Sunday, 10. December 2023

Aachen Jumping Youngstars 2023: When dreams come true

Happy, in some cases even overwhelmed. That is how the mood of most of the aspiring young show-jumpers can be summarised in a nutshell this weekend. Aachen is simply Aachen, whether it be the famous CHIO or the Aachen Jumping Youngstars. Being able to ride here is a dream come true for many riders.

Luise Konle wins the Prize of Firma Kelleter – Ihr Generalunternehmer für den Innenausbau (Your general contractor for interior construction)

This is also the case for the two best friends Luise Konle and Brianne Beerbaum. Both of them were members of the gold-winning German squad this summer at the European Championships, in the Children’s age group they also proved to be high-flyers here in the Albert-Vahle Arena as well. In the end it was extremely close in the deciding round of the Prize of Firma Kelleter – Ihr Generalunternehmer für den Innenausbau. Luise Konle from Bavaria put in a perfect, and above all very fast round in the jump-off with her 10-year-old gelding, Dressed For Success.The pair crossed the finish line in 33.34 seconds. When Brianne Beerbaum entered the ring with Balotelli as the last to go early on Sunday morning, you could feel the tension in the air. After all, it wasn’t just about which of the two friends was going to carry the victory in the third competition of the Children’s classification home with them, the title of Indoor Champion was also at stake. And before travelling to the traditional showgrounds of the Aachener Soers this was precisely what Brianne Beerbaum had declared to be her big dream. “That really was her ultimate goal,” revealed her proud mother, Meredith-Michaels Beerbaum, who seemed to be even more nervous than when she used to ride into the Main Stadium of the CHIO Aachen next door herself every year to notch up victories and top placings. Together with her husband, Markus, she watched spellbound how her daughter, Brianne, majestically completed the jump-off taking a calculated risk together with her Balou du Rouet descendent, to reach the finish-line in a time of 33.77. And then the joy among all parties involved was immense. Luise Konle was delighted to win the Prize of Firma Kelleter – Ihr Generalunternehmer für den Innenausbau. And thanks to her consistent, fantastic performances over all of the days of the show, Brianne Beerbaum fulfilled her dream of winning the title of Indoor Champion dank, presented by UVEX.

Finja Mayleen Neubauer triumphsin the NetAachen Prize

But Brianne Beerbaum was not only a favourite in the Children’s age group, she was also definitely in the running for the title in the Pony’s classification. She also came close to the victory in the NetAachen Prize. But ultimately here she “only” managed to take second place. After an exciting jump-off between four riders, it was Finja Mayleen Neubauer, who ultimately headed the field in the lap of honour. But prior to this the reigning German Champion had to spend a few minutes biting her nails. She put in a fast clear round with Sucator and the clock stopped at 37.41. But there were two more top competitors to go. Because both Brianne Beerbaum with Noriego vd Riloo (0/37.94 seconds), and Naomi Himmelreich with Red Star Optimus (0/38.04 seconds) were close at the 15-year-old rider from Westphalia’s heels. And thanks to her fantastic performances in all three classes, the latter was in the lead for the title of the Indoor Champion, presented by UVEX. “That really is a dream come true for me,” commented Naomi Himmelreich, patting her ten-year-old chestnut gelding on the neck in gratitude. “He gave everything for me again,” said the overjoyed 16-year-old from PSV Kördorf e.V. about the crowning conclusion to her pony career. “Winning here in Aachen, was always my dream. Which is why I am all the happier to have achieved my goal now.”

Hanna Bräuer beaming winner in the STAWAG Prize

The 16-year-old Hanna Bräuer from Westphalia was also able to fulfil her dream of riding to victory in Aachen. Tears of joy ran down her face when she realised that she and her mare, Coraline, had just won the STAWAG Prize – and that after a highly dramatic finish. Three pairs reached the jump-off and they were the only duo to reach the finish-line clear. Whereby it was exciting up until the last fence. Because up until then Max Merschformann was faster against the clock with Dorotheental's Classica, but the pair had knocked a rail – at the STAWAG obstacle of all places. But as the saying goes one man’s sorrow is another man’s joy. “I didn’t expect to win, it was awesome,” a overwhelmed Hanna Bräuer, exclaimed. Claiming the victory in the STAWAG Prize is something very special for her. “That is a highlight, of course, I am super happy!”, the 16-year-old commented. Max Merschforman consoled himself by walking off with the title of Junior Champion, presented by UVEX, and left the Albert-Vahle Arena totally happy too.

Eske Sophie Schierhold wins the Grand Prix of the Aachener Bank eG

Happy. That was generally the word of the day and also applied for the last big winner of the Aachen Jumping Youngstars this weekend: Eske Sophie Schierhold. Together with her “little diva”, as she lovingly calls her mare Chalyna, she put in the fastest round in the final jump-off of the Grand Prix of the Aachener Bank eG. “First of all I took a short cut and then I simply rode as fast as I could,” is how the 20-year-old summed up her winning round. What sounds easy, was actually an extremely skilful piece of riding with a top horse. The pair clocked up a clear round in a fantastic time of 34.33 seconds. As such, they reached the finish-line a good seven seconds faster than Charlotte Höing with her stallion, Caboom, who as the only other pair to jump clear, finished second. However, this amazing victory did not suffice to claim the title as Indoor Champion of the Young Riders, presented by UVEX. This year the latter went to Bavaria. Leonhard Röhrer was the most consistent talent in this age group across all three classes. So, he certainly headed home happy and indeed probably slightly overwhelmed.

The copyright-free photo can be downloaded here (Photo: CHIO Aachen CAMPUS/Jasmin Metzner), it shows the winner in the concluding jumping class of the Young Riders, the Grand Prix of the Aachener Bank eG: Eske Sophie Schierhold.

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