Germany’s Marcus Ehning (pictured, top) has won the Rolex grand prix at CHIO Aachen, following a flawless performance on Pret A Tout.
Marcus is highly respected for his stylish, effortless riding and he didn’t disappoint. His partner Pret A Tout was also on top form, having led Germany to its third consecutive Nations Cup victory at Aachen earlier in the week. Once again the 15-year-old gelding pulled off a foot-perfect performance.
Out of 40 starters, just five made it through to the third round against the clock.
Joining Marcus were Ireland’s Darragh Kenny with Babalou; Brazilian showjumper Pedro Veniss with Quabri De L’Isle; Swiss Olympic gold medallist Steve Guerdat with Bianca; and Italy’s Luciana Diniz and Fit For Fun, who came second last year.
Stampede of applause
First to go was Pedro, who jumped a third clear in a time of 41.62 seconds. Luck was not on Steve’s or Darragh’s side, however, and both clocked up 12 faults.
Marcus rode into the famous arena to a stampede of applause from his home crowd. The 44-year-old flew around the course in his usual, elegant style, with no pulling or no tugging, simply taking the most efficient routes and keeping up his speed between the fences. As a result, he managed to knock more than three seconds off Pedro’s time to take the lead on 38.34 seconds.
Luciana also jumped clear, but was unable to beat the winning time, giving Marcus his second Aachen grand prix title in 12 years.
Rolex Grand Slam
“First of all I have to thank my horse,” said Marcus. “He has an incredibly good nature and knows his job. When he enters the ring and hears the crowd, it gives him additional motivation.”
Marcus is now in the running for the Rolex Grand Slam. The next leg is at Spruce Meadows in Calgary in early September. He hadn’t planned on competing there, so may have to revise his competition schedule. After all, there is €1million up for grabs!
You can watch Marcus’ incredible display of horsemanship, as we are showing the whole class on July 25 at 8pm EST. We also have a highlights show, which premieres on July 27 at 8pm EST. Watch these and all our other great shows by signing up to Horse & Country.