Simone Blum and her ingenious horse Alice lead a team that can be dangerous to the rivals at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. At the Nations Cup in Aachen they already indicate their strength.
Even supposedly hardened professionals can be happy as the children. As Christian Ahlmann said on the night of Friday: "It was fun," there was no room for balanced statements and careful tactics. The 44-year-old beamed simply because he was back in the Nations Cup in Aachen Soers, this evening a seething boiler with 40 000 spectators, who cheered him as if he had never been away from the German team. These are moments in which a second place feels like a victory. Only beaten by a time error, the Germans had (five points) the Swedish (four) precedence, which triumphed for the first time in 90 years back in Aachen.
This second place became an emotional victory. The two lost sons, Ahlmann and Daniel Deußer, who had signed the athlete agreement only a few weeks before the tournament, the prerequisite for a start in the German team, were able to show right away what they are worth. Deußer underwent on Calisto Blue only in the first round, however, a crucial time error, without him, the Germans would have the chance to win in a jump-off against Sweden. But all the bars stayed. Christian Ahlmann on Clintrexo and Marcus Ehning on Funky Fred took the top pole in the first round at the last obstacle, both in an effort to avoid just that timing error.
In both rounds flawless and thus team best was world champion Simone Blum on Alice. Last year, still a newcomer to the Aachen Siegteam, she is now a fixture on which coach Otto Becker can build, also and precisely because she uses her horse very carefully, does not go to the highly endowed tournaments of the Global Champions Tour, but on the Simone Blum has only this one ingenious horse, and she probably suspects that there will not be a second Alice in her life. But for a team it takes four, even if in Tokyo for the first time since 1968 only three riders may start in a team, the replacement rider can be substituted if necessary. "I'm so glad that Daniel and Christian are back," said Marcus Ehning, who has supported the team with his routine in recent years: "No country in the world can do without such riders." And certainly not national coach Becker. Those two young stars, with whom he could win in Aachen in 2018 and bring team bronze at the World Championships in Tryon / USA, Laura Klaphake and Maurice Tebbel, both had no horses in Aachen with which they could have won the Nations Cup. Tebbels horses Chacco's Son and Don Diarado are injured, the mare Catch Me If You Can by Laura Klaphake was sold in the fall. As Becker would have to fall deeply into the back ranking places. However, Ahlmann and Deußer were very welcome. Becker was able to present a team in Aachen, which will be dangerous to the competition in Tokyo in 2020 as well.
All four riders will try on Sunday in the Grand Prix of Aachen to repeat the Glanzvorstellung. The winner receives 330,000 euros and has the opportunity to increase to up to two million euros at the other Grand Slam stations in Calgary, Geneva and 's-Hertogenbosch. All four of them would have been qualified through their Nations rounds, but Ehning and Blum already had their starting permission at the start of the tournament, Ehning as last year's winner and Blum as world champion. Ehning would receive another 250,000 euros special premium in a second victory. As world champion, Blum automatically qualifies for four years in all major international prizes and can save herself energy-sapping qualifications. Unlike her, her teammates have two and more top horses. You also need them if you want to play in the twenty tournaments of the Global Champions Tour around the world, without overstraining your four-legged friends. But how many steeds are in the barn to sit on the right horse at the right moment, after all, is the art that makes the champion.
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