First five-star wins to Johanna Beckmann and Ben Maher

July 21. 2023

First five-star wins to Johanna Beckmann and Ben Maher


Before it's all about Global Champions League points tomorrow, two warm-up jumping competitions for the five-star pairs were on the program today. They ended with a big surprise and a winner who knows that "these jump and run" games are the best way for his horse to start the show.


19 years young is Johanna Beckmann. Riesenbeck is the second (outdoor) five-star show of her career. She recently joined the Longines Global Champions League team of Istanbul Warriors as an U25 rider. "The request came through Instagram. I thought it was a joke at first. But then when they asked again, I thought I'd return the call." It wasn't a joke, they agreed, and in St. Tropez, the business and law student-to-be made her CSI5* debut - three weeks after riding her first four-star event. St. Tropez still went without a ribbon. Today in Riesenbeck, however, she had a run: In the saddle of the nine-year-old Ib Ecstasy, she won "Ludgers Welcome Class" with a while, the opening jumping competition over 1.45 meters with two phases. In 35.86 seconds and without a drop, Johanna and her Eldorado van de Zeshoek daughter easily left Edwina Tops-Alexander behind her with the Calvaro F.C. son Corelli de Mies. The Spanish sport horse gelding (CDE) crossed the finish line after 39.90 seconds. Third (39.80) and fourth (41.44) places went to the Irish brothers Tom and Max Wachman in the saddle of Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny, the latter known as the Olympic horse of the trainer of the two, Cian O'Connor.

That was already a huge success for Johanna. But the day was not over yet. In the second CSI5* jumping competition of the day over 1.45 meters against the clock for the FUNDIS Reitsport Prize, she rode her successful partner Emelie van de Mirania Stamm, with whom she had won team silver at the European Young Riders Championships last year. And here, too, there was a clear round, although the time was no longer enough for a placing. Of course, the joy was especially great about the victory with Ib Ecstasy. "That was totally unexpected. I've had the mare for a bit longer, maybe two years. But we had a few ups and downs. This was maybe the fourth 1.45 jumping now. She's done 1.50 once, so she doesn't have any experience at that level. But for some reason it went totally great. She felt very good, jumped better than ever before, I think. That's how it turned out. But actually it was totally unexpected." Whether she herself is nervous, with these new challenges? "Sometimes more, sometimes less. This morning I thought, but now the little legs have to stay on the belly ..." It worked.


Maher makes it possible


Until Richard Vogel entered the stadium in Riesenbeck with the ten-year-old Codex, Hans-Dieter Dreher and Vestmalle des Cotis had led the competition in the FUNDIS Reitsport Preis by a while. But Vogel, for whom Riesenbeck was once home before he settled in Dagobertshausen together with David Will, is known to be fast. To be precise, he and Codex were almost one and a half seconds faster than Dreher today. However, Vogel was not one hundred percent satisfied - with himself: "I haven't ridden so rhythmically yet, so he helped me more today than the other way around. He wanted to jump very well."

However, there is no room for error when there is a David Will at the start directly afterwards. Vogel's business partner rode Accoton PS, with whom he had been victorious in Aachen just a few weeks ago. Today the two managed the feat of taking another two seconds off Vogel. It didn't really look as if this could be topped. But Olympic Champion Ben Maher came along in the saddle of Ginger Blue.

She can not only go fast, she needs it, says her rider. "She's a horse the more she jumps, the better she gets. This test is good for her confidence. Some horses gain confidence when they are ridden slowly. That doesn't work for her. She is better when you make a jump and run out of it. From that point of view, the test suited her today and luckily I was fast enough."

The pair took today's victory to Great Britain in 64.75 seconds. Second place went to David Will with Accoton PS ahead of Richard Vogel on Codex and Kendra Claricia Brinkop with Ma Belle.

It was still important for the winner to note this: "It's the first time I've ridden here in Riesenbeck myself and it's so much fun! A great place! And the conditions for the horses - both on the course and around it - that's what we hope for every week. From that point of view, we are very lucky this weekend."