Simone blum got wet eyes at the award ceremony. The new world champion in show jumping cried one or two tears of joy when IOC president thomas bach hung the gold medal around her neck in tryon (USA).
"This is more than I ever expected," she said in the first interview after her triumph on the US channel NBC. "I can’t believe it yet. That was my day today. I can’t wish for more today."
After another dream round there was no stopping blum in the parcourcs. The 29-year-old was the last competitor to ride into the WEG final – and crowned herself with a fantastic performance. On sunday she celebrated the first german individual success since 1994 on her mare alice. "Yaaaaa," she screamed over and over again, waving her arms in the air.
The rider from the bavarian town of zolling went five times without a drop at her world championship debut, something that no one else had managed. "It’s amazing how she rode that home," said national coach otto becker. "This is the hammer, unbelievable. She is a worthy world champion."Simone blum was followed by swiss martin fuchs with clooney and his compatriot steve guerdat with bianca.
The president of the FN was full of praise for blum even before the final round. "The way she rides here is unbelievable," said breido graf zu rantzau and enthused about the new top pair, who were the reserve duo at the european championships a year ago: "the horse is unbelievable, and the rider is getting better and better."
Blum also praised her horse. "The higher a jump is, the more she enjoys it," she said of the eleven-year-old mare that she has carried to the top of the world within a year. "The all-round package is right with her. She had already won one medal at the championships, the bronze medal in the team competition.
Blum was late to the season with alice and now arrived in world cup wonderland. "She had hurt herself badly," the rider reported. "We gave her a little more time so that it healed properly."The planned start at the german championships in balve was cancelled for her. In 2017 she had still won the title there.
The bavarian rider had what many experts consider to be the best horse under saddle in the USA – which makes alice very desirable in view of the olympic games in japan in two years’ time. But the mare is not sold, despite offers of several million euros. "She will grow old with us in any case," said blum. "Alice was not for sale and will not be for sale."
For blum, it has paid off that she concentrated on the sport after completing her master’s degree in chemistry and biology two years ago, and did not complete a traineeship. "This cannot be reconciled with riding," she explained: "we have made ourselves self-sufficient, at the moment the riding is in the foreground."Together with her life companion hans gunther goskowitz, blum runs a sports stable in the upper bavarian district of freising .
Marcus ehning from borken and laura klaphake from muhlen, who were eliminated in the first round of the individual final on sunday and did not reach the final round of the best twelve, also won team bronze. Ehning collected eight penalty points with pret A tout and finished in 15th place. Klaphake had a drop with catch me if you can and finished her first WEG in 14th place.
"I’m still satisfied," said klaphake. "It’s a pity that another mistake was made, but all in all it was a great week, and i’m still happy to go home with a medal."Veteran rider ehning was satisfied with his horse despite the mishaps on sunday. "He did a great job jumping today," ehning commented on his two drops. "But of course that’s a bit annoying, for me personally more would have been possible here today."But his conclusion, in view of the bronze medal with the team, is also rewarding: "i’m going home with a good feeling."
Even before the end of the last competitions, the german equestrian federation (FN) drew a positive conclusion. "We have the four tickets for tokyo, that was the most important goal," said FN secretary general soenke lauterbach. On friday also german team of para-dressage had qualified for the paralympics. Previously, the teams of show jumpers, dressage riders and eventers secured their participation in the olympics.
Germany came out on top in the medal table. Before the jumping final, there were two gold medals in dressage and three for the vaulters. In terms of the number of medals, the FN was far ahead of all the other associations.