At 43 years and with countless championship participations Marcus Ehing is the most experienced rider in the German show-jumping team. Yet, yesterday he said he did not want to lead the team. But one notices that he -just like in Rio where he could not compete because his horse was injured- likes to help and is a team player. After the two young riders each had to fences down and therefore had 8 penalty seconds he flourished. He wanted to give everything. For him and 14-year-old chestnut gelding Pret A Tout by Hiram Champertin-Stew Boy an incredibly agile and clever horse everything ran smoothly. He took the curves narrow and took advantage of the canters which meant the lead for Marcus Ehning after three of four riders ahead of French Kevin Staut with Reveur de Hurtebise HDC by Kashmir van Schuttershof and Swiss Martin Fuchs with Cornet Obolensky son Clooney.
“I had Pret A Tout always ahead of me,” Ehning said enthusiastically. “He is extremely flexible in all distances. When I walked the course I thought it wasn’t too hard, but it is built very clever. We don’t always have rounds with long canters. It is an exciting course.” The big issue, the lighting, is also an issue for Ehning: “Now the sun still is a bit low in the sky.”
Had he felt more pressure after the two first riders finished the course with two mistakes each? “No, rather less. The pressure is the highest when everything works well and you want to stay in the lead. But they both rode well and I have faith in them. Of course our team currently lags behind but there is still room for more.”