What a strange test, the Grand Prix, which was at the same the Nations Cup in Soers in Aachen. But one thing first: Germany won with a clear outcome achieving 243.100 points leaving behind the Netherlands which achieved 223.380. The Spanish who achieved 220.600 points hadn’t really expected to come in third. But what had actually happened? It was intended to be the meeting of the giants. For the first time after 2011 Matthias Rath with Totilas encounterd Charlotte Dujardin with Valegro, who back then were heading towards the world’s top but had been dominating every competition since then. And today? The sixth place achieving 76.900 percent. The rider from Britain started in the boiling pot in Aachen for the first time. However, the student of Carl Hester is known to have strong nerves. The same applies to the twelve years old Negro-son. And the start was really amazing. The couple had still more than 84 percent before the gallop tour. But then everything went wrong: both changing tours as well as the pirouettes failed. No one could believe it. Valegro, who normally shows a good performance in every test, obviously is only a “human being” , too. Consequently it was Matthias Rath’s and Totilas‘ stage who had already managed to win all tests here back then in 2011. The rider from Kronberg and his black stallion knew how to stand the pressure and showed a test with many highlights. Solely a one-tempi was a little bit short. They achieved 82.300 percent and thus really deserved to win.
Helen Langehanenberg with Damon Hill could have beaten them. However, the couple had a revival as well, but a less beautiful one: the closing line. “He thought the test was finished and I have closed the legs a little bit too much“. That is what Langehanenberg explains. “And then he made a jump forward“. But the threefold winner of the previous year was not dissatisfied. “ Matthias has had a hard time and he really deserves the victory. Moreover, competition keeps the battle alive.“
Matthias Rath, the winner of the Grand Prix, emphasized as well that the dressage had become quite sportive. “If Damon Hill had made the error, Helen would have beaten me. If I had made one more, I would have lacked behind Adelinde.” Saying this he referred to Adeline Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival, her 17 years old KWPN gelding. Both could catch up with their old results and came in third achieving 80.980 percent. “We are on the right way“, Cornelissen says smiling. But Matthias Rath was the happiest of all riders at that day. “ I still cannot grasp it. When I saw the participant list before Aachen and established that nearly all riders of the top 10 would be there I would never have imagined to win here. I am so proud. Nevertheless, I have to admit that Charlotte Dujardin had a bad day. That’s really not common at all and very unusual for her. They did so many technical errors when doing the gallop. Normally they never do so. A ride like this also shows that you always have to concentrate. But I am convinced that Valegro is not going repeat a round like this three times.”
In the stadium during the award ceremony Matthias Rath especially appreciated his coach Sjef Janssen. He said that he owed the victory completely to him. And yet his father Klaus-Martin continues to be an important part of his training. “When I am in the Netherlands for one week, there are still horses to care for at home. My father trains these horses. Anyway the decision in favour of Sjef was one which we had made within the family. Back then we were thinking about what to change and this is what we came up with. Moreover, my father had always be the kind of person who wanted me to start walking forwards and to train elsewhere as he used to do in the past as well. I really have to thank him for his attitude and it really contributes to the rest.” Isabell Werth (GER) who achieved 79.580 percent with Bella Rose was just simply happy about this outcome knowing that she could achieve an even better result. She was followed by Tine Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE) with Don Aurieollo (76.920 percent). Kristina Sprehe and Desperados finished eleventh (73.960 percent).