Philipp Weishaupt and Chico. © Stefan Lafrentz
It was a fantastic round for German rider Philipp Weishaupt in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Deutsche Kreditbank at the CSI4* Horses and Dreams Meets Denmark show in Hagen, Germany. The 30-year-old rider won the first scoring event of the DKB Riders Tour in Hagen at the Teutoburg Forest with his 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Chico (Cordalme Z x Sandro).
The win was the reward for the 44.21 seconds jumpoff round, in addition to the 20 points in the DKB Riders Tour ranking and the lion’s share of the €75,000 prize money. “[Chico] is so huge, but inside he seems to be a Thoroughbred, sensitive and intelligent,” said Weishaupt in regards to his mount, the tallest horse of the weekend at Horses & Dreams.
Top competitions at the start of the Tour
The 2nd place finish went to Germany’s Philip Rüping and 3rd place went to Japan’s Taizo Sugitani.
“[The grand prix was] super sport and a fantastic tournament,” summarized Riders Tour Executive Director Paul Schockemöhle. “We are very satisfied.”
It seemed to be a bit different for the winner of the first stage of the DKB-Riders Tour, as Philipp Weishaupt frankly admitted, “The Tour was not at all a subject for me as last year was not that perfect. Now I have some new excellent horses.”
His boss Ludger Beerbaum already talked about the second stage, the Derby. “I must admit that my heart was in my mouth,” added Weishaupt. “Because you need a fantastic horse and perfect training. But the next stages are also still to come.”
Big – fast – clever
Weishaupt particularly liked the astonishment of some of his colleagues when it comes to his impressive sports partner: “Many of them misjudge it, but Chico is fast and intelligent despite his height. For this reason, I was able to approach the combination like I did. He then immediately reduced speed again because otherwise, the poles would have flown into the spectator area.”
The gelding was bred by Dietrich Schulze and is owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze who is also a shareholder of the DKB Riders Tour.
Copperfield conjures Philip into the ranking
Runner-up Rüping finished behind Weishaupt with a horse owned by his boss, Paul Schockemöhle. “I had never expected such a result,” said Rüping. “I was basically satisfied with my horses, always earned placements, but I had never expected such a success today. Copperfield and I know each other for almost one year now; he is a very special horse when it comes to behaviour, sensitivity and intelligence.”
Rüping hadn’t thought of continuing to participate in the DKB Riders Tour until the result of the first stage, and now things look rather different.
Focus on the Olympics and the DKB Riders Tour
Lucky No. 3 was the Japanese Nations Cup rider Taizo Sugitani with the 17-year-old Avenzio (Animo x Erdball XX). “He is fresh, and he is like a good wine—he is getting better and better,” Sugitani enthusiastically said as he described his KWPN gelding.
Sugitani is also looking forward to his sixth Olympic Games. For Sugitani, and for his colleagues on the Japanese national team, the first stage of the DKB Riders Tour was at the same time setting up for the Olympics in Rio in August.
Excellent first impression
Katja Hofmann, speaker of BEMER Int. AG, one of the two new main sponsors of the DKB Riders Tour, was impressed by the opening stage: “It was very impressive to see the high level of professionalism of the riders—congratulations.”
The commitment of BEMER Int. AG was both, well-considered marketing, but also an affair of the heart of CEO Peter Gleim, Jr. “He loves horses, but our business partners were of course as important for the decision as they were inspired by the project, too,” said Hofmann. “The decision in favour of the DKB Riders Tour was made very quickly.”
Mauser Einrichtungssysteme GmbH & Co. KG is the other main sponsor besides BEMER Int. AG for the next two years.
DKB looks ahead to the future
In its sixth year, the DKB has been title sponsor of the international riding series in Germany. “Sport in general perfectly matches our company; we do not only support equestrian sport,” said Stefan Unterlandstättner, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Kreditbank AG. “It was our goal to upgrade the Tour this year and to make it even more interesting. I think we will succeed. The best three will win cars for a total of €250,000 in Munich. And maybe we will succeed in announcing a prize money of half a million Euro with Paul Schockemöhle, just as in the past.”
Unterlandstättner highlighted also the performances of the youngsters: “They are the future medal winners.”
For full results, see here.