What a final for the vaulters at the CVIO Aachen 2017! The Albert-Vahle Hall was full down to the last seat and the fans ensured there was such an atmosphere that some of the more sensitive spectators had to put their hands over their ears.
The first highlight of the day was the Pas de Deux, the dance of the pairs on the horses’ backs. Four duos, each of which could have won, battled it out in the Prize of Sparkasse. With a total score of 8.757 the victory went to Italy, to the World Cup winners Silvia Stopazzini and Lorenzo Lupacchini on Rosenstolz lunged by Laura Carnabuci. There is a special story behind their outstanding freestyle choreography to fiery Latino rhythms. Stopazzini and Lupacchini have been performing together as a pair for the last year. In the past one had often said their movements on the horse were too slow. They decided to change this. They put together both the choreography and the choice of music totally on their own. Even the lunger was (positively) surprised at what her athletes created. The result is an excellent show, where not only the music tears everyone out of their seats, but also the acrobatic interpretation.
Torben Jacobs and Theresa-Sophie Bresch with Holiday on Ice (Lunger: Alexandra Knauf) secured themselves the silver ribbon with a score of 8.473. Third place also went to Germany, to Timo Gerdes and Jolina Ossenberg-Engels on Caram (Lunger: Claudia Döller-Ossenberg-Engels/ 8.448). Last year’s winners, the Austrian pair Theresa Thiel and Stefan Csandl came fourth with Crossino lunged by Karin Böhmer (8.252). It was the first time that the German national anthem wasn’t played this weekend at the CHIO Aachen – not a problem for the national coach, Ulla Ramge: “On the contrary, that is good for the sport!” She added: “Torben and Theresa competed on a reserve horse, Timo and Jolina have a totally new horse and are currently improving their performance from competition to competition. So we have every reason to be satisfied!”
Prize of Sparkasse: Germany unbeatable in the Nations’ Cup
The Nations’ Cup proved to be a nail-biting affair. It turned into a duel between the teams Germany I and Germany II. The first team was represented by Sarah Kay and Erik Oese as the individual vaulters and Team NORKA from VV Köln Dünnwald. Germany II was made up of the two lady vaulters Kristina Boe and Janika Derks as well as RSV Neuss-Grimlinghausen. In the end, Germany II asserted itself against Germany I. Kristina Boe revealed their tactics: “This year the teams were very even, so we already declared yesterday that we would fight hard,” And that is precisely what they did! Janika Derks danced through her routine nimbly and with precision, totally in line with her motto “The life of a cat”. And Kristina Boe alias Rey out of Star Wars? Yes, the power was with her, when she completed her extremely difficult programme without a mistake and in perfect harmony with the music.
And then came RSV Neuss-Grimlinghausen with “Alice in Wonderland”. Yesterday, the young team from Neuss that has only been working together for a year, were beaten by their local rivals from Rhineland, Team NORKA from VV Köln-Dünnwald. Today, the team performed as if they had been unleashed, they risked everything and won everything. The score from the judges: 9.035. World-class. With a total score of 26.608 Germany II pipped their fellow competitors from their own country at the post. Deutschland I achieved a total score 26.121, which meant they left the Italian group that finished third far behind them (25.531). Were Germany I disappointed? “A little bit,” admitted Justin van Gerven, who was a member of the team. “But at the end of the day, we still delivered a top performance and it was minor details that separated us.”
The words of the national coach, Ulla Ramge, may have consoled him: “All of them demonstrated that they have nerves of steel. The atmosphere here at the CHIO Aachen is incomparable to any other show in the world. Anyone who performs well here, performs well everywhere.”