By Kim Lundin
Photography: FEI/Massimo Argenziano; FEI/Amber Heintzberger
The 2023 edition of eventing at CHIO Aachen felt more like a world championship on a simpler course and a dress rehearsal for this month’s European Championships (see page 14). Coincidentally, it was French treasure Banzai du Loir who best gripped the slippery Soers slopes.
Many combinations from the not-so-distant world championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, were present, and while the reigning champion excelled, bronze medallist Tim Price riding Falco experienced troubles for which he was relegated unusually far down in the results.
Traditionally, eventing in Aachen is settled over the cross-country course, built on a one-day-format spread over two days starting with dressage and jumping ending with a course that traverses the back country of the CHIO Aachen stadium. Climatically, it gives all the riders a superb finish going into the big stadium in front of applauding spectators.
Young world champion Yasmin Ingham showed brilliant dressage riding her 12-year-old Selle Français Banzai du Loir (Nouma d’Auzay - Gerboise du Cochet x Livarot: 66.21%) and conservative jumping earning two time faults. The cross-country phase was an extremely wet event, with heavy downpours overnight and rain continuing to fall, making the conditions difficult, and not one combination managed to clear the course without time faults. Ingham, and German combination Christoph Wahler riding the 2009 grey Holsteiner gelding Carjatan S (Clearway - Kajenna x Galant Vert xx, bred by Carl-Friedrich Söhrmann: 60.35%), both managed to incur only 1.60 time penalties, with the former and Banzai du Loir recording a 27.10 total, 0.10 ahead of the legendary Michael Jung riding his superstar fischerChipmunk FRH (Contendro I - Havanna x Heraldik xx: 55.47%).
The stunning winner
Banzai du Loir was bred by Pierre Gouye of Elevage du Loir, in the Seine Maritime region of Normandy, France. Looking at Banzai’s pedigree, it’s no surprise he has jumping qualities and stamina, while his excellent dressage is a result of his good education by Alex Cuoutte and Ingham herself.
His sire Nouma d’Auzay (2001/SF Carthago x Quidam de Revel), was competing to 1m55 international Grands Prix. Bred by Patrick Blanckaert, Nouma has 35 offspring competing internationally in both jumping and eventing, with Banzai being the shining star, but also Vallauris (2009/SF out of Obra x Dollar du Mûrier), Vimae d’Auzay (2009/SF out of Philae d’Auzay x Cento), and Brienne (2011/SF oput of Loews x Flyer [KWPN]), have gathered prize money for their owners... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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