Aachen newcomer Mathieu Billot wins the STAWAG Opening Jumping
First time at the Soers, first competition, first victory – his debut at the CHIO Aachen couldn’t have gone better for the French rider, Mathieu Billot.
After reaching the finish line over two seconds faster than the rest of the field, Mathieu Billot and his twelve-year-old Selle Français stallion, Shiva d’Amaury, claimed the victory in the STAWAG Opening Jumping. Whereby, the elated winner revealed that hadn’t even planned to do so. “I wanted to be fast, but I hadn’t actually consciously decided to ride to win,” the 32-year-old, who is at home in Normandy, to be more precise at the Deauville equine stronghold. All the better when that turns out to be the result!
He has been riding at top level for around five years. But he has never been to Aachen before. He has the horse that carried him to victory today to thank for this premiere: Shiva d’Amaury. Billot has been riding the For Pleasure son since he was a five-year-old. Together they have won Nation cups and Grand Prix. And now they are at the Soers. The next target for the pair is the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe. Billot was quite surprised himself at today’s victory. But he has set himself high goals for tomorrow: “Shiva d’Amaury is a Grand Prix horse!”
Second place went to the Swedish show-jumper, Henrik von Eckermann, a veteran at the show in Aachen. He already rode there for the Beerbaum Stables clad in the customary grey jacket. He has in the meantime been self-employed for several years and has reaped just as much success. The horse that earned the silver rosette for him today, is however a newcomer to his yard: Que Bueno de Hus Z by Que Guapo. von Eckermann has only been riding the eight-year-old gelding since March. Today’s placing was the biggest achievement of the young partnership to-date.
For the man, who came third, a dream came true when he heard that he was allowed to compete in Aachen: Michael Kölz. “And now I have already achieved my second goal in the first competition already – I didn’t want to return home without a rosette!” In his case home is Leisnig in Saxony. And his horse also competes for Saxony. The 14-year-old stallion, Dipylon by Dinglinger, namely also works part-time for the State Stud of the Saxon Stud Administration Moritzburg. Michael Kölz qualified to compete here at the CHIO (a lifetime dream come true!) by claiming the bronze medal at the German Championships in Balve.
At the time, the national coach, Otto Becker, promised he would assert himself to make sure all of the medal winners at the German Championships in Balve would also be able to take part at the CHIO. In other words, in addition to Kölz, also Mario Stevens and Guido Klatte Jr. Mario Stevens didn’t compete in the STAWAG Opening Jumping, but the other two certainly did the national coach credit – as well as Kölz taking third place, Guido Klatte Jr. finished fifth with Qinghai.
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