[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Hamburg Derby is considered the most difficult in the world, and the original course was designed by Eduard Pulvermann, a hunt rider. He was never able to jump the dyke without incurring faults, hence its name, ‘Pulvermann’s Grave’. The course is reminiscent of old military tests, when cavalry horses were required to negotiate all types of obstacles as they were ridden into battle. It was not until 1933 that anyone managed to jump a clear round, and the course has remained mostly unchanged for almost 100 years, challenging horse and rider combinations from around the world. It includes 17 obstacles, which require 26 jumping efforts, and at 1,230m long, takes about three minutes to complete. Some of the obstacles faced are:
open water with no border or ground line on either side apart from the tape.
- a devil’s dyke.
- two single rail uprights with nothing underneath, one stride apart.
- two solid table banks, two strides apart.
- the infamous Idee Klattee Wall: a double bank bounce up to a vertical at the top before sliding down the wall to a massive upright of planks one stride from the bottom
There have only been 150 clear rounds since the Derby was founded in 1920.
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