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Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s First MERCEDES GERMAN MASTER
(mps) Riders wanting a starting place for the MERCEDES GERMAN MASTER, the second major competition at the 24th International STUTTGART GERMAN MASTERS Horse Show have to first compete against the jumping world’s crème de la crème in two qualifying events. Only the top twelve – or the top 13 this year as two were equal on points – in the preliminary competitions were given the chance to compete against one another in front of a 5,500 crowd in the well-filled Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle on Friday evening. The show down to find the “best of the best” was eventually won by Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Germany), whose efforts were richly rewarded with a brand new Mercedes-Benz GLK 280.
The 38-year-old initially mastered the demanding course set by the head designer, Ulliano Vezzani, when going clear on her 15-year-old gelding Shutterfly in 61.01 seconds. Their top form continued in the jump-off when they again went clear in a time of 40.07. Behind Michaels-Beerbaum in second place was the American Kate Levy, whose faultless round in 40.96 seconds on Vent du Nord earned her 16,000 euro prize money. Third was the Olympic Games silver medal winner, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Casall La Silla.
“I’m still speechless. Meredith produced an extraordinary performance, said Gotthilf Riexinger, the director of the horse show. “My congratulations and I’d also like to pay my compliments to the horse, which has already been so successful here in Stuttgart.” The newly crowned winner of the MERCEDES-GERMAN-MASTER returned the praise: “Thanks very much for organising such a fantastic competition. It’s one of the best in show jumping.“ Her target was to qualify for the final and after triumphing twice in the Grand Prix (2006 and 2007) she said, “This time it just had to be the GERMAN MASTER.“ She will also be saddling up here gelding on Sunday: “Shutterfly loves Stuttgart.“
Hans-Michael Huber, the Managing Director of the Mercedes-Benz Dealership in Stuttgart, was also excited: “It was marvellous the way the atmosphere in the arena became so electric when she was riding. We’re, as we are every year, entirely satisfied. It’s simply our show.”