Schasing a Dressage Nations Cup, where others argue with their knives between their teeth for the best seats. Sönke Rothenberger appreciated that – a little break from the constant struggle for perfect lessons. And he had every reason to cross his arms and take in the scenery, although of course he himself is one of the five competitors who strive for four places in the German team at the European Championships in Rotterdam in August. On Thursday, however, when the German quartet produced at the CHIO in Aachen in the square, Rothenberger was already finished.
These are the advantages of the disadvantages: The high-pitched student from Bad Homburg had failed to qualify at the German Championships a month ago in Balve for the Aachen team. Not because his gelding killed Cosmo. No, the horse had a stomachache. With the first signs of colic it was brought to the clinic and was missing in the tests. As a result, Rothenberger and his horse were transferred by national coach Monica Theodorescu for Aachen in the – of course also high -class – frame competitions and were on the eve of their Grand Prix. And he succeeded as desired, he reached the top mark of 81.37 percentage points. Far more than half the rent, he knew. On Thursday in the Nations Grand Prix, it was about Part 1 of the question: Who will replace Rothenberger from the team? Part 2 follows on Saturday in the Grand Prix Special, with which the Nations Cup will decide.
After the first part-test on Thursday, the German team is in the lead as expected. The tension over whether the host team would finish in first place this year was limited, because that is downright notorious. Especially when Isabell Werth with her chestnut mare Bella Rose is at the start, which also shone this time: With 82.738 percentage points, she was the only one who outperformed Rothenberger in a cross comparison. And she even found time to close a button on her jacket during the test. With the master and her four-legged supermodel you can expect for Rotterdam, unless something serious happens. Also Dorothee Schneider with the brilliant gelding Showtime strongly recommended (80.609), as well as Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who scored 79.00 percentage points with the dynamic mare Daleera. You should not think about internal competition in this situation, she said. "Shut up and give my best" – that's her motto.
Another one was crazy: Helen Langehanenberg, who with her already seventeen-year-old stallion Damsey gave a brilliant performance in April at the World Cup final in Gothenburg. "He had no work ethic today," said Monica Theodorescu. The rider could still struggle in his saddle: Damsey simply did not want to show piaffe. He stood there three times and let it be. In the morning's practice, he had pretended he could not tarnish any water. Just before the exam, he showed tendencies to take the lead. "He let her starve to death," said the experienced coach Theodorescu, even team Olympic champion. "This is a very stupid feeling, if a horse so hang." So are stallions sometimes. The painful consequence of refusing to work: a total of 71.239 points. Thus the two are by far the tail light at halftime of the German race. The team is not yet topic, reassured the national coach, it will be discussed only on Saturday after the special. But in Helen Langehanenberg should doubt gnawing the doubt.
Quite different Rothenberger: "Cosmo is the only horse that has run since the Olympic Games in Rio in each team," he says, "so if I doubt us, that would be wrong." Especially since he and the horse at successful first appearance had still slowed down. "I knew that I have to show myself. I wanted to try to show a perfect job and therefore not take the last risk. "He did so afterwards. Confident sure he tore after holding his fist in the air – the claim was staked after a long absence again. Then he wanted to take off the helmet in salute, applause broke out, Cosmo made a surprising move to the side and the headgear landed on the ground. "All the energy came out of it." One helper had to pick up the helmet while the horse kept on mumbling. "Better the cap down than me," Rothenberger said dryly.
. (tagsToTranslate) Sönke Rothenberger (t) Gelding Cosmo (t) Monica Theodorescu (t) Helen Langehanenberg (t) Dressage (t) CHIO Aachen (t) Rotterdam