Show jumper McLain Ward secures victory at the first highlight of the CHIO. The two-time team Olympic champion from the USA prevails in the European Prize. Daniel Deußer just missed out on victory. Although he is the fastest rider with bingo, a knockdown only puts him eighth.
Actually, everything went well for Daniel Deußer on this mild summer evening in the Aachen Soers. In the Preis von Europa, the first highlight of the tournament week, Deusser and the eleven-year-old stallion Bingo Ste Hermelle were the leaders in the first round in the decision of the 14 best - but then a pole fell and with it the hope of a German victory. That went to the two-time team Olympic champion McLain Ward from the USA with the 13-year-old gelding Contagious. In the second round Ward was seven hundredths of a second faster than the world number one Martin Fuchs from Switzerland with Conner Jei.
Deußer only finished eighth, not enough for someone who won the Aachen Grand Prix last year and would like to repeat this coup on Sunday - again with his showpiece Killer Queen. In addition to Deußer, only last year's German champion Tobias Meyer reached the second round with Greatest Boy, he finished twelfth after two knockdowns. European Champion Andre Thieme with Conacco dropped out after the first round.
For the German dressage team, the day began with the worst possible news: the two-time team Olympic champion Dorothee Schneider and her top horse Showtime are unable to attend the World Equestrian Games in Herning, Denmark, at the beginning of August. Schneider retired the 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding before the planned start. "Even if it was a very difficult decision, there is no other option for me than going into the competition with a horse that is 100 percent fit," said Schneider: "Since Showtime didn't give me that feeling here, this decision is the only possible and right one for me."
Showtime, who recently showed a brilliant performance after a long break when he won the German Championship title in the Grand Prix Special in Balve, passed the obligatory vet check in Aachen. However, Schneider noticed a lack of freshness in the gelding and decided not to compete with him in the Grand Prix of the so-called Small Tour on Wednesday. In order to be nominated for the World Championships, a horse must take part in all three World Championship tests (Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, Grand Prix Freestyle) within one tournament, either in Balve or in Aachen. Therefore, a World Cup start is now impossible. The Nations Cup team in Aachen consists of Isabell Werth with Quantaz, Frederic Wandres with Duke of Britain, Benjamin Werndl with Famoso and Ingrid Klimke with Franziskus.
The Danish World Championship favorite Cathrine Dufour got her first victory in Aachen in the Grand Prix of the four-star tour, with Bohemian she was the only one to get over 80 percent. The best German was Fredric Wandres with Bluetooth in third place, the seven-time Olympic champion Isabell Werth came sixth with her ten-year-old black Hanoverian mare Superb.