The CVI in Wiesbaden, Germany, which takes place at Whitsunday, is quite special in a number of ways: The vaulting competition is part of a huge international showjumping and dressage competition. To make it attractive to a non-vaulting audience, the competition is freestyle only. It is also open-air, right in front of the beautiful Wiesbaden castle, with the evening round on Saturday taking place under floodlight – something to give you goosebumps!
However, the unusual setting often claims a few victims, because many horses start shying or bolting. This year, this happened for a lot of the individual vaulters; many of them fell off, even Janika Derks, veteran of Team Neuss, who is focusing on her individual career this year. Still, she took the victory in front of her team mate Pauline Riedl – both are definite contenders for the individual tickets to Le Mans. The rest of the females did not even come close to the two ladies from Neuss, although many of them were really unlucky and suffered from their unsteady horses. The same is true for the men: Germany’s Thomas Brüsewitz had to jump off at one point during his first freestyle, so he took third place behind Miro Rengel from Germany and Lukas Klouda from Czech Republic.
Luckily, the horses of the pas de deux and the teams proved much more steady; there were no falls, and the vaulters managed to really bring across our beautiful sport. Timo Gerdes and Jolina Ossenberg-Engels from Germany took first place as Romeo and Juliet in front of Markus Cohaus and Lena Feldhues, Germany. Both duos made it on the longlist for Le Mans. Third place went to Zoe Maruccio and Syra Schmid from Switzerland.
In the team competition, Neuss showed two stunning freestyles on their reserve horse Auxerre and took a well-deserved first place. The second team from Cologne came a close second, with Team Riedmühle in third place. All teams presented themselves really well and were a credit to the sport.