on the jump-off track. Simon Delestre and Valentino Velvet were next to go, and they guaranteed themselves some valuable qualifying points when clear, but not quite fast enough, in 46.78 seconds.

Ahlmann would reset the target however when next in with Aragon Z who didn’t seem to be under any pressure at all when cruising home in 44.38 seconds.  Now they were the ones to beat, and when The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Verdi were clear in 47.12 seconds it was down to the final three to upset the German rider’s celebration party.  The formidable Swiss, Pius Schwizer, didn’t succeed when stopping the clock on 45.09 with Picsou du Chene, but Ahlmann’s fellow-countryman, Marcus Ehning, was well ahead on time with Plot Blue only to hit the bogey black vertical at the end of the course. Now only Olympic team champion, Great Britain’s Scott Brash, stood between the 2011 FEI World Cup Jumping champion and his first win of the new season.  Setting off at a cracking pace, it seemed he might just do it, but, as he later explained, he took a cautionary pull going to the last with the 12-year-old mare Ursula, and when he broke the beam in 44.47 seconds he would have to settle for runner-up spot.

Brash is attempting to curb the acute competitiveness which has brought him so much success but which, he believes, needs to be kept in check.  Today, for him, was all about self-control.  “It was important for me because in the past I have been inclined to go as fast as I could to try to win but I’ve matured a bit more and now I try to only do what the horse is capable of at that moment in time, so today we weren’t quite right and I took an extra stride to the last which cost me time,” he explained.

More than pleased

Ahlmann, meanwhile, was more than pleased to stand at the head of the line-up. The last German winner at Verona was Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst with Lord Luis in 2008 and Ahlmann said, “It was really time we had another German winner here!” He complimented his horse who, he said, “helped me a lot!” and explained, “We got Aragon 18 months ago and from the very start he was fantastic.  He won the Grand Prix at Spangenberg and the championship at Estoril and produced many good results in a very short time.  Judy then bought him and won a Grand Prix with him; he’s a really nice horse and he’s fast.  You can win without taking all the risks with him. I’m really happy to get him back for a few very important show and he allows me to be competitive – I didn’t expect we would come together so well so quickly – I’m really delighted!” he said.

Brash was quite satisfied with his second placing.  At the post-competition press conference, it was announced that a record crowd of 160,000 spectators attended the gigantic Fieracavalli horse fair this year, and Brash said, “This is my first time in Verona and I’ve really enjoyed the show – the public here are fantastic, and I think all 160,000 of them were shouting for Luca in the jump-off, but they were really nice and got behind everyone else too!”  He said he fully intends to compete at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Lyon, France next April.  “Yes, this year is it my aim to go to the Final.  In the Olympic year (2012) I was qualified but I didn’t go, but I do plan to do it this time,” he said.

Moneta was his usual modest self, declaring his amazement at finding himself at the press conference table with riders of such a high calibre.  But this is a man who has clearly demonstrated, over the past 12 months and more, than they are indeed his peers.  “I’m very excited because it is a very great pleasure to be again double-clear.  I was under a lot of pressure because the public really needed me to do a good job today.  Yesterday was a very bad day for me, but I talked to my trainer (Italian team manager Hans Hoorn) and he told me I have nothing to prove – he said, ‘Just ride your horse and do your best,’ and that was what I did today,” he said. “I’m very proud to be here,” he added.

He is now lying 12th on the Western European League table as the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 series moves on to Stuttgart, Germany next weekend.

For more information on the third leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League 2013/2014 series at Verona, Italy, go to www.jumpingverona.it or contact Press Officer Caterina Vagnozzi, c.vagnozzi@gmail.com, Tel: M +39 3356107070.

The next leg of the series takes place at Stuttgart, Germany on Sunday 17 November.  Details of the German fixture at http://stuttgart-german-masters.de/aktuell/ or contact Press Officer Joerg Klopfer, Email joerg.klopfer@in.stuttgart.de, Tel: +49 (0)7 11 / 95 54 – 31 28.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

Jumping Verona is the highlight of the world-famous Fieracavalli, an annual equestrian extravaganza that includes competitions, demonstrations and a massive trade fair and which has been running since 1898.

40 riders competed in today’s third leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League.

19 nations were represented – Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

12 qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock.

6 horse-and-rider combinations jumped double-clear.

Today’s winner was Germany’s Christian Ahlmann who claimed the FEI World Cup Jumping title in 2011.

The winners of the first two rounds of the current series also competed in today’s third leg – Great Britain’s Scott Brash who came out on top at the opening fixture in Oslo, Norway with Hello Sanctos, and Patrice Delaveau who topped the line-up for France at the second leg in Helsinki, Finland partnering Orient Express HDC.

After taking runner-up spot today, Olympic team gold medallist, Great Britain’s Scott Brash, takes over from individual Olympic champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland at the head of the leaderboard ahead of the fourth round of the series at Stuttgart, Germany next weekend.

Marcus Ehning rode the oldest horse in today’s competition, the 16-year-old stallion Plot Blue which helped the German rider secure his third FEI World Cup Jumping title in 2010.

Course designer for today’s third leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping series was Italy’s Uliano Vezzani who also designed the courses for the last season’s Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Final will take place in Lyon, France from 17 to 21 April 2014.


Luca Moneta (ITA) talking about Connery, the horse he rode in the previous qualifiers at Oslo and Helsinki – “I was riding in a bad way but I need to improve my relationship with him – it is not the horse’s fault; it is my fault if I cannot ride him.  I must work to do better with him.”

FEI Jumping Director, John Roche – “Congratulations to the riders and also to Uliano Vezzani for a fantastic course and top-class sport.  And congratulations to FiereVerona and FISE and all the sponsors, in particularly Longines who do so much for our sport – it’s been another great day!”

FEI YouTube: http://youtu.be/Fb402ioMSUw

FEI TV: don’t miss a hoofbeat – www.feitv.org

Longines Live Timing Jumping application: available free for download from The App Store (iPhone) & Android Markets. Combining precision and performance, this is a detailed and exclusive application designed especially for Jumping fans – follow live results, see latest Longines Rankings, view competition schedules, obtain exclusive information and alerts on your favorite riders and get all the latest FEI news.

Longines FEI World Cup Jumping press kit: download from www.feipresskits.org (contains series calendar, competition schedule, online media tools and history).

Rider biographies: view online and download from http://fei.org/fei/your-role/media/biographies.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.

Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and its mount. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1912, Longines was proud to partner with its first Jumping event, the Grande Concurso Hippico Internacional, in Portugal.

Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.

Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Verona:

Caterina Vagnozzi
Email: c.vagnozzi@gmail.com
Tel: +39 335 610 7070


Grania Willis
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+41 78 750 61 42

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Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
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Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

At Longines:

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Ahlmann and Farrington Win on Opening Day of Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament

Christian Ahlmann and Taloubet Z. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB, Canada – September 4, 2013 – The prestigious Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament opened today with two classes in the International Ring and featured exciting competition. The victory in the $85,000 Finning Cup 1.60m went to Christian Ahlmann (GER) on Taloubet Z. Kent Farrington (USA) and Blue Angel flew to the win over a field of 17 in the jump-off of the $50,000 AKITA Drilling Cup 1.50m. The ‘Masters’ continues through Sunday, September 8, and features the $1 Million CN International Grand Prix, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, on Sunday, and the $350,000 BMO Nations Cup on Saturday.

The $85,000 Finning Cup 1.60m had 39 entries, and 10 of those proceeded to the jump-off to determine who would join in the victory gallop. The courses this week are designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela. Ahlmann rode Taloubet Z, his 2011 FEI World Cup Finals winning partner, to victory in the competition. Riding out of the second spot in the jump-off order, they put down an all-important clear round over a course that featured a long gallop to a skinny vertical. They finished in 45.38 seconds.

The next clear round came from Daniel Bluman on Sancha LS, a 10-year-old SLS Warmblood mare by Chin Chin x Polydor. They stopped the clock in 46.26 seconds for second place. The only other clear round in the jump-off came from Daniel Deusser (GER) on Stephex Stables’ Evita van de Veldbalie, who had a time of 48.32 seconds. Fourth place went to Penelope Leprevost (FRA) on Nayana, who had four faults in 45.13 seconds, while Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and Vadetta VH Mettenhof were fifth with four faults in 45.89 seconds.

Ahlmann and Taloubet Z, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion by Galoubet A S.F. x Polydor owned by Judy Ann Melchior and Ahlmann, was Ahlmann’s first choice for the ‘Masters’ given his success here before.

“Taloubet did an amazing job today,” Ahlmann acknowledged. “He felt really, really fresh and concentrated. In the jump-off, I tried to take a little risk, but not go forward too much so we can keep the jump. In general he’s a really fast horse and there were a few good turns that I could make some time. It was a really good start and I hope we can keep it like that.”

Ahlmann felt that Taloubet’s attribute of an adjustable stride helped in today’s course, especially to the bogey skinny vertical. “To make a short stride with him is really easy because his stride is really flexible. I was hoping the jump would also be good because it’s a really difficult fence especially with the long line to it. He jumped it two times really good.”

Ahlmann, the World Number One rider since December 2012 until this month, was reflective when asked about losing his World Number One status. “It was a long time for me. I lost two really successful horses during the season,” he pointed out. “I knew the time was coming. It’s really hard to keep on top. It happened, but now the motivation is really big to get back.”

For Bluman, today’s competition was a huge boost to try and qualify for Sunday’s grand prix. He said of his ride, “It was a good course for my mare to start the week here. In the jump-off, I didn’t have the chance to see Christian go, but I imagine he turned really, really tight to the ‘coins’ jump. I’ve seen him on the TV and on the computer winning World Cup classes, so I figured he was going to turn tight! I couldn’t do it as tight as him. I took two or three seconds longer in that turn. After that she kept on jumping good. I’m very satisfied being second place to Christian today.”

Sancha is just 10 years old now, and Bluman feels that they are “growing together.” He said, “Every time I ride better, she jumps better. I believe the responsibility is more on me. From last year until now, there’s been a huge improvement with both her and me, and we hope to continue that way.”

Farrington and Blue Angel Show Their Speed

Out of 53 entries and 17 in the jump-off, Kent Farrington and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel showed the speed they’re known for to take the win in the $50,000 AKITA Drilling Cup 1.50m. No stranger to the winner’s circle at Spruce Meadows, Farrington notched another win when he went second in the jump-off and stopped the timers in 36.13 seconds. Two horses later, new World Number One Ben Maher (GBR) and Urico, owned by Jane Clark, were just off the pace in 36.29 seconds for second place. Conor Swail (IRL) and the always quick Martha Louise were third in 36.64 seconds. Fourth place went to Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala in 37.35 seconds, while Daniel Deusser (GER) and Cornet D’Amour, owned by Stephex Stable and Double H Farm, was fifth with a time of 37.59 seconds.

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel

Farrington knew he could not rest easy despite his very quick ride. “I don’t know if you ever expect to hold the lead when you have a bunch of the best riders in the world coming after you. I think that would be a false sense of security,” he admitted. “I thought the horse went really well and put up a good round, so it was going to take some beating. You never sit comfortable in that situation.”

Blue Angel, an 11-year-old AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant, last showed at the Dublin CSIO a month ago, but Farrington said she was fit and ready for the ‘Masters.’ He noted of her and his top horse Uceko, “They’re used to traveling all the time; it’s just another day at the office for them. They feel really good and comfortable here.”

He concluded, “It always feels good to win the first class out of the box and have the momentum for the week. We have a lot more work to do here, but it’s a good way to start our week.”

Maher knew he would have his work cut out for him to beat Farrington’s time. “I’m a trier. I always try and win. I knew Kent would be fast. That’s a really fast horse and Kent’s one of the fastest riders in the world,” he said.

While he was “pretty quick” from the first to second fences, he did adjust later on in the course. He explained, “There was an option back to the Rolex oxer which I didn’t take. It was perhaps the winning turn if I took one less stride, but I decided to play a little safer today. I didn’t see it and it wasn’t quite there. It cost me a fraction of a second, but I’m very happy. Urico has had a slightly quieter summer. I’ve been doing a lot with the other horses and it’s his time to move up and help the team out.”

Maher found out that he jumped from #19 to #1 in the world this morning, which he remarked was a “big surprise.” Maher recently finished as a team gold and individual silver medalist at the P.S.I. FEI European Jumping Championships. He added, “It’s always been an ambition of mine and it’s great to be able to achieve that. I think it’s always a great feeling to win a big grand prix anywhere in the world, but I think the way the ranking works, it does prove consistency. It proves I have a great team around me, great owners, and great horses at the moment, which I’m very grateful for. It takes the whole package to give me the chance to be where I am right now and I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ continues tomorrow with the $50,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup 1.50m and the $125,000 CANA Cup 1.60m. For full results and more information, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com/tournaments.

Based in Calgary, Canada, Spruce Meadows is the brainchild of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that celebrates the horse and encourages the breeding and training of quality sport horses and the teaching and development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Christian Ahlmann Holds World Number One Slot in Longines Rankings

Christian Ahlmann, pictured here with Codex One at the Gucci Paris Masters 2012, has held on to his world number one spot. Photo: Scoopdyga

Lausanne (SUI), 7 February 2013 – Christian Ahlmann (GER), the 2003 double European gold medallist, has held onto the world number one spot in the FEI World Rider Rankings for Jumping – now called the Longines Rankings.

The 38-year-old German jumped into the top spot in December 2012, and a run of successes in January has kept him out in front on 2,585 points, with a healthy 195-point lead over second-placed Steve Guerdat (SUI) who has 2,390 points. Nick Skelton (GBR) remains in third with 2,333 points.

Edwina Alexander-Tops (AUS) is still the top-ranked female and has jumped two spots to fourth with 2,298 points, while the Swiss have a second rider in the top 10, with Pius Schwizer moving up from seventh to fifth on 2,268 points.

Germany also has two riders in the top 10 of the Longines Rankings, although sixth-placed Marcus Ehning has dropped two places.

Continue reading Christian Ahlmann Holds World Number One Slot in Longines Rankings

Ahlmann and Taloubet Are Awesome in Leipzig

Christian Ahlmann steered his 2011 series champion Taloubet Z to victory in the exciting ninth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League. Photo: FEI/Thomas Hellmann

Leipzig (GER), 20 January 2013 – Germany’s Christian Ahlmann showed exactly why he holds No. 1 position on the Jumping World Rankings when trouncing the opposition in the ninth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League series at Leipzig, Germany today.  In the ten-horse jump-off against the clock he was in a class of his own with the brilliant Taloubet Z who set an unbeatable target when sixth to go.  And it was a spectacular hat-trick for the partnership who took the Rolex title at the 2011 Final and also won last year’s qualifier at this same venue.

Runner-up was Ireland’s Denis Lynch with the big gelding, Abbervail van het Dingeshof, while Olympic individual silver medallists, The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder and London, finished third.  On an afternoon when many of the top riders were further testing some newer horses in their strings, it was Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer who slotted into fourth ahead of Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and Ego van Orti in fifth place.

A total of 40 horse-and-rider combinations contested this class, and it was always going to be a tough one to win as the starting line-up included nine of the top ten in the World Rankings.  With the series now moving towards the closing stages, and with just three further qualifiers to go, the battle for a qualifying spot at the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April is intensifying with every round. And course designer, Germany’s Frank Rothenburger, tested them with a track that demanded rider skills all the way to the final fence.

Continue reading Ahlmann and Taloubet Are Awesome in Leipzig

Christian Ahlmann Is New World Number One in Rolex Rankings

Christian Ahlmann celebrates victory in last Friday’s Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Geneva with Taloubet Z. Photo provided by Rolex

Lausanne (SUI), 10 December 2012 – Christian Ahlmann (GER), winner of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Geneva (SUI) last Friday, has taken over as World Number One in the Rolex Rankings, published today.

With 2,555 points, Ahlmann has jumped up from third place into the top spot, demoting Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (SUI) to second place on 2,455 points.

Ahlmann’s compatriot Marcus Ehning has also moved up the Rolex Rankings, going from seventh into third place, with Frenchman Kevin Staut now placed fourth.

Christian Ahlmann took up riding at the age of 11, but it was in 2003 that he really caught the attention of the media when claiming team and individual gold at the European Championships in Donaueschingen (GER).

Continue reading Christian Ahlmann Is New World Number One in Rolex Rankings

Christian Ahlmann Celebrates Winning the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final 2012 by Lake Geneva

Christian Ahlmann (GER) yesterday, Friday 7th December 2012, won the 12th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Geneva, Switzerland.

Riding Taloubet Z, Ahlmann won the two-round event featuring the World’s Top 10 riders as based on the Rolex Rankings, ahead of 2nd place Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) riding Cevo Itot Du Chateau and 3rd place Kevin Staut (FRA) riding Silvana HDC.

The results of the 12th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final:

1. Christian Ahlmann (GER), riding Taloubet Z
2. Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), riding Cevo Itot Chateau
3. Kevin Staut (FRA), riding Silvana HDC
4. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE), riding Quintero La Silla
5. Roger Yves-Bost (FRA), riding Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois
6. Pénélope Leprevost (FRA), riding Mylord Carthago*HN
7. Marco Kutscher (GER), riding Cash
8. Steve Guerdat (SUI), riding Nasa
9. Marcus Ehning (GER), riding Copin Van De Broy
10. Pius Schwizer (SUI), riding Verdi 111

Continue reading Christian Ahlmann Celebrates Winning the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final 2012 by Lake Geneva

Germany Poised to Set New Record at Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Den Bosch

Christian Ahlmann will defend his title at the 2011/2012 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final. Photo: FEI/Karl-Heinz Frieler.

Lausanne (SUI), 11 April 2012 – In the long and distinguished history of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series, no country has ever won the title on more than four consecutive occasions.  American riders dominated throughout the early years with seven victories over the first nine seasons, including four between 1980 and 1983, but as the 37 representatives from 19 nations gather at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) next week for the 34th annual decider, it seems Germany is poised to break the mould.

Already with the greatest number of wins to their credit, a total of nine since Ludger Beerbaum’s success with the great mare Ratina Z in Gothenburg (SWE) back in 1993, German competitors have held a firm grip on the coveted crown in recent years. They have been denied only twice since Otto Becker (Dobel’s Cento) held the trophy aloft in Leipzig (GER) 10 years ago, and for the last four seasons they have been all but unstoppable.

Continue reading Germany Poised to Set New Record at Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Den Bosch

Ahlmann Takes the Win at Leipzig, but Eckermann Steals the Spotlight

YouTube: http://youtu.be/d9kwx59_26o

Defending series champions, Germany’s Christian Ahlmann and Taloubet, won the ninth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2011/2012 series in Leipzig, Germany today. Photo: FEI/Karl-Heinz Frieler.

Leipzig (GER), 22 January 2012 – Defending champion, Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, returned to the scene of his 2010/2011 triumph to win the ninth qualifying round of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2011/2012 series at Leipzig, Germany this afternoon.

Host-nation competitors filled the top-three places, but both the winner, and third-placed multiple champion Marcus Ehning, had to take a back seat in the aftermath as the spotlight shone brightly on rising star Katrin Eckermann who was pipped for pole position by only the narrowest of margins.  The 21 year old from Muenster, who has just emerged at Senior level after a highly-successful career in Young Riders, produced a thrilling and polished performance to take runner-up spot and has put her name firmly on the German radar.  She said afterwards that today’s competition will be her last indoor outing of the season as she has other plans for her lovely grey gelding Carlson.  But everyone, including her German counterparts, agreed that this self-effacing young lady’s name will feature prominently in future years.  A new German jumping star has announced her arrival.

Continue reading Ahlmann Takes the Win at Leipzig, but Eckermann Steals the Spotlight

Ahlmann Claims Rolex FEI World Cup in Thrilling Finale

On the winners' podium for the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping final at Leipzig, Germany today: Eric Lamaze, Christian Ahlmann, and Jeroen Dubbeldam. Photo: FEI/Kit Houghton.

Leipzig (GER), 1 May 2011 – Germany’s Christian Ahlmann claimed the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2010/2011 title in a thrilling finale on his home ground in Leipzig today with superb jumping from his stallion, Taloubet Z.  Sharing the lead with fellow-countryman Marco Kutscher, the 36-year-old rider added just four faults to an otherwise foot-perfect performance to finish ahead of reigning Olympic champion Eric Lamaze from Canada, while The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam rocketed up from overnight 11th to finish third when producing one of only two clear double clears on the final afternoon.

There was huge disappointment for Kutscher who had the world’s most prestigious indoor title in his sights until his luck ran out at the very end.  Such was the unforgiving nature of Frank Rothenberger’s testing courses however that the slightest of errors proved very costly indeed.  Today’s jumping was about scope, speed, courage, accuracy and, most importantly, the rideability of the horses.  In the end it was Ahlmann’s 11-year-old Taloubet Z who put all the ingredients together to create the winning formula.

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