NEWS > Eventing
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 16/06/2014.

New Zealand finds a new hero at Luhmuhlen

Tim Price and Wesko Luhmuhlen 2014

New Zealand rider Tim Price is enjoying a purple patch of form and he produced an outstanding display of Jumping to win his first CCI4*, at Luhmuhlen (GER), presented by DHL Paket, the fifth and penultimate leg of the FEI Classics 2013/2014.

Riding the Wesko Syndicate’s Wesko, an 11-year-old Dutch-bred gelding by Karandasj, Price was the only competitor to finish on his Dressage score, of 43.8, in a thrillingly tight finale.

The Cross Country leader, Michael Jung (GER), looked the picture of concentration as he had fischerRocana FST jumping on springs, but a groan from the crowd signalled that a pole had fallen – the first part of the double at 12a – and that it was not to be a German victory.

Price was evidently thrilled to win, but he was quick to acknowledge the host nation in a gracious acceptance speech, in which he dedicated his victory to the young German rider Benjamin Winter (GER), who died as the result of a fall on the Cross Country yesterday.

“I would like to dedicate this win to Benjamin. It was a very sad day yesterday,” he said. “And I’d like to thank the organisers at Luhmühlen for making us all so welcome. I first came here as a visitor eight years ago and I’ve been waiting ever since to ride here.”

Instead of a lap of honour, the leading riders, all wearing black armbands in honour of Winter, were escorted quietly from the arena.

Boyd Martin (USA) proved to the American selectors that he is fully recovered after breaking his leg in the spring by finishing in with third place on new ride Shamwari 4 and 15th on Otis Barbotière.

Martin picked up just one time penalty to rise four places from seventh on Shamwari 4. This exciting prospect was bought from Swedish rider Ludwig Svennerstal by a syndicate during the winter, but this was Martin’s first opportunity to try out the horse at an international competition.

Oliver Townend (GBR) hit fence 10 on the 13-year-old Black Tie, but he remained in fourth place and left the ring with a broad smile on his face.

Indeed Townend has plenty to smile about: this was the second time this year that he has been the highest-placed British rider at a CCI4*, having finished as runner-up at Badminton on Armada. As a result, he has now leapt into second place in the FEI Classics™, just 10 points behind William Fox-Pitt (GBR), which means that the series will go right to the wire at Burghley in September.

Elaine Pen (NED) must be delighted with her first CCI4* performance. She rose three places to fifth on her former Young Rider horse Vira with just one rail down.

A four-fault round was good enough to move Andreas Ostholt (GER) and So Is Et up five places to sixth, while the USA’s Phillip Dutton (Mighty Nice, seventh), Germany’s Bettina Hoy (Designer 10, eighth) and Australia’s Bill Levett (Improvise, ninth) all dropped down the order with three rails down each.

The up-and-coming Belgian rider Lara de Liedekerke, riding Quella Langonnaise, enjoyed her second 10th placing at CCI4* level this year, following an excellent Badminton debut.

Tim Price found Wesko “by chance at the end of a long, cold day” in a Jumping yard where he was being competed by British rider Siobhan Edmonds. The white-faced bay gelding proved “flawless” in his early Eventing competitions and went on to win twice at three-star level, at Blair Castle (GBR) CCI3* last year and at Tattersalls (IRE) CIC3* a fortnight ago. The pair contested Badminton, but took an early ducking in the Lake.

“I’m thrilled for my horse. This is his first four-star completion, and my first visit here, and I certainly didn’t expect to be standing here as the winner,” he said.

New Zealand has provided the winners of eight CCI4*s since Sir Mark Todd set the ball rolling at Badminton in 2011. Now this tiny country with such a huge legacy of horsemanship has another hero to salute.

Andrew Hoy (Rutherglen) finished just outside the top10 in eleventh position after having three rails down, while Natalie Blundell (Algebra) finished in 13th with four rails. Kevin McNab (Clifton Pinot) had just one time penalty on show jumping day and finished 20th overall.

15 June 2014

Michael Jung takes Cross Country lead at Luhmuhlen

Michael Jung (GER) produced a typically brilliant performance to take the lead in the Cross Country phase at Luhmuhlen, presented by DHL Paket, the fifth and penultimate leg of the FEI Classics' 2013/2014.

But celebrations will be far from his and other riders’ minds following the tragic news that the talented young German rider Benjamin Winter had died following a fall (see FEI statement here).

Winter, 25, was already lying 12th after a good first round on Wild Thing Z, when he had a horse fall with his second ride, Ispo, at fence 20, a table fence which had caused no other problems. He was taken by helicopter to Borberg Hospital in Hamburg but was pronounced dead on arrival from his head injuries.

Following a meeting between the event organisers and competitors, and at the request of Benjamin Winter’s family, it was agreed that the competition should continue at Luhmühlen tomorrow. Riders will wear black armbands for the Jumping phase and a short memorial ceremony will be held.

Michael Jung, who won the Luhmühlen CCI4* at his first attempt five years ago and again in 2012, was the last rider out on the Cross Country and was held at the start while doctors were attending to Benjamin Winter. Unaware of the tragic events and despite the hold on course, he rode with tremendous flair and accuracy, all the while giving confidence to his relatively inexperienced mare, fischerRocana FST.

Tomorrow the Olympic, World and European Champion will have to keep the cool head for which he is well known as he does not have a Jumping fence in hand over the next three placed riders

New Zealander Tim Price has risen from seventh place after Dressage to second on the smart Jumping-bred Wesko. Bettina Hoy (GER), who was visibly elated at the end of her brilliant round on Designer 10 has moved up two places to third, and Britain’s Oliver Townend, has moved up five places to be fourth on Black Tie.

There was some debate over whether Price had missed a flag on a brush arrowhead in the main arena, but by the end of the day his 20 penalties had been removed.

The next three riders are all within a Jumping fence of Price. Phillip Dutton (USA) riding the stunning 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse Mighty Nice, Bill Levett (AUS) on Improvise and Boyd Martin (USA) with the former Ludwig Svennerstal (SWE) ride Shamwari 4 have moved up from 10th, 11th and 12th after Dressage to fifth, sixth and seventh places respectively.

CCI4* first-timer Elaine Pen (NED) has dropped four places to eighth on Vira after collecting 4.8 time penalties in an otherwise excellent round but she is still in close contention.

Dressage leader Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) suffered an unlucky mishap when Flying Finish jumped into the middle of a brush oxer (fence 22) and Christopher Burton (AUS), who is third in the FEI Classics™, had a fall with Tempranillo in the Jeep water complex at 19.

Ingrid Klimke (GER), third after Dressage on Horseware Hale Bob, plummeted to 29th place after a run-out at the influential brush arrowhead in the arena (fence 10) and a second refusal when the 10-year-old gelding took a dislike to the cascading water at the log in the Jeep water complex (18b).

Five horses were withdrawn before Cross Country, including FEI Classics™ leader William Fox-Pitt’s (GBR) Cool Mountain, sixth after Dressage.

Seven competitors retired on course, and that number included Tom Crisp (GBR), whose horse Liberal died after collapsing near fence eight. Crisp explained that Liberal had set off well on the Cross Country but then didn’t feel right after fence seven and, as he went to pull up, the horse collapsed. “We’re all very sad,” he said. “It’s a tough day.”

Britain’s Chef de Mission Will Connell thanked the organisers for their prompt response to the incident. “It happened very early on the course and was nothing to do with the fence. It was one of those very sad, regretful instances that happens in life.”

A post mortem will be conducted to establish the cause of death.

Thirty-two of the 47 Cross Country starters completed, with 23 clear rounds, 10 of which were inside the optimum time of 11 minutes 24 seconds.

Of the remaining Australians Andrew Hoy (Rutherglen) produced a clear round within time and is in 13th position (52.70) to be just ahead of Natalie Blundell (Algebra) who is in 14th position after adding just 1.2 time faults to her dressage score (55.70). Kevin McNab is in 23rd position after adding 23.6 penalties to his score. Seumas Marwood (Wild Oats) retired on course.

See review of today's event on FEI YouTube here.

Results after Cross Country

1 Michael Jung/fischerRocana FST (GER) 41.5 + 0.0 = 41.5

2 Tim Price/Wesko (NZL) 43.8 + 0.0 = 43.8

3 Bettina Hoy/Designer 10 (GER) 43.3 + 1.2 = 44.5

4 Oliver Townend/Black Tie (GBR) 45.0 + 0.0 = 45.0

5 Phillip Dutton/Mighty Nice (USA) 46.0 + 0.0 = 46.0

6 Bill Levett/Improvise (AUS) 47.7 + 0.0 = 47.7

7 Boyd Martin/Shamwari 4 (USA) 47.8 + 0.0 = 47.8

8 Elaine Pen/Vira (NED) 43.2 + 4.8 = 48.0

9 Jonelle Price/The Deputy (NZL) 48.5 + 0.0 = 48.5

10 Lara de Liedekerke/Quella Langonnaise (BEL) 50.2 + 0.0 = 50.2

Full results on


14 June 2014

Fredericks makes a Flying start at Luhmuhlen

Lucinda Fredericks, who has taken the lead after the Dressage phase at Luhmuhlen, presented by DHL Paket, is hoping to make it third time lucky at Germany's premier event, the fifth and penultimate leg of the FEI Classic's 2013/2014.

In 2012, Fredericks finished second on Flying Finish and secured a place in the Australian team at the London Olympic Games. Last year, having suffered a slow start to the season due to a bad fall, she was not at full fitness but still managed to finish in 11th place.

“This time I’m going to crack on,” promised Fredericks, who retired Flying Finish early on the Cross Country at Badminton last month because he had temporarily banged a nerve. “It wasn’t as dramatic as it looked. He was fine five minutes later, which was frustrating.

“But perhaps it was a blessing in disguise,” she continued. “My horse feels good, we’ve had a good preparation for this event and I feel we’re due some luck. It would be a great boost for my team at home if we could do well.”

Fredericks, who won Burghley (2006), Badminton (2007) and Kentucky (2009) on her brilliant little mare Headley Britannia, was the only rider at Luhmühlen to break the 40-penalty barrier. She scored 38.7 on Flying Finish, a 12-year-old Holsteiner by Candillo which she bought in Germany, and leads the Olympic, World and European Champion Michael Jung (GER) by 2.8 penalties.

“It’s quite difficult to tell how well you’re doing on Flying Finish and I wasn’t quite sure I’d nailed it until after the test,” explained Fredericks. “He is always correct and steady, but every time I looked at the scoreboard I only seemed to be getting sevens, so I stuck my chest out and tried to move up a gear!”

Jung, who won Luhmühlen in 2009 on La Biosthetique Sam and in 2012 on Leopin FST, has a new CCI4* ride, his parents Joachim and Brigitte’s nine-year-old mare fischerRocana FST, eighth at Boekelo CCI3* (NED) last year.

Jung’s team mate Ingrid Klimke (GER) is in third place on the 10-year-old Horseware Hale Bob and the in-form Dutch rider Elaine Pen is fourth on Vira, winner of the Fontainebleau CIC3* in March.

Pen, a law student, led the Dressage on the first day with a score of 43.2. “I am feeling a little nervous because this is my first four-star,” she commented. “But my parents bought Vira as a foal 12 years ago, so we know each other well.”

It is not Pen’s first visit to Luhmühlen, however, as she finished 14th and was best Dutch rider at the FEI European Eventing Championships there in 2011.

Bettina Hoy (GER), whose appearance in the Luhmühlen arena last year was a dramatic one, when Lanfranco TSF repeatedly reared, had a more comfortable ride this time on the up-and-coming Designer 10. She is in fifth place on 43.3, just 0.2 ahead of FEI Classics™ leader William Fox-Pitt (GBR), sixth on Cool Mountain.

A total of 52 riders representing 12 nations came before the Ground Jury made up of Gill Rolton (AUS), President, Ernst Topp (GER) and Alain James (FRA).

The German event has enjoyed mainly fine weather so far, and the Cross Country going is described as “fast”, but the weather forecast is hinting at rain tomorrow. Lucinda Fredericks reports that the influential combination in the arena is “nicer” this time, but that Course Designer Mark Phillips (GBR) has still laid on an appropriately challenging track.

“There is a lot of turning to fences and turning afterwards and not always a lot of room to do it,” she said, “but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Of the remaining Australians Chris Burton (Tempranillo) is in 8th position (44.70), Bill Levett (Improvise) is in 11th position (47.70), Andrew Hoy (Rutherglen) is in 20th position (52.70), Natalie Blundell (Algebra) is in 23rd position (54.50), Kevin McNab (Clifton Pinot) is in 27th (55.50) and Seumas Marwood is in 34th position (59.30). McNab has withdrawn his second entry Fernhill Quality Street.

13 June 2014

Day one of Luhmuhlen CIC **** complete

27 combinations have completed the dressage phase at Luhmuhlen CIC **** with an Australian currently in the top ten.

Natalie Blundell and Algebra are sitting in 8th place on a score of 54.50 making the combination the current best placed of the Australians. Blundell is 11 penalties behind the current leader Elaine Pen and Vira who is making her debut at this level of 43.20.  Seumas Marwood and Wild Oats are sitting in 14th place on a score of 59.30 just behind former Australian event rider Boyd Martin.  

Day two sees well known eventing identities William Fox-Pitt, Michael Jung, Mark Todd, Ingrid Klimke take the stage along with remaining Australians representatives Andrew Hoy, Lucinda Fredericks, Kevin McNab and Chris Burton.

Meanwhile in the CIC *** class Andrew Hoy and Cheeky Calimbo are leading the field with a tidy dressage score of 71.5% landing them 28.50 penalties. Hoy has a 5.7 penalty advantage over Ingrid Klimke and FRH Escada JS.

12th June 2014

World-class entry lines up for Luhmuhlen

A competitive field of more than 50 riders representing 12 nations will be competing at this weekend's German CCI 4* in Luhmuhlen, presented by DHL Paket (12-15 June), for the fifth and penultimate leg of the FEI Classics 2013/2014

For many riders this is a crucial last chance to impress selectors before the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) in August, as well as an all-important opportunity to seize a foothold on the FEI Classics™ leader board before the final leg at Burghley (GBR) in September.

Longines, the FEI’s Top Partner, has for the first time joined Luhmühlen as official Time-keeper and Watch for this key leg.

“We are proud to be for the first time Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of Luhmühlen CCI 4*,” Walter von Känel, President of Longines, said. “As First Top Partner, Official Timekeeper and Watch of the FEI, the partnership with this event, which is part of the FEI Classics, seemed natural. In addition, this competition perfectly illustrates the values of our brand, namely tradition, performance and precision.”

The current first, third and fourth-placed riders on the FEI Classics™ leaderboard all have good rides at Germany’s premier event.

World number one William Fox-Pitt (GBR), already a three-time winner at Luhmühlen and victorious at Pau (FRA) 2013 and Kentucky (USA) this year, holds a commanding 15-point lead. He rides an old favourite, the thoroughbred Cool Mountain, a CCI4* winner of Kentucky in 2010 and a world team gold and individual silver medallist at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in the same year.

Christopher Burton (AUS), who triumphed at Adelaide (AUS) last year on a catch ride, has the 12-year-old mare Tempranillo, a ride he took over from Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal in 2013. The new combination won the CIC3* at Hartpury last year and were 22nd at Pau.

Oliver Townend, who won the FEI Classics™ in 2009 and was recently second at Badminton (GBR), has entered the ex-racehorse Black Tie ll for his first CCI4*.

Much interest will centre on last year’s FEI Classics™ winner, the world number two Andrew Nicholson (NZL). He must have a great chance on the Spanish-bred Quimbo, a winner at Kentucky last year, but which was retired on the Cross Country at Badminton. The flat track at Luhmühlen should suit the beautiful black gelding and, if he is on form, German spectators are in for a treat as he is a spectacular jumper.

A strong New Zealand squad includes Lizzie Brown with her 2013 Boekelo CCI3* winner and recent Houghton Hall CIC3* runner-up Henton Attorney General, Mark Todd with Oloa, which he has re-routed from Kentucky after a disappointing Dressage mark, and husband-and-wife team Jonelle and Tim Price.

Jonelle has Classic Moet and The Deputy, which she pulled up after an early run-out at Badminton, and Tim has the Tattersalls CIC3* winner Wesko, which took an unfortunate ducking in Badminton’s Lake on the first third of the course.

Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) has already won three of the world’s six CCI4*s - Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky - and in 2012 she came close to taking Luhmühlen on the German-bred Flying Finish when they were second. They were 10thlast year and, after pulling up early at Badminton in May, she has brought the horse back for a third attempt on the Luhmühlen trophy. Her compatriots include Andrew Hoy who, like Fredericks, has yet to add Luhmühlen to his collection of CCI4* wins.

Some of the top German horses will be competing in the CIC3*, but former Luhmühlen winners Michael Jung, Bettina Hoy and Ingrid Klimke have CCI4* rides. Jung, the current Olympic, World and European Champion, rides Fischerrocana FST; Klimke has her European team gold and individual silver medallist FRH Escada JS, and Hoy rides the up-and-coming Designer in what promises to be a high-quality contest.

Follow the results on, and watch live Cross Country (Saturday) and Jumping (Sunday) action on FEI TV (

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