19 June 2011

Luhmühlen: Dibowski is flawless at Luhmühlen in HSBC FEI Classics™

Lausanne (SUI), 19 June 2011

Andreas Dibowski, a valuable member of Germany’s teams for many years, was at his consistent best in a tense finale at Luhmühlen, presented by E.ON Avacon (GER), and seized victory with a flawless Jumping round on Euroridings Butts Leon to gain his first points in the 2011 HSBC FEI Classics™.

“I have been riding here for 22 years, so the pressure to win was building,” said Dibowski. “Nowadays, it is so close at the top of the sport that you cannot allow mistakes. The Jumping course was well built, but asked enough questions, as it should in the modern sport.

“We haven’t had the best weather this weekend, but we have had the very best conditions, thanks to the new all-weather arenas. It is important that the first rider to go gets the same conditions as the very last.”

Dibowski, who has indicated that he may take his Luhmühlen winning ride to Burghley (GBR) in September, shoots into fourth place in the HSBC FEI Classics™, in which the top five riders at five CCI4*s will share a prize pool of US$330,000. Dibowski is now in behind Mary King (GBR), whose eighth place at Luhmühlen on the gallant Apache Sauce gave her a few extra points, Piggy French (GBR), fourth, and Badminton winner Mark Todd (NZL).

French, the Cross-Country leader, had indicated that Jumping may not be Flying Machine’s best phase, and two rails down dropped them below German riders Sandra Auffarth, who had a dream CCI4* debut to finish second with just one fence down on Opgun Louvo, and Frank Ostholt on Little Paint in third.

“I’m not kicking myself for hitting a fence because it is very easy to make a mistake,” said Auffarth. “My horse does not have any weaknesses and does not fight his rider. He is a great character.”

Clear Jumping rounds were in short supply today – only five in all from the 28 finishers – and the other main beneficiary was Clayton Fredericks (AUS), whose clean round on Dunges Laurent Rose elevated him three places to fifth and also to sixth place on the HSBC FEI Classics™ leaderboard with two events, Burghley and Pau, still to go.

Paul Tapner (AUS), who was lying ninth after Cross-Country, withdrew Stormhill Michael before Jumping.
Sandra Auffarth (left) who secured the HSBC Training Bursary worth US$1,000 at the third leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ today in Luhmühlen. She was presented with the HSBC Bursary Prize by Ulrich Sprenger (right) - Hamburg Branch Manager. Photo: Peter Nixon/FEI.

HSBC Training Bursary
Sandra Auffarth’s outstanding CCI4* debut on Opgun Louvo, a young horse she has produced herself, gained her the HSBC Training Bursary worth US$1,000. Her achievement opens up the exciting prospect of a possible place in the squad for the forthcoming HSBC FEI European Eventing Championship at Luhmühlen (25-28 August) at which Germany, as host nation, will be entitled to field 12 riders.

“It’s amazing! It has been my dream to ride here and I thought it would never happen,” 24-year-old Auffarth said. “This award is great for young riders. For me it’s especially great because I can now invest in specific training and, who knows, in the future I might even be able to finish in first place! I’ve been lucky to do so well here and now, with the Europeans, I have another goal to work towards.” Auffarth’s family breeds Jumping horses and she also competes in this discipline.

About the winner

Andreas Dibowski, 45, lives locally to Luhmühlen at Egesdorf with his wife and children and is one of Germany’s hardest working and most consistent competitors. After a spate of second placings at CCI4*s, he finally scored a popular victory at Pau (FRA) on FRH Fantasia last year and finished second in the HSBC FEI Classics™, counting a second place at Badminton on Euroridings Butts Leon and third place at Luhmühlen on FRH Fantasia.

Euroridings Butts Leon, a 14-year-old gelding by Heraldik XX, has been his team horse for the last three championships, winning Olympic team gold in Hong Kong (CHI) in 2008. Dibowski was also a member of the winning German team at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen (GER) in 2006.

“I am lucky to have to another championship horse,” Dibowski said.  “The HSBC FEI Classics is very important for our sport, and I will talk with my owners in the next couple of days and decide if we will go to Burghley.”

Final results
1 Andreas Dibowski/Euroridings Butts Leon (GER) 40.0 + 0.0 + 0 = 40.0
2 Sandra Auffarth/Opgun Louvo (GER) 39.0 + 0.0 +4 = 43.0
3 Frank Ostholt/Little Paint (GER) 35.3 + 6.8 + 4 = 46.1
4 Piggy French/Flying Machine (GBR) 37.2 + 1.2 + 8 = 46.4
5 Clayton Fredericks/Dunges Laurent Rose (AUS) 47.2 + 0.0 + 0 = 47.2
6 Dirk Schrade/Hop and Skip (GER) 45.2 + 0.0 + 4 = 49.2
7 Oliver Townend/ODT Master Rose (GBR) 48.2 + 0.0 + 4 = 52.2
8 Mary King/Apache Sauce (GBR) 46.0 + 0.0 + 8 = 54.0
9 William Fox-Pitt/Macchiato (GBR) 46.2 + 0.0 + 8 = 54.2
10 Andrew Nicholson/Armada (NZL) 51.5 + 0.0 + 8 = 59.5

Full results on www.luhmuehlen.de

HSBC FEI Classics™ Leaderboard in 2011 (after 3 out of 5 events)
1 Mary King (GBR) 28 points
2 Piggy French (GBR) 20 points
3 Mark Todd (NZL) 15 points
4 Andreas Dibowski (GER) 15 points
5 Sandra Auffarth (GER) 12 points
6 Clayton Fredericks (AUS) 12 points
7 Sinead Halpin (USA) 10 points
8 Frank Ostholt (GER) 10 points
9 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 10 points
10 Oliver Townend (GBR) 9 points

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