Jaws dropped as German showjumper Richard Vogel and the huge-striding stallion United Touch S soared to victory in the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier at the Stuttgart German Masters on Sunday, 13 November.
The 25-year-old describes his 10-year-old stallion United Touch S as having “probably one of the biggest strides in the world” and, as you can see, the stallion skitters round the arena almost spider-like to post a breathtaking winning performance.
“He’s a very brave horse, he always tries his best for the rider and has a lot of scope and is not spooky at all so I knew I could turn very tight to the wall,” said Richard of his winning jump-off round.
But most impressive is the pair’s sensational run between fence one and two.
“I did it in six strides, which a few colleagues said was not possible, but he has probably one of the biggest strides in the world!” said Richard, who wowed his home crowd by soaring home a whopping 1.5sec quicker than a stellar field of 12 rivals, including his nearest challengers Steve Guerdat (Dynamix De Belheme), Denis Lynch (Brooklyn Heights) and Henrik von Eckermann on Iliana.
Remarkably, this was both Richard and the enormous-striding stallion’s World Cup debut – and only their fourth show together.
“I tried just to pretend it was like any other class and do everything the same,” said Richard of jumping in at the deep end with United Touch S, who was bred in Germany by the stallion Untouched out of a Lux Z mare, and was previously ridden by Dutch showjumpers Bart Bles and Willem Greve.
Richard is based just north of Frankfurt on the same yard as leading German rider David Will, along with his girlfriend Sophie Hinners. He was originally intending to take his horses to America this week, so winning the fifth leg of the 2022/23 Western European League in Stuttgart may have thrown those plans in the air.
“I was very last-minute getting in here [entry to Stuttgart] so I was already very happy just to get the chance to ride in one World Cup qualifier but I never planned to do a whole season,” explained Richard. “Now we have to see if I keep one or two horses here in Europe and try to do one or two more shows – I just don’t know yet. First we go home, get settled and we’ll take it from there!”
Watch this space – Richard Vogel and the breathtaking stallion United Touch S have wowed us once and are certainly ones to keep an eye on!
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