Frank Ostholt and Air Jordan at Luhmühlen
Frank Ostholt, riding his 11 year old chestnut Air Jordan, hung on to their lead obtained after the cross-country phase of the competition and added to the suspense in the show-jumping arena. The head man at the DOKR centre in Warendorf and rider at the German championships was able to claim victory in the exciting final phase. His fellow rider, Bettina Hoy, made it difficult for him, starting just before him and riding a clear round on her grey gelding, Ringwood Cockatoo. But Frank and his mount, Air Jordan, displayed nerves of steel and completed the course clear giving a final result of 43.5 penalty points. With this lead of 1.1 penalty points over Bettina, he was able to claim first place much to the pleasure of the impressive crowd of almost 7,000 spectators.
"It's a wonderful, unbelievable feeling and gives me a great sense of confidence just before the World Championships" states Frank Ostholt after the prize giving ceremony. He had already counted on Bettina going clear and had the opportunity to ease the pressure on himself. Bettina Hoy was delighted for him and again stated that after the experience the team had gone through in Athens, "it didn't make any difference who was at the top, the main thing was that one of us was up there in the final placings".
In third place, Lucinda Fredericks, Australia, riding Headly Britannia was clearly pleased with her end result of 49.9 penalty points. "After experiencing the elimination at the water last year, I'm more than satisfied. Both my husband, Clayton, and I will definitely be returning to Luhmühlen next year. The atmosphere is so informal and people are so friendly. Even the weather which wasn't really as good as it could have been didn't seem to matter". The following placings are as follows: Linda Algotsson, Sweden, riding My Fair Lady, with 55.3 penalty points, climbing from position seven to four. Then Dirk Schrade, riding Sindy, slid up one place and finished the competition fifth, with 55.9 penalty points.
At the concluding press conference, Hans Melzer, the German national trainer, stated that Frank Osholt, with Air Jordan and Bettina Hoy, with Ringwood Cockatoo, are on the long list for the World Championships. Added to these names are Andreas Dibowski (Leonas Dancer), who riding Butt's Leon climbed up four places on Sunday to a final sixth position. He had improved his placing after the dressage phase (23rd) up to tenth place after completing an impressive cross-country ride. The other names in question are Ingrid Klimke with Sleep Late, Anna Warnecke with Twinckle Bee and Hinrich Romeike with Marius. Hinrich Romeike experienced a little bad luck in the show jumping arena, collecting quite a few penalty points, and slipped down to seventh position, with his horse Marius. "Otherwise, he's had an unbelievable season this year" praises Hans Melzer.
The date for next year's event is 14th to 17th June, 2007.
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