The CHIO Aachen for sure is one of the most special competitions we always look forward to.
Hop and Skip seemed to recognize the extraordinary surroundings when being unloaded from the lorry and seemed happy and excited to be back to compete in the German team in the Nations Cup.
After trotting fit and fresh at the trot up on Thursday he did a reasonable dressage test without major mistakes to be judged 46,4. In the show jumping he rolled one pole which was quite frustrating given the fact that he has not had a fence down in very long period of time.
The cross-country course designed by Rudiger Schwarz was going to be fair but very challenging with plenty of technical questions and skinny fences that asked us riders to think and concentrate from start to finish. Baxter jumped super safely and felt like he was enjoying every single stride whilst yet again making even the difficult fences feel easy. After picking up only 3,6 time penalties he moved up the leader board from place 24 into a good 10th in the final ranking and helped the team win the Nations Cup.
On Sunday morning he got his well deserved ticket for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy which will be his second World Games after having completed Kentucky in 2010 with his former rider Kenki Sato.
Massimo Argenziano, the father of Baxters groom Giulia, came to Aachen as a photographer and took these wonderful pictures.