Both the course and the level were sky-high in the final of the World Championship for 7-year-old horses yesterday! Eleven of the 40 combinations qualified for the jump-off in which Christian Ahlmann (GER) immediately set the time-to-beat. With his stallion Solid Gold Z, bred by A. Sprehe, he finished the jump-off in 38.34 seconds. The son of Stakkato Gold (Stakkato Gold x Calvin Z) the German had already won in Chantilly, Bordeaux and Leipzig this year and ended their season perfectly by becoming World Champion in Lanaken yesterday!
Willem Greve (NED) also impressed with Grandorado TN. He arrived at the finish in 39.49 seconds with his brown stallion and thus claimed silver. The son of Eldorado van de Zeshoek (Eldorado vd Zeshoek x Carolus II) was bred by Mts. Rietberg & D.J. Verhoeven who happily came to collect their breeding premium.
Gudrun Patteet (BEL) was the best lady rider and also the last double clear combination with Sea Coast Crystal de l’Eau. The careful daughter of Clapton (Clapton x Capitol I), the Belgian clocked off in 39.50 seconds, earning them third place. Breeder Hof Ter Leeuwe was more than satisfied afterwards with the bronze medal and of course the extra check.
Christian Ahlmann (GER) getting some champagne from Gudrun Patteet (BEL)
“It is already special to win in front of your own family and friends, but doing that at home with your own stallion makes it something else”, Ahlmann starts his story. “Especially when you look at how tough this class is … I would definitely compare it to a CSI 2* Grand Prix! But if you look at how many horses have been on stage here and afterwards confirmed in the big sport, then I think this World Cup is a very good indicator for a horse and his quality. It is true that Solid Gold Z has already had a very good season, but it still has to happen here at the right moment and at the right time… On the first day there were 203 horses that participated in this World Championship for 7-year-old horses which makes it already quite an achievement to make it to the final. Before the jump-off I felt that Solid Gold Z was getting a bit tired, but his exceptional attitude and willpower make sure he never disappoints!”
Willem Greve also has a special world championship.. He also rode Eldorado van de Zeshoek, Grandorado’s sire. “Eldorado and Grandorado are similar in many ways. They have a lot of scope, sharpness, quality… The big difference is that I have been riding Grandorado since he is 3,5 years, which makes us a real combination. I know him very well. Eldorado was already 11 years old when I got him, so that makes the sport different,” says a satisfied Willem.
Podium: Willem Greve (NED), Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Gudrun Patteet (BEL)
Gudrun Patteet (BEL) already knew in advance that the victory would not be for her. “I had already put my money on Ahlmann and Solid Gold Z before the jump-off. I saw his stallion jumping phenomenally this winter and I know what they are capable of. That’s why I wanted to go for a smooth clear round without shocking my mare. I am very happy that we still earned the bronze medal! A few years ago I became World Champion of the 7-year old horses, then with Sea Coast Atlantic and this is my second medal. I only ride Crystal for half a year, so I think I can be more than satisfied!” Gudrun concludes.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release by Nathalie de Martin for Zangersheide
Photos: © Zangersheide