Germany reclaims the SAP-Cup, World Champion Ingham wins the individual classification
Excitement pure through to the very last rider in the SAP-Cup 2023! Who is going to win –USA, Germany or Great Britain? The concluding phase, the cross-country course, was the decider at the CHIO Aachen 2023. Ultimately, Germany won the team classification and Yasmin Ingham (GBR) was celebrated as the individual winner.
The team of the chef d’équipe, Peter Thomsen, finished first on an overall score of 104.9 minus points, ahead of the USA (108.2) and Great Britain (136.6). It was an open race between the three teams up until the last rider. The USA were in the lead, but only with a few time faults in hand. Will Coleman and Off the Record, the winners of the individual classification in 2021, were the last to go for the US team. They were doing really well until the Turkish Airlines Complex, where they had a run-out, dashing the dreams of the American team’s first victory at the Soers.
Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH then set off on track. Will Coleman’s 20 minus points had put Germany in the lead. Malin Hansen-Hotopp with Carlitos Quidditch, Christoph Wahler with Carjatan S and Sandra Auffarth with Viamant du Matz all rode home clear, but had picked up time faults. None of the pairs had managed to stay within the time until then. But Jung and Chipmunk had to come as close to the best time as possible if they wanted to defend their lead against the Brits. Provided that the last rider of the British team, Tom McEwen with JL Dublin delivered the expected result.
Michael Jung and Chipmunk put in an immaculate round: 2.8 time faults, the third best cross result after Christoph Wahler with Carjatan S and Yasmin Ingham with Banzai du Loir, who had each only collected 1.6 penalty points for the time. Now it was down to Tom McEwen and JL Dublin. To cut a long story short: The Brits’ dream of winning also ended with a run-out at the Turkish Airlines Complex.
That meant not only the victory of the German team was certain, Yasmin Ingham was also confirmed as the individual winner. Because Tom McEwen and his Holstein-bred Diarado son – whom he claims is “possibly even more amazing” than his team Olympic gold medallist and individual silver medallist horse, Toledo de Kerser – had been the overnight leader after the dressage and jumping.
It was the first performance of the World Champion pair, Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Lour, here at the CHIO Aachen – and they claimed the victory straight away! “I am pretty speechless. I am very glad to be here representing my country. I am very lucky to be here riding.“ And obviously she is even luckier with her horse. “My amazing horse did everything right. His performance in each phase was immaculate. He did brilliantly in the dressage, there are a few areas I can still polish up, a few marks to grasp, but overall he performed brilliantly. I could have kicked myself after the show jumping. I rode too slowly, didn’t canter enough, I couldn’t fault him, but I was a bit frustrated with myself. I channelled that frustration so that I would impress in the cross.” And she certainly did that. Finishing on a total score of 27.1 minus points, she had a 0.10 lead over Michael Jung. Third place on a score of 33.7 went to the US American winner from Kentucky, Tamra Smith with Mai Baum, ahead of Christoph Wahler and Carjatan S, who worked his way up the ranking list to 22nd place thanks to a fantastic performance in the cross-country.
Michael Jung summarised his impressions of the cross-country course that was, as always, designed by Rüdiger Schwarz as follows: “The course was nice to ride, but the faster you ride the more risk you take which can lead to mistakes.“ Which was incidentally how both Will Coleman and Tom McEwen explained their run-outs. All in all, the riders were unanimous that the course had been fair, but demanding.
In the run-up to the competition, EquiRatings had drawn up statistics, which prove that this year’s field of participants at the CHIO regarding the previous performances of the horses was the strongest CCI4*-S line-up since the start of the recordings in the year 2015. According to the same statistics, Michael Jung and Chipmunk were the favourites to win, followed by Mai Baum with Tamie Smith and Banzai du Loir with Yasmin Ingham – all of whom ultimately came under the top three.
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