It was an emotional moment for Germany’s Julia Krajewski when she realized she had scored the biggest win of her career after steering Samourai du Thot to victory at her home event, Luhmühlen CCI4* presented by DHL.
Krajewski riding the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Milor Landais x Melitos Du Thot) owned by DOKR was third year last year at her first attempt, but now she goes home with the big prize after the fairytale failed to come true for cross-country leader Bettina Hoy and Designer 10.
“If I hadn’t taken a pull, my horse wouldn’t have hit fence eight as he didn’t want to touch a pole," said Krajewski. "I thought ‘damn’, but there were so few clear rounds and when Bettina had her fence and time faults, that’s how it happens sometimes and you’re a four-star winner!”
There had been little difference in the leaderboard after a straightforward cross-country phase, but a challenging show jumping track certainly shook up the order, with only four clear rounds without time penalties from the 34 finishers.
Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous in the victory gallop. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
Krajewski, second after Saturday’s cross country, hit the back rail of fence eight, and Britain’s Nicola Wilson, third before jumping on Bulana,oJ and James Lambert's 11-year-old KWPN mare (Tygo x Sulana), jumped clear but added a frustrating three time faults to finish a mere 0.7 behind in second place, a career best for the 2012 Olympic team silver medallist who has been a solid pathfinder for the British team.
“It was an expensive time fault or two, but Bulana gets better and better and better,” said Nicola Wilson, runner-up. “She has grown up and progressed so nicely, that we now have a very strong partnership going. She used to be so feisty and fizzy even at home, but now she is totally relaxed. She seems much more settled in all three phases.”
Hoy’s problems started with a sticky jump over the fifth fence on Designer 10 (Dali X x Caesy), a 13-year-old Westphalian owned by Wilfried Stute, and the horse then didn’t get high enough over the sixth for a rail down. That, plus three time penalties, dropped the newly crowned national champion (Hoy won the German championships earlier in the day) to third place.
Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
“The fault and misjudged timing was entirely my fault," said Hoy. "I disrupted Designer’s rhythm, which cost us the win. But we had an amazing weekend, with three brilliant phases. I could not have asked for more!"
Marilyn Little was clear to move up to fourth place on Jacqueline Mars, Robyn Parsky, and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ RF Scandalous, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) and Maxime Livio currently runner-up in the FEI Classics, was also foot-perfect, rising six places to fifth on Opium de Verrieres.
Livio has now managed to narrow the gap with runaway FEI Classics™ leader Michael Jung to just six points, and Wilson has sprung from 11th place in the rankings to third, so a thrilling finish is guaranteed at the finale at Burghley in September.
WIlliam Coleman and Obos O'Reilly. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
Little was the only U.S. rider to jump a clear show jump round, but the remaining three Americans all ended up in the top-15 with just a rail down a piece (Katherine Coleman withdrew Longwood before the veterinary inspection due to a sore stifle). One rail down and one time penalty didn't hurt Hannah Sue Burnett and Jacqueline Mars' Harbour Pilot, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising x Shannon) placing as they finished the weekend in 8th - were they had sat overnight. William Coleman and Obos O'Reilly also stayed in their overnight spot. The Four Star Eventing Group's 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Obos O'Reilly, (OBOS Quality x Omard Clover Queen) had one rail down and added four time penalties to finish in 12th position. Sharon White and Cooley On Show made the biggest climb up the leaderboard for the U.S. moving from 21st to 13th with just one rail and two time, giving the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ricardo Z x Jogantina) his first four-star completion.
Sharon White and Cooley on Show. Shannon Brinkman Photo.