In horse sports, a long-term partnership is a strong one, and Germany's Ingrid Klimke has been paired with SAP Hale Bob OLD since the beginning of the now 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding's international career.
Ingrid piloted "Bobby" around his first one-star way back in 2010. Since then they've racked up over 30 top five international finishes including 12 wins – one being the 2014 Pau CCI4*. Other notable career finishes (among many) include second at the 2015 Badminton CCI4*, fifth at the European Championships the same year, ninth at Badminton in 2017, and last year they won at both the Aachen CICO3* and European Championships. Oh, and let's not forget the pair represented Germany at the Rio Olympic Games and helped the team to a silver medal.
This year alone, Ingrid and Bobby won the CIC2* at Kreuth and the Event Rider Masters CIC3* at Wiesbaden, placed second at the Luhmühlen CIC3*, and were fourth at the Strzegom CIC3*. The schedule was light on long formats, but this strategy was all a lead up to the pinnacle event of the year, the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, N.C.
Photo by Sportfot.
Having long dominated the top of the sport, Ingrid and Bobby were favorites for an individual medal in Tryon. They were in the hunt from the start, placing second after dressage and taking the lead following a cracking cross country round. Tantalizingly close to individual gold, they had a heartbreaking rail down at the last show jumping fence. Finishing with individual bronze, Ingrid – gracious and professional as always – praised her horse's spectacular performance.
“If somebody had told me before I would come here and get individual bronze I would have been very happy,” she said. “It was very close, last fence, last rail, for sure the first moment I was disappointed, but it was the only mistake that we did on the whole weekend.”
A reliable anchor for the German team and an obvious fan favorite, we're sure to see more masterclass performances from Ingrid and Bobby in the years to come. We tip our hats to this power couple.
Photo by Sportfot.
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The annual Noëlle Floyd Best Of Awards celebrate the horses and riders who soar to great heights, the community leaders who move the needle in the sport, and the extra special moments that define our shared love of horses. For the 2018 NF Awards, we created short lists of extraordinary individuals who stood out to us this year, and then we handed it over to you to determine who is the best of the best. Turning out a record number of votes in NF Awards history, we heard you loud and clear. Now we’re rolling out the red carpet. One by one, we’ll announce the winners of all ten categories between now and the New Year.
Feature photo by Shannon Brinkman.