Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir pulled off the cross country round of their lives to land the SAP-Cup at CHIO Aachen.
The pair proved their class from day one, moving straight to the top of the leader board after dressage, before adding just two time penalties during their show jumping round for third place, and then pulling off a super-smooth cross country round with just 1.6 time penalties to bounce straight back to the top of the individual podium.
“I’m absolutely over the moon with Banzai today – he jumped an incredible round,” Yas said following her cross country ride. “He was very keen in the beginning which was quite difficult, but once he got into a rhythm and got galloping, he settled and was looking for the flags the whole way round.
“I’m very lucky to be sat on such an amazing horse. We’ve got a fabulous partnership and it’s nice to have put things right after my mistake in Kentucky in the spring. I’m glad for him to get his glory because he deserves it. I’m so proud of him and this is his moment for sure.
“Aachen is one of the biggest events in the world in terms of the calibre of horse and rider combinations, so to be surrounded by such amazing competitors and come out on top feels very special and quite surreal – I’ll be relishing this moment for a very long time, and it’s all thanks to the amazing Banzai.”
It wasn’t to be for the rest of the British team who all incurred unfortunate penalties cross country, but despite this, they still managed to hold onto a brilliant third in the team rankings.
Lying in first place after show jumping, Tom McEwan and JL Dublin had it all to play for, but sadly a run out at the Turkish Airline Combination late in the course saw them incur 20 penalties plus time penalties. They finished on a score of 57.90 which dropped them into 26th place.
Tom said: “Dubs [Dublin JL] was phenomenal and we had just two seconds of mistake which cost us a great deal today. He was up on the time, he was flying and magnificent, and we’ve learnt a lot which is why we came here, and now it’s onto the next.”
Individual rider Hector Payne and Dynasty moved up from 28th place to 21st after their clear cross country with 12 time penalties. They finished on a score of 50.8.
Gemma Stevens and Flash Cooley were having a superb cross country round – and one of the quickest of the day – until incurring a mis-flag at the corner at fence 18b and 1.6 time penalties which saw them finish in 24th individually on a total score of 51.6.
“I was thrilled with Flash Cooley; his round was absolutely amazing and I was beyond gutted to be given a 15,” she said. “I did feel like the horse jumped the fence, but that’s the sport and we’ve got to take it on the chin and move forward, but to be honest I was thrilled with him. He was class and really fast.”
Kirsty Chabert and Classic VI were also enjoying a brilliant round until disaster struck late on in the course. Classic VI jumped up the first part of the Normandy Bank but a miscommunication before the second element put them off their stride and Classic VI didn’t take off. They incurred 20 penalties plus time to finish in 32nd on 65.8.
“It’s been another one of those delightful learning curves that we have in life, but she was phenomenal,” said Kirsty afterwards. “I saw a huge stride coming up to Normandy Bank and changed my mind, and that split second made all the difference. She’s a very careful jumper and not a naturally strong cross country horse in the contact, so she did nothing wrong, it was a split second mistake and something I need to go and work on.”
The home nation Germany, took the top spot in the team competition on 104.9, while Team USA finished in second on 108.2.
In the individual rankings, Germany’s Michael Jung and fisherChipmunk FRH added just 2.8 time penalties cross country to finish 0.9 points behind Yas in second place, while Team USA’s Tamra Smith and Mai Baum also added 2.8 time penalties cross country to finish on 26.9 in third.
For full results and details of how to catch up on the action, follow: https://www.chioaachen.de/en/
Images courtesy of Peter Nixon