Luhmühlen proved to be another milestone for German rider Ingrid Klimke who won her home CCI4* for the first time. The 47-year-old, who was second at Badminton, is enjoying what must be her best season to date in an already distinguished career in the sport.
Klimke and her Hanoverian mare FRH Escada JS jumped a double clear inside the time to deny New Zealander Jonelle Price and the British-bred mare Faerie Dianimo her first four-star win by just one-tenth of a penalty.
The two had been neck and neck all the way and when Price and Faerie Dianimo jumped clear in the show jumping, Klimke knew she could not afford even one time penalty around the tightly timed course.
Michael Jung and his veteran Olympic gold-medal partner La Biosthetique Sam were third, British-based Australian Christopher Burton fourth with the Irish-bred Graf Liberty – another by the Irish-based Holstein stallion Limmerick – and veteran New Zealander Mark Todd and NZB Campino fifth. All top five riders finished on their dressage score.
Nicky Roncoroni, who is based near Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, was the highest placed British rider in 12th with Stonedge, who was competing in his first event at the level.
This event, the penultimate in the FEI Classics, was the second win for Klimke in the 2015 four-star series. She now looks to have an unassailable lead in the Classics standings going into the final event of six, The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (September 3-6). Ingrid could become the first German rider to win The Classics. Six of the seven series since its inception in 2008 have been won by British riders. William Fox-Pitt has won it four-times – with just New Zealander Andrew Nicholson, the winner in 2013, breaking the British stranglehold.
Kent based Sam Jennings made her journey to Somerset worthwhile to win the CIC2* at Nunney International. Jennings won the class with the 10-year-old Cole Play, who was bought from Cavan sales in Ireland as a three-year-old. The pair had a comfortable winning margin over 21-year-old Cambridgeshire based Will Rawlin and seven-year-old VIP Vinnie, who he aims and hopes to take to the World Young Horse Championships in Le Lions (October 15-18).
Former Burghley young event horse winner Parkfield Quintessential added another 12 points to his card with third place under regular rider Zoe Wilkinson – their second top three CIC** placing this season. The pair was sixth in the World Young Horse six-year-old class last year and a return to France in October could well be on the cards for the British-bred seven-year-old.
Wilkinson also headed a large five-year-old qualifier with Francoe PFB, who had a convincing win, having scored 19.5 in the dressage, which he followed up with a double clear. Wiltshire based Kitty King also had a good day, winning two novice sections with the six-year-olds Acis and Vendredi Biats – his second consecutive novice win. King was also fourth in the CIC2* with Creevagh Cooley, another who could be on the cards for Le Lions.
Izzy Taylor and Thistledown Poposki, having their first run since Badminton, were the winners of the Open Intermediate (OI), with Louise Harwood and Whitson second. Indian Mill, another out for the first time since Badminton, was third for Australian Paul Tapner.
Strzegom in Poland (June 25-28) hosts the next leg of the FEI CICO3* Eventing Nations Cup series. The British team, supported by the National Lottery UK Sport-funded World Class Programme, consists of:
Jodie Amos with Figaro van het Broekxhof, owned by Barbara Amos.
Sarah Bullimore and Valentino V, owned by Christopher Gillespie and rider.
Emily Llewellyn and Greenlaw Sky High, owned by Cindy Llewellyn.
Izzy Taylor and KBIS Starburst, owned by KBIS.
Pippa Funnell and Tina Cook are also heading to Strzegom while Taylor and Bullimore will also compete in the CCI***.
Nearer to home, Hopetoun House in Scotland (June 25-28) is the venue for the next international. The event, held near Edinburgh, hosts three CIC classes and two CCI classes, at one and two-star level.
Image courtesy of Eventing Photo/FEI