Gold is still possible, but after the first two of four pairs, the German dressage team is only second at the World Championships. Before the decision on Sunday, the Danish team is in the lead.
At the start on Saturday, Ingrid Klimke from Münster rode with Franziskus and Benjamin Werndl from Tuntenhausen with Famoso for the German quartet. When adding up the results, they were behind the Danes. In the overall ranking, however, only the three best results per team count.
Two-time eventing Olympic champion Ingrid Klimke rode for the first time in a dressage team at a championship in Herning, Denmark, and showed a good performance with Franziskus. "I'm totally happy," commented the 54-year-old from Münster on her premiere.
Klimke gives Francis time "to calm down"
Klimke learned from her mistake at the CHIO in Aachen. If there is applause when riding in, Francis must "first calm down". It only started after a short break: "And then I noticed that he's breathing deeply now. The moment I started riding, I had the feeling that he was totally with me."
The second German starter early in the evening was Benjamin Werndl from Tuntenhausen with Famoso, who is also contesting his first World Championship. The brother of double Olympic champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who had to miss the start at the World Championships because of her pregnancy, showed an almost flawless ride at his premiere. "The motto was not to think too much about the whole thing - and that's very difficult," commented Werndl, who had often accompanied his sister. "When I rode in, I thought, actually, riding in is even cooler than being a companion, so I can get used to that."
On Sunday the second half of the starting field completes the Grand Prix. Nine-time world champion Isabell Werth (Rheinberg) starts with Quantaz for the defending champions. Last rider on the day of the decision is World Championship debutant Frederic Wandres from Hagen am Teutoburg Forest with Duke of Britain.
"There's always pressure," Wandres commented on his special role as the team's last rider. "He's part of it, that pushes me positively." The 35-year-old was nominated as the last rider because of his strong performance at the CHIO in Aachen, where he was the best German starter.