Totilas triumphs in Aachen: Valegro sixth

17 July - The first big sensation at this year's CHIO Aachen is perfect: The Grand Prix winner in the Prize of Family Tesch is called Totilas, ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath. As such the 14-year-old KWPN stallion repeated his triumph of 2011 with his German rider after not competing in Aachen for the last two years, ahead of Helen Langehanenberg with Damon Hill NRW and Adelinde Cornelissen with Jerich Parzival N.O.P. In spite of his good performances recently, hardly anyone had reckoned with such a spectacular comeback on the international circuit. The fact that the British Olympic gold medallist and reigning European Champion, Charlotte Dujardin's test with her world record-holder Valegro, went so badly here at the Soers, surprised the entire crowd in the sold-out dressage stadium. For many of the CHIO visitors one thing is sure: The Grand Prix was without doubt one of the most curious competitions in the past few years and proves that everything is possible in the dressage.

Dujardin and Valegro only managed to rank sixth with a score of 76.900 percent, finishing behind the Swedish rider Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven with Don Auriello in fifth place and Isabell Werth with Bella Rose (fourth place). Among others, two of the pirouttes and the flying changes at every stride went wrong in the canter tour.

Rath was definitely the biggest winner of the day. At the end of his performance, he threw his hands up to the skies  in joy. The 29-year-old steered the Gribaldi-son through the dressage arena in a near immaculate performance and among others picked up a few 10s for his passage. 82.30 percent was the end score – and as such the project "Return to the world top rankings" was a true success. "It is simply unbelievable for me. I have not even dared to dream about such a day," said Rath.

Rath profited slightly from a few mistakes made by his team colleague Helen Langehanenberg with Damon Hill NRW, who had a problem with a transition from passage to canter as well as a few misunderstandings on the final centre line: After her absence at the German Championships in Balve and the World Championship trials in Perl-Borg, she returned with an overall convincing performance that earned her a score of 81.220 points. "I am very happy that Matthias is back. Damon Hill was really really good today. My mistakes at the end were a shame and I hope that it won't happen again. My horse knows the test very well, which shows how intelligent he is, and today he was a bit quicker than me and I reacted too slowly," commented Langehanenberg.

Third place went to Adelinde Cornelissen with Jerich Parzival. The team from the Netherlands scored 80.980 percent. The rider from Rheinberg, Isabell Werth, was visibly delighted with the performance of her aspiring young horse, Bella Rose, which was honoured with standing ovations. The most successful dressage rider of modern competition history was awarded 79.580 percent. "I thought I could have even scored a 12 for the final centre line," beamed the German dressage star and even swarmed, "I am really moved by this horse. She is my number one, the best horse I've ever ridden."

Ultimately, the German team won the Lambertz Nations' Cup with a huge lead, for the fourth time in succession incidentally. Together Rath, Werth and Langehanenberg achieved a total score of 243.140 points. The Dutch team comprising of Cornelissen, Marlies van Baalen with Miciano and Hans Peter Minderhoud with Glock’s Flirt, followed in second place on a total score of 223.380 points, ahead of Spain (220.600).

A highlight of this dressage competition: The spectators can judge the performances too via an app developed by SAP especially for the CHIO Aachen. However, the results of the public's judging differed greatly from the jury's assessment. In the spectators eyes, Helen Langehanenberg won with a score of 85 percent.


1.    Germany 243.100: Desperados FRH (Kristina Sprehe) 73.960, Bella Rose 2 (Isabell Werth) 79.580, Totilas (Matthias Alexander Rath) 82.300, Damon Hill NRW (Helen Langehanenberg) 81.220.

2.    Netherlands 223.380: Miciano (Marlies van Baalen) 69.740, Thriller (Katja Gevers) 69.320, Glock’s Flirt (Hans Peter Minderhoud) 72.660, Jerich Parzival NOP (Adelinde Cornelissen) 80.980.

3.    Spain 220.600: Norte Lovera (Jose Antonie Garcia Mena) 72.700, Painted Black (Morgan Barbancon) 73.260, Grandioso (Jose Daniel Martin Dockx) 74.640.

4.    Great Britain 218.440: Pasoa (Nikki Crisp) 66.980, Fideramber (Daniel Watson) 67.520, Half Moon Delphi (Michael Eilberg) 74.020, Valegro (Charlotte Dujardin) 76.900.

5.    Sweden 217.440: Darcia VH (Jeanna Hogberg) 68.740, Santana (Minna Telde) 69.580, Toy Story (Patrik Kittel) 70.940, Don Auriello (Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven) 76.92.

6.    Denmark 216.820: My Lady (Mikala Muenter Gundersen0 69.140, Mariett (Lars Petersen) 69.720, Fitou L (Lone Bang Larsen) 70.480, Donnperignon (Anna Kasprzak) 76.620.

7.    USA 213.740: Her Highness O (Caroline Roffman) 70.400, Wizard (Adrienne Lyle) 70.340, Calecto V (Tina Konyot) 67.560, Verdades (Laura Graves) 73.000.

8.    Belgium 206.920: Le Beau (Philippe Jorissen) 67.980, Avec Plaisir (Laurence Vanommeslaghe) 67.340, Lucky Dance (Julie de Deken) 68.300, Donnerfee (Claudia Fassaert) 70.640.

9.    Austria 204.520: Auheim’s Picardo (Christian Schumach) 65.940, Lucy’s Day (Karin Kosak) 68.060, Fabriano (Renate Voglsang) 70.520.