AACHEN, Germany — Against a field of some of the best show jumpers in the world, the U.S. show jumping contingent showed its depth and talent in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen at CHIO Aachen July 22 As the first leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen puts one million euros on the line and a chance for show jumpers to have their name engraved on the historical pillars at Aachen.
Four U.S. horse-and-rider combinations qualified for this prestigious and historic grand prix, including Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) riding Darry Lou, Abigail Wexner’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion; Laura Kraut (Wellington, Fla.) riding Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms LLC’s 11-year-old Holsteiner mare; Devin Ryan (Long Valley, N.J). riding Eddie Blue, LL Show Jumpers, LLC’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; and McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) riding HH Azur, the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare he owns with Double H Farm.
The U.S. combinations came prepared to compete. Madden and Darry Lou would carry the banner for the U.S., placing sixth overall. Ryan and Eddie Blue would finish in the number 12 position.
Both Kraut and Zeremonie and Madden and Darry Lou had a rail in the first round. With only the top eighteen combinations moving on to jump the second round, Madden and Darry Lou's time of 85.17 was enough to put them into competition for round two. His first time in Aachen, Ryan steered Eddie Blue to a clear round with a time of 85.74. Ward and HH Azur also jumped a clear round with a time of 84.70. Three U.S. combinations were set to contest the second round of the Rolex Grand Prix.
Madden and Darry Lou were first on the grass for the United States in round two. Jumping an impressive and clear round, with a time of 68.70, Madden set the pace as the first combination clear in the second round. However, her rail in the first round kept her from the jump-off. Ryan and Eddie Blue looked to be following Madden's lead, but an unfortunate rub on the final jump cost them a rail and a spot in the jump-off. A jump-off spot was not to be for Ward and HH Azur either, as the combination retired in the second round.
Marcus Ehning of Germany and Pret A Tout would win the title in the jump-off with a time of 38.34.
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