DSP Alice is to retire in Aachen
“She loves Aachen,” Simone Blum says about her soulmate horse, DSP Alice. And that is why the CHIO Aachen 2023 is exactly the right venue for the 16-year-old chestnut mare to retire from the sport.
It was love at first sight between Simone Blum and DSP Alice. The joint success story began in 2014, when her husband, Hansi, discovered the at the time seven-year-old mare: Full of energy and equipped with unlimited scope. After taking their first jumps together, it was clear to Simone Blum immediately that she was sitting on a very special horse: “I looked her in the eyes and thought: What type of a wonderful horse are you?” A type of horse that she quickly became friends with. The chemistry between the two of them was simply right. And yet it took Simone Blum a lot of patience, time and devotion to channel the temperament of the Askari daughter so that she could use it to her advantage. The breakthrough came in 2016, when the pair won the German Championships of the Ladies, one year later they took the title in the men’s competition. What followed after that is equestrian sport history: Within a few months, DSP Alice catapulted her rider to the top of the rankings of the world elite and onto the winners’ rostrum at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon (USA): Two times indeed: They claimed bronze with the German team and individual gold. The images of a World Champion overcome by her emotions and the wonder mare happily munching away at a mango remain unforgettable. The orange tropical fruit, her favourite food, has been the reward for each clear round ever since.
And there have been plenty of them in the course of DSP Alice’s career. The chestnut mare with the overwhelming desire to win has always particularly felt at home in large arenas like the Main Stadium in Aachen. Their fantastic accomplishments on the Holy Grass are proof of this. The grandiose triumph in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup in 2018, for example. And at the same venue the following year, after jumping double clear, the pair also significantly contributed towards the German jumping team coming second in the traditional Nations Cup. 2019 was the year when DSP Alice won the Halla challenge trophy for the most successful horse at the CHIO Aachen after finishing fourth in the Rolex Grand Prix. A few weeks later the winning duo secured team silver at the European Championships. However, the championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, were to be the last time Simone Blum was to compete for a medal with Alice. The mare unfortunately sustained an injury – and was never able to return to her unbeatable form.
“I wouldn’t be where I am now without Alice,” Simone Blum reflected full of gratitude. “She has always been my soulmate. Because she is so unique, we have a very special connection.” And due to this special relationship, the 34-year-old wants a very special farewell for her sports partner. A memorable moment that a horse like DSP Alice deserves. And to celebrate this moment, the pair are returning to Aachen once more on June 29th. The place that they associate with so many unforgettable memories. “The atmosphere in Aachen is unique,” said Simone Blum. “I am very much looking forward to letting Alice revel in the applause of her favourite crowd.” What exactly is going to happen during the farewell ceremony that is being held between the two rounds of the Mercedes-Benz Nation Cup is to remain a surprise. One thing is sure though: Everyone should have a handkerchief ready to hand. And there is bound to be the odd mango for DSP Alice on this special evening – even if she doesn’t deliver a clear round.
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