Ingrid Klimke was on hand to receive her cheque for $US40,000 in the main arena at the Burghley Horse Trials for winning the FEI Classics series.
Klimke, 47, became the first German rider to win the FEI Classics since the series began in 2008.
Burghley winner Michael Jung finished second in the rankings, taking home another $US30,000 in prizemoney, with New Zealand’s Jonelle Price third.
“I didn’t plan this or expect to win it,” said a delighted Klimke after receiving her cheque. “Now it seems that Germans are able to win CCI4*s! Chris Bartle [our trainer] makes us go all over the world and that gives us confidence. It’s great to win extra money like this, which will go straight back into my horses and therefore into the sport.”
Klimke clinched the series after winning at Pau in 2014 (Horseware Hale Bob) and Luhmühlen this year on FRH Escada JS, and finishing second (on Horseware Hale Bob) at Badminton.
Series runner-up Michael Jung won Kentucky on FischerRocana FST, and was third at Luhmühlen and first at Burghley on La Biosthetique Sam. Jonelle Price was fourth at Pau and second at Luhmühlen (Faerie Dianimo) and fifth at Burghley (Classic Moet). Her husband Tim was second at Kentucky (Wesko) and second at Burghley (Ringwood Sky Boy).
Klimke is enjoying her most successful season in a long and distinguished international career. The daughter of the late Dr Reiner Klimke, one of the most decorated dressage riders in history, Klimke’s “day job” is producing dressage horses but she has been a key member of the German Eventing squad since 1999.
With her first top horse, Sleep Late, she represented Germany at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, won European team and individual bronze medals in 2005 and world team gold in 2006, and set a German record when second at Badminton in 2006.
With FRH Butts Abraxxas, she won Olympic team gold in 2008 and 2012, plus European team gold in 2011, and was fourth at Burghley in 2013. Riding FRH Escada JS, she won European team gold and individual silver medals in 2013 and world team gold in 2014.
Klimke, who is based in Münster, Germany, is married to Andreas and has two daughters, Greta and Philippa. She is in great demand as a trainer and has written books on riding.
FEI Classics 2014/2015 Final Leaderboard
1 Ingrid Klimke (GER) 42 points USD 40,000 (FEI Classics Series champion)
2 Michael Jung (GER) 40 USD 30,000
3 Jonelle Price (NZL) 26 USD 20,000
4 Tim Price (NZL) 24 USD 10,000
5 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 24
6 Mark Todd (NZL) 19
7 Jessica Manson (AUS) 15
8 Andreas Dibowski (GER) 12
9 Megan Jones (AUS) 12
10 Jock Paget (NZL) 10