“Everything worked out the way I wanted, we had an amazing run and Taloubet did an amazing job!”
It was Ireland’s Cian O’Connor who set the jump-off target in 45.03 seconds when fourth to go with the extravagant Good Luck. Guerdat shaved a fraction off that when putting his foot to the floor over the final two fences to break the beam in 44.95 with his exciting 10-year-old mare, Bianca, but, with six left to go, Ahlmann produced a breath-taking round from the horse with which he won the 2011 World Cup title.
This partnership are the epitomy of the #TwoHearts dream-team, understanding each other so well that Ahlmann’s slightest movement is clearly interpreted by the stallion. Stopping the clock on 42.85 seconds they were untouchable for the win.
“He was in great shape today and he has been for the whole season” said the rider who also won the Stuttgart leg of the series last year with Codex One. “Taloubet is a very fast horse but I had no real plan in the jump-off, I just knew I had to take every risk if I wanted to win!” Ahlmann said.
Taloubet won’t go to the 2017 Longines Final however because it has been decided that the horse who helped secure Olympic team bronze as well as the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ title for Germany this year will be taking it relatively easy in future.
“He feels fresh, like a young horse, he knows every situation in the world and it’s easy to train and keep him fit, so he will do some big shows and continue to enjoy the sport, but no more big finals for him”, Ahlmann explained.
Result: 1, Taloubet Z (Christian Ahlmann) GER 0/0 42.85; 2, Bianca (Steve Guerdat) SUI 0/0 44.95; 3, Good Luck (Cian O’Connor) IRL 0/0 45.03; 4, Clooney 51 (Martin Fuchs) SUI 0/0 45.10; 5, Goja (Janne Friederike Meyer) GER 0/0 45.34; 6, Reveur de Hurtebise (Kevin Staut) FRA 0/0 45.78; 7, Armitages Boy (Lorenzo de Luca) ITA 0/0 47.11; 8, BSC Skipper (Holger Wulschner) GER 0/0 47.40; 9, Admara 2 (Carlos Enriques Lopez Lizarazo) COL 0/0 47.82; 10, Pikeur Dylon (Markus Brinkmann) GER 0/0 50.71; 11, Cornet Kalua (Max Kuhner) AUT 0/0 51.56; 12, Cool and Easy (Hans Dieter Dreher) GER 0/4 44.15; 13, Grand Cru van de Rozenberg (Jerome Guery) BEL 0/4 45.28; 14, VDL Groep Zidane NOP (Leopold van Asten) NED 0/4 45.69; 15, Arrayan (Sergio Alvarez Moya) ESP 0/4 47.02; 16, Hector van d’Abdijhoeve (Bertram Allen) IRL 0/8 46.46; 17, H&M Legend of Love (Olivier Philippaerts) BEL 0/8 46.60; 18, SFN Zenith NOP (Jeroen Dubbeldam) NED 0/8 47.96; 19, Pegase du Murier (Roger Yves Bost) FRA 0/8 54.41.
Full result here
Christian Ahlmann GER (1st):
Talking about how he keeps the 16-year-old Taloubet Z at the top of his game – “He has asuper team around him, they take care every single step he does – his home groom, his show groom, his rider, his blacksmith, everyone does a good job to make sure he’s always in top shape.”
Christian Ahlmann GER (1st):
Talking about his jump-off round – “The whole round was for me and the horse almost perfect! The tight turns were to our advantage at the black vertical (former fence 8) and the wall (fence 9). Also we took one stride less to the last fence, and of course you always need some luck!”
Steve Guerdat SUI (2nd):
“I’m very proud to be second today, Christian is a great rider and very fast. This mare is very special, she gives me an amazing feeling and she has improved a lot this year.”
Cian O’Connor IRL (3rd):
“I’m very happy to be up there with Christian Ahlmann and Steve Guerdat! This is the first season indoors for this horse. Jumping indoors it is sometimes difficult to get him relaxed and concentrated but here in Stuttgart the ring is big and spacious.”
Standings: Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2016/2017 Western European League After Round 5 in Stuttgart (GER):
1. Steve Guerdat SUI – 42
2. Kevin Staut FRA – 39
3. Romain Duguet SUI – 37
4. Simon Delestre FRA – 31
5. Lorenzo de Luca ITA – 31
6. Martin Fuchs SUI – 29
7. Pieter Devos BEL – 28
8. Lauren Hough USA – 25
9. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum GER – 25
10. Cian O’Connor IRL – 22
11. Shane Breen IRL – 21
12. Abdel Said EGY – 20
12. Alberto Zorzi ITA – 20
12. Christian Ahlmann GER – 20
12. Daniel Deusser GER – 20
16. Guido Klatte Jun GER – 19
17. Mathieu Billot FRA – 18
18. Niels Bruynseels BEL – 18
Full Standings here