It was a curious Grand Prix in Aachen, which also course designer Frank Rothenberger had to admit: “I have not experienced something like this in 35 years!” Philipp Weishaupt (GER) won the competition with two time penalty points in the first and a clear second round without jump-off.
None of the riders stayed clear in the first round. Martin Fuchs (SUI) with his Olympic horse Clooney and Gerco Schröder (NED) with Glock’s Cognac Champlanc N.O.P with each one penalty point for time and then Philipp Weishaupt followed with only 9-year-old Holsteiner stallion LB Convall. What would happen? Would there be a jump-off for all riders with four penalty points? Or one for all with onl one time penalty point? No jump-off at all? The second round was much easier than the “brutal” first round, like Philipp Weishaupt called it. There were some clear rounds. Ludger Beerbaum’s employee did not touch any fences and had to wait what Fuchs and Schröder would do. Everything looked well for Fuchs, his grey gelding jumped safely. However, on the way to the last fence Clooney suddenly ran away. The Cornet Obolensky son apparently had seen the exit and wanted to get away. What a drama. And Gerco Schröder made a mistake on the long finish line. Therefore it was clear that Weishaupt would be the winner with his inexperienced LB Convall by Colman/Cascavelle.
“I didn’t get what happened,” so Weishaupt. “That’s something very special. I’m speechless. To win this competition has been a dream for a very long time and now I did it with a horse that is only 9 years old – that’s unbelievable. I will be able to look back to this event for a long time. There are not many who can say that they have won the Grand Prix of Aachen.”
Weishaupt has been riding the Holsteiner stallion for 10 months, Hans Liebherr, Switzerland, provided him with the horse. The question why Liebherr did that, and Weishaupt answered that he was an agreeable person and that maybe it played a role that he and Liebherr were born in the same city.
Weishaupt competed the horse for the first time at a three-star Grand Prix in Mannheim this year, then in Nörten-Hardenberg. Both times they did well. Then the German Championships in Balve and Calgary followed. “I have to thank Calgary that I was allowed to compete there,” so Weishaut. “That was the perfect preparation. The horse never before was competed on such a big grass arena.”
Last year’s winner Scott Brash (GBR) was placed second with Ursula XII and one fence down in the first round, third place went to Sergio Álvarez Moya (ESP) with Carlo, who already was placed third in 2010 with Action-Breaker.