“He wasn’t a gentleman,” Portuguese Luciana Diniz said with regard to her neighbour in the press conference after the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. Her neighbour was Gregory Wathelet.
The Belgian just had won the Grand Prix with the mare Coree by Cornet Obolensky and therefore has gained the opportunity to win the Rolex Grand Prix next months. In order to do so Wathelet also had to win in Calgary and Geneva – and then get a 1,000 000 Euro bonus. For his victory in the Grand Prix he got 330,000 Euro. And this although it is a lucky circumstance that Wathelet still has the mare’s ride. When she was six years old the show-jumper already noticed Coree, but then she was owned by stud farm Haras de Hus, where the Belgian was employed. When she was eight he was able to take over her ride. She could not yet win big competitions but the 36-year-old always believed in the mare’s talent. But Coree was to be sold, like Conrad de Hus, after their silver medal at the EC. “But then an unbelievable person came into my life, Judith Gölkel, and has made it possible to save the horse for me.” Wathelet said, thankful. “She can jump virtually anything and today it was amazing. She was perfect from the beginning to the end.”
Luciana Diniz and Fit for Fun could also have won the competition, but the Hanoverian mare by For Pleasure slipped before the Mercedes Benz oxer and therefore lost some time. “We were just short of my dream becoming true,” Diniz said, who is still pleased with her second place.
Third place went to Dutch Marc Houtzager with KWPN gelding Sterrehoef’s Calimaro, who was also satisfied. He was the first rider in the jump-off of four pairs. “It’s never easy,” he said. “I could have been faster, but the ground was slippery and I didn’t take the full risk.”
Best German rider in the Grand Prix of Aachen was Andreas Kreuzer with OS gelding Calvilot in fifth place who had one time penalty point in both rounds. Aachen debutante Laura Klaphake and Catch Me If You Can also made it to the second round but then had one fence down and finished in place 13.