Young German showjumper Nisse Lüneburg won the 83rd German Jumping Derby in Hamburg at the weekend, collecting only one time fault in the jump-off on Calle Cool.
Lüneburg, 23, from Wedel in the north of Germany, beat Westphalia rider Thomas Köhlbrandt (GER) with the Holstein bred grey stallion C-Trenton Z in the 83rd edition of the competition.
“It was such an unbelievably good feeling in front of such a crowd,” said the rider who took over the ride on Calle Cool from Carsten-Otto Nagel during the summer of 2010.
Köhlbrandt and C-Trenton Z celebrated the 147th clear round in the over history of the Derby, and Lüneburg followed not long after with the 148th clear round.
“I have to say that he jumped really great. I also think that Nisse was the deserving winner,” said Köhlbrandt, who incurred four faults in the jump-off.
For the first time since 2008 (Linda Heed, Sweden) a lady rider, 26-year-old Judith Emmers (GER), earned a place on the podium. Emmers finished in third place after producing a four fault round in 156,86 seconds on the 11 year old Papillon. She was beaming as she left the course to the audience’s applause. Her boss – Christian Ahlmann – was very happy. “I think he was almost happier than I was,” she said.
About 25,500 spectators watched 35 riders start over the long and difficult course. There were 11 eliminated, three retired and five finished the German Jumping Derby with only four faults.
The best international competitor was the Irish rider Paul Beecher with Loughnatousa WB, a 13 year old Irish Sport Horse. One of the favourite British combinations, Guy Williams and Skip Two Ramiro, was eliminated and fellow countryman Michael Whitaker retired after an early 8 faults on the 19 year old Animation II. Even though the third British rider, Christopher Frazer, found a good distance to the hedge oxer his mount La Emotion stroked through it and catapulted her rider out of the saddle. Luckily, he landed on his feet.
The defending champion Andre Thieme (GER) was fifth with Nacorde – the three-time-Derby-Winner. It was a very emotional moment because the 17 year old Nacorde was competing in his last Derby. He will still be going to a few horse shows in 2012 but will be slowing down. The great derby horse’s rider and owner walked beside him on his final lap of honour.
• Hubertus Schmidt (GER), ex World Champion and Olympic Champion of 2004, won the 54th German Dressage Derby.
The Dutch rider Aat van Essen was second and was beaming as he sat between Schmidt and third placed Kathleen Keller (GER).