33-year-old Brit Laura Collett and her gelding London 52 win the Longines CCI5*-L at the Luhmuehlen Horse Trials in Germany. The pair was in the lead after their successful dressage on the first day. They won on Sunday after clearing both cross-country and showjumping, keeping their first day score of 20,3 xc points. They received 40,000€ of prize money.
Collett and London 52 received an outstanding score of 79.74 percent for their dressage test. The performance left them with a score of 20.3 xc penalties going into the cross-country part of the three-day event. The test set them up for success.
Second and third place was taken home by two other British ladies, Kitty King with her gelding Vendredi Biats and last year’s individual World Champion Yasmin Ingham with her gelding Rehy DJ. King finished the event with 27.2 xc points and Ingham finished with 27.9 xc points.
The first two days of the Luhmuehlen Horse Trials made headlines. After the dressage the Union Jack was ever present. The Top 7 in the event were Brits, six of them women, leading the competition by themselves.
Eventing legend Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street scored 23.1 xc penalties in their dressage test. The result put them in second place before cross country. However, Funnell was not able to hold her rank on cross-country day. The pair overran the set time of eleven minutes by 39 seconds, leaving them in 16th place before showjumping.
The same fate overtook Emily King and her gelding Valmy Biats, who placed fifth after dressage but fell back into 26th place after a refusal of a fence in the demanding cross-country course.
It shows how one small mistake can change the whole competition for horse and rider.
The American Boyd Martin worked his way up in the ranking. He placed 4th with his gelding Luke 140 after cross-country, breaking up the tight-knit lead of Brits. The riders say the 5* course in Luhmuehlen was difficult. Many pointed out the first water complex, saying it was tough. The combination opened with a deep jump into the water, followed instantly by a small corner, making it important to ride precisely. In many instances both horse and rider had a hard time.
More than 10 pairs did not finish the cross-country course at all.
Showjumping on Sunday, the third day of the Luhmuehlen Horse Trials, is what it all comes down to. The excitement increases through knowing how many fences can or can’t come down to bring home the win or lose the lead. The suspense on the final day is created as the starting order in showjumping is reversed. Therefore, the best rider in the event starts last.
After many fences coming down and several riders dropping in the ranking, the last pair, Laura Collett and London 52, enter the arena. The atmosphere is tense. The audience is so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Everyone holds their breath until the pair makes it to the final fence and stays clear. Then, music, applause and emotions erupt. Luhmuehlen has its new CCI5* winners.
The Luhmuehlen Horse Trials are popular with riders and spectators, as it is known for the informal and familiar atmosphere. At the same time, it is a well-organized, top-notch competition for eventing. The grounds are close to a beautiful national park, making the setting unique. Lumuehlen is one of the only seven locations in the world able to hold a 5* eventing competition.
The annual event running over a weekend in June also holds the CCI4*-S Messmer Throphy. That competition acts as the German Championships in eventing. This year’s winner of the 4* event is Olympic champion Julia Krajewski with her 9-year-old stallion Ero de Cantraie.
Feature Image Credit: tgl.luhmühlen.de