As the staff at CHIO Aachen put their finishing touches on the facilities and gear up for the thousands of fans coming in the next couple weeks, it was also a very busy time vaulting world. Vaulters from every country competing here in Aachen arrived yesterday and today for one of the biggest events of the year which starts Friday.
While the barn was a scene of hustle and bustle as the horses and vaulters moved in, there was an excitement that filled the air. The excitement of a fresh chance at competition with vaulters from all over the world, the excitement entering the arena that will soon be the center of fierce competition, and the excitement of those here for the first time, hoping to show what they have and learn from the new experiences.
Today was a move in day like most others, focused mostly on the main event of the day: the vet check. Today’s vet check went well for most, with only two horses, one from Russia and one from Switzerland, being put in holding for a recheck.
Following the vet check, every individual, pas de deux, and squad was given the chance to practice both in the warm-up and competition arena. This is meant to give both competitors and their horses some ease as they move into a new arena at such a big competition.
Vaulting News caught up with Kristian Roberts (USA) to ask him a few questions about how he is feeling for this weekend’s competition. He told us that his practice went great, his horse, Landar (CZE), did great in the arena and training has been going well for the past couple weeks leading up to the competition. Kristian explained that it feels great competing back in Aachen again. After nearly a year since he broke his leg just before the World Championships in 2016, he is back and ready for his fifth CHIO Aachen.
This weekend will be one full of excitement. It will be especially important to watch the German contingent as this is the final selection event from which the German Federation will select who will represent them at the European Championships in Ebreichsdorf, Austria in August. So far, only Jannis Drewell for the men has been selected individually. Köln-Dünnwald has been selected for the senior squad, and the two selected pairs are Theresa-Sophie Bresch & Thorben Jacobs and Jolina Ossenberg-Engels & Timo Gerdes.
Be sure to check back to vaultingnews.com for updates on this weekend’s CHIO Aachen event!