Germany’s Christian Ahlmann was a very happy man after winning today’s third leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League series at Verona in Italy.  The 2011 FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion borrowed a horse from his partner, Judy-Ann Melchior, at the last moment, and he could hardly believe how well the 12-year-old gelding, Aragon Z, performed for him in front of the packed house of wildly enthusiastic spectators this afternoon.

“Judy has loaned me her horse for two shows - Verona and Doha - because my top horse had a rest and just before Verona was not ready to come here.  With Aragon it has been working really well from our very first moment together, so I’m delighted!” said the 38-year-old rider who fended off some fearsome opposition in a thrilling 12-horse jump-off against the clock.

Great Britain’s Scott Brash lined up second with Ursula Xll while Italy’s Luca Moneta pleased the home crowd when slotting into third with Neptune Brecourt.  It was a ferocious battle for maximum points today, but Ahlmann looked completely in control and looks well set for another strong campaign on the winter-long Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping circuit.  Brash, meanwhile, moves to the top of the Western European League leaderboard having already accumulated 41 points after his opening leg win in Oslo and his prominent finish today.