Young German star Philipp Weishaupt has a way of showing up and explosively performing for these Rolex Grand Slam classes! Last year at Aachen he shocked the world (and even himself) when he won the Rolex Grand Prix there, and officially announced his presence at the top of the sport. Since then he’s been able to dabble on the Nations Cup teams for Germany, get some additional five stars under his belt, and Sunday he came storming into Calgary with victory and a one million dollar check in his future.
He nabbed victory from hungry opponents who were right on his heels: McLain Ward and HH Azur nearly had it in their sites, but the mare’s massive stride was just a bit too much for the 8 ab element, and they brought down the back rail of the oxer.
“one of my goals this year was the CP ‘International’ we really tried to plan and build for it – I showed her quite casually early on this week to prepare for this – so these horses came into this quite fresh and that’s what you need for the biggest jumping in the world,” said McLain. “I was just thrilled with her she jumped a brilliant first round, I made a little mistake to the last line and she helped me out. Both combinations in the second round were very difficult for my horse, they were very short and I knew that was going to be an issue – In the first combination I was able to add the stride, but in the second combination I was able to actually give Philipp the good advice to add the stride!”
Luciana Diniz and Fit For Fun, who were feeling a good high for the week, were also unbearably close to sneaking in for the win, but took a long distance at the very last fence for an absolute heartbreaker four faults, and Luciana was visibly good natured but bummed about stretching the strides on the final question.
“I must say it was completely my fault, I changed my strategy when I walked the course, I was planning on doing 5 (strides) down the final line and then I saw many people were doing four because the time was so short, after watching Philipp I decided I would do it. But anyways I am just so happy to be here and it was really meant to be Philipp’s day today.”
And Luciana was right: Philipp had two marvelous rounds so superior no jump-off was necessary, as he and the magnificent gray LB Convall were the only pair to go clear over both the scheduled first two rounds.
“To be double clear here, in this Grand Prix, the two rounds are known as the toughest in the world,” said Philipp breathless after his win. “But already this week I had a really good feeling on Convall – I had even told McLain I feel like I am in really good shape for Sunday – The horse was just outstanding, I am super honored to be able to ride him. It’s so much fun you can’t believe it. With many of the challenging lines on course, including both triple combinations from round one and two, Convall jumped it like a gymnastic; he just has so much talent.”
All this and they started out the class out of order when Convall pulled a shoe in the warm-up. We certainly hope Philipp holds on to that shoe going forward – we think it might be lucky!
Go Philipp, and Go Jumping!