Category Archives: Dressage

The Discipline of Riding Dressage

Rodolpho Riskalla: “You can do the job even if you’re disabled”

Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA) riding Don Henrico at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (© FEI/Liz Gregg)

The April edition of The Para Equestrian Digest is now out!

This month, Paralympic & World Championship medallist Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA) provides his views of what businesses can do to provide a more inclusive environment for people with disabilities.

About The Para Equestrian Digest

The FEI launched The Para Equestrian Digest in February 2022.  The online magazine was created for Para Equestrian athletes and the people connected to the sport so they can share – in their own words – their personal experiences and disability stories. Every month, the Digest will put the spotlight on an athlete or project in Para Equestrian sport with the aim of improving disability awareness and inclusion.

Previous editions of The Para Equestrian Digest: https://www.fei.org/stories/lifestyle/my-equestrian-life/para-equestrian-digest

March 2022: US Paralympian and 2021 FEI Against All Odds Award winner Beatrice De Lavalette talks about mental health and how she coped with losing both her legs in the airport terrorist attack in Brussels (BEL) on 22 March 2016.

February 2022: Five-time Paralympic gold medallist and two-time European Para Dressage champion Natasha Baker (MBE, OBE) talks about ableism and what can be done to change people’s attitudes towards disability.

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Von Bredow-Werndl and Dalera Triumph, while Werth Retires Weihegold in Style

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

There’s nothing like a big win on home ground, but there’s also nothing like retiring a superstar horse in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd, so the Freestyle finale had it all when Jessica von Bredow-Werndl steered Dalera to victory at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final 2022 where the sport said a rousing farewell to Isabell Werth’s great mare, Weihegold OLD.

The Leipzig Messe was electric with excitement all night, and some of the equine stars shrank under the intensity of the noisy atmosphere during the first half of the competition.

But when it came down to the wire the big names really rose to the occasion, and it was Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour who lined up second with her new young star Vamos Amigos, while Werth and Weihegold finished third.

Raised the bar

Werth raised the bar when putting a score of 85.921 on the board when fifth-last to go in the field of 17, Weihegold producing a stunning test that was full of energy and beautifully ridden by the lady long known as “The Queen” of dressage. The knowledgeable crowd was with them every step of the way, knowing that this was their last performance together as the mare was to be retired. When they came to a halt, the crowd rose to their feet with an enormous roar to acknowledge them.

Team gold and individual silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, European team gold in 2017, three FEI Dressage World Cup™ titles in a row including the last one in 2019, and team gold at last year’s European Championships in Hagen (GER) amongst their many achievements – their record has been extraordinary.

Denmark’s Nanna Skodborg Merrald followed with an impressive performance from the big-moving Atterupgaards Orthilia, who posted 81.239 for second place temporarily; next in was her compatriot, Carina Cassøe Krüth, whose ride on the light-footed, loose-limbed Heiline’s Danciera included fearlessly forward one-tempi changes. The crowd held their breath until the scoreboard showed 84.971 – Werth was still out in front.

Looked threatening

However, the last of the Danes had yet to come, and Cathrine Dufour always looked threatening when steering Vamos Amigo through a brilliant test, although clearly she wasn’t pushing the 10-year-old to the limit in extended canter. It was no wonder because, as she said afterwards, “He was a bomb today for sure!” He certainly looked explosive but contained himself to the very end and, once his rider relaxed the rein, wandered out the arena like he’d heard a crowd like this a million times. He certainly hasn’t though.

“He’s never been in a ring as full as this before; he was really brave today!” Dufour said with delight.

But the story certainly wasn’t over yet because the lady who has dominated the podiums at both the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the European Championships last summer was yet to take her turn.

Crest of a wave

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl arrived in Leipzig for this week’s Final on the crest of a wave but, as she pointed out, a little “rounder” than usual because she is expecting her second baby to arrive in a few months’ time. However, the little bit of extra weight wasn’t bothering Dalera as the pair executed yet another exquisite test that demonstrated the delightful harmony between these two.

The balance, rhythm, accuracy, and lightness, and the drama of their tempi changes all came together to present the loveliest picture, and as they pranced up the final centreline, it was clear the result was done and dusted. When their score of 90.836 was announced the crowd erupted yet again.

Winner von Bredow-Werndl said afterwards, “I just wanted to come here and of course it was my goal to show what we have shown the last couple of months, but it couldn’t have been better to take a little break now and come back soon!”

Dufour joked that she shouldn’t rush returning to the sport after her baby arrives – “Just stay away for a while!” she suggested with an enormous laugh.

The Danes had every reason to be on a high, Dufour filling second spot, Cassøe Krüth finishing fourth, and Skodborg Merrald lining up in fifth place, while Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg had to settle for sixth. It was a show of mighty strength from Denmark, and it’s a real shot in the arm ahead of this summer’s World Dressage Championships on their home ground in Herning in four months’ time.

Really fantastic

“It’s really fantastic to see how the system in Denmark has gone so well over last four or five years, and you clearly see what has been produced – riders bringing young horses to the top; the two girls that are here are really cool and they can perform under pressure, myself included, and of course we love to put pressure on the girls sitting here!” she said, looking at Werth and von Bredow-Werndl.

“But there is still some way to go; we saw that in 2020 suddenly things change, so for now we are going to keep the horses sharp, try to make a good plan, and then really just enjoy that the Championship is going to be on Danish soil. That is quite fantastic in itself, and we are looking forward to inviting everyone for a great battle and great sport,” Dufour added.

When asked about the Ukrainian flag she had pinned to her tailcoat, she explained, “There is an awful situation going on right now, so I’m wearing it to show support to the people affected by this crazy war.” Newly-crowned champion, von Bredow-Werndl, leaned forward in agreement and added, “We all carry that flag in our hearts.”

Flowing again

After the prizegiving, the emotions were flowing again when Werth and Weihegold entered the arena for the mare’s retirement ceremony. “When you are in a competition you are focused on that, and of course the last line (of their Freestyle) was also quite emotional and when they gave Weihe the standing ovation that was very great. But to go in with the team of people who have been around for the last seven or eight years – that was really emotional, to feel the atmosphere,” Werth said. However, she felt it was the perfect send-off in the end. “It was what you wish for a horse like her, to give her the last honour – it was just super!” she added.

Meanwhile, von Bredow-Werndl reflected on the performance from Dalera that made success possible. “There are no words! She was phenomenal – she always leaves her heart for me in that square (in the arena), and it is not natural at all, and at the same time she does it again and again. I have the feeling even now that we are not yet at the end of our journey together!” said the athlete who believes her mare has even more room for improvement, and who became the sixth German athlete to win the coveted FEI Dressage World Cup™ trophy since the first Final took place back in 1986.

Result here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Short Grand Prix Win Goes to Dalera and von Bredow-Werndl

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

It was no surprise when the reigning Olympic and European gold medallists, 36-year-old Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and her 15-year-old mare TSF Dalera BB, strutted their way into pole position in the Short Grand Prix when the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final 2022 got underway in Leipzig, Germany.

Drawn in prime last-to-go position, the German duo soared ahead of the opposition to post a score of 84.793, pinning Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Vamos Amigos into second place and their German counterparts and defending three-time champions Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD into third.

A strong test from Denmark’s Nanna Skodberg Merrald and the 17-year-old Atterupgaards Orthilia put them top of the leaderboard on a score of 75.752 when fourth to go, and that proved unbeatable until Werth posted 79.756 to go out in front when twelfth into the arena.

But then Dufour broke the 80 percent barrier with a great performance from the 10-year-old Vamos Amigos to put 80.019 on the board, only for von Bredow-Werndl to deny her the top step of the podium with her winning ride.

Freestyle

It’s now down to Saturday night’s Freestyle to decide the fate of the 2022 FEI Dressage World Cup™ title, and for Werth, this entire week is filled with emotion because her great mare will be officially retired that evening in a special ceremony. She couldn’t hold back the tears in her post-competition TV interview.

There was emotion for von Bredow-Werndl too. “As you know, I’m six months pregnant and I feel super fit and so does Dalera, but from a sporting point of view it’s a little bit sad because this is my last big competition before a break,” said the rider who has swept all before her over the last ten months.

Dufour was elated with the result she achieved from her relatively young horse. “I was surprised and super happy with his performance. He was really on fire in the ring and the audience started clapping in the first extension, and I thought, ‘No!’ because he had legs everywhere! But he’s only done a few indoor shows so the fact that he kept his mind in the right place and performed like he did today – that is really fantastic!” she said.

In the shadow

When asked if her Olympic ride, Bohemian, might find himself in the shadow of this new young star, Dufour laughed and said, “No, you don’t know how big Bohemian’s ego is!  Of course, Vamos has plenty of quality and there is way more in him, but Bohemian has more experience so far and I feel very lucky I have two horses that are currently ready for a team position – obviously with the World Championships coming up in Denmark. And I also enjoy every competition because you never know what happens,” she pointed out wisely.

Werth said she was pleased and proud of her great mare. “She did a super job, just a little mistake. I think a one-tempi was a bit short in the beginning; she was so focused and especially the highlights were piaffe/passage and the pirouettes were really good. So I’m just happy and looking forward to Saturday and it’s a pleasure for me to present her in that way. She’s done so many great competitions; from the beginning to the end she always tries to give her best and that makes her a very special horse,” she said.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead to Saturday’s Freestyle, von Bredow-Werndl said she loves her current one “and I think Dalera does too; she feels the rhythm, she knows it’s her music, and maybe that gives her even more confidence.”

It still feels like she’s improving and always giving 100% and when there are mistakes it’s because of me. She’s always on fire and always willing to do her very best.”

Dufour said she is “borrowing bits and pieces from Bohemian’s Olympic Freestyle and since I’ve only done two World Cups, I haven’t had time to make one of his very own (for Vamos Amigos). So I’ve stolen the music and played with the choreography. It’s a super high degree of difficulty, and I think the music suits really well and it tells a story about my life at the moment. I feel like I’m living the dream back home and I just enjoy every day with the horses, and I think the music sums it up really well. It’s a really powerful Freestyle and I’m just excited to ride it. He’s still young and it’s my first World Cup Final, so I’m just here to enjoy it and have fun!” she explained.

Werth is determined that Weihegold will go out in style on Saturday night.

“I hope we can show a very good test like she deserves, and it will be pleasure to be here with a loud crowd in a competition. I think it’s just great to retire her not in an empty arena; she really deserves this atmosphere, so I’m really looking forward to it and I will try to enjoy it. And of course, I have the pressure of showing her as best as possible, more than ever before because it is the last one!”

Result here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ellesse Gundersen and Kevin Kohmann Close Out 2022 AGDF National Competition with Wins

Ellesse Gundersen and Quintessential. ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – April 3, 2022 – While CDI competition for the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded last week, March 27, AGDF celebrated its official final week with exciting national competition on Friday, April 1, to Sunday, April 3. On Friday, Ellesse Gundersen (PHI) and Quintessential strutted to the top of the FEI Prix St. Georges test, and Kevin Kohmann (USA) was victorious with Five Star in the FEI Intermediate II test.

Friday’s win marks Quintessential’s first blue ribbon. While the eight-year-old has earned some other big scores this season, his 69.264% in the FEI Prix St. Georges class was enough to come out ahead of the 13-horse field.

Kevin Kohmann has had the ride on Five Star for two years. Last year they had an extremely successful season and won numerous classes, but this year Kohmann has kept Five Star under wraps to finish training for the grand prix level.

“He is the smartest horse I have ever worked with. He’s such a gentleman that he’s able to go in the ring both for me and his owner, Olga Hartsock,” remarked Kohmann of the 12-year-old KWPN stallion by Amazing Sea x Jazz.

For Five Star’s first appearance this year, Kohmann was pleased with their score of 70.587% in the FEI Intermediate II.

In Friday’s FEI Grand Prix Class, Jennifer Williams (USA) piloted Quarterline (Quarterline x Sir Donnerhall I) to 71.032% to top the leaderboard of seven other competitors. Oded Shimoni’s 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding’s test got stronger as it went, scoring eights from both judges in the changes, as well as picking up eights in the pirouettes.

Second place went to Roxanne Christenson (USA), who rode her own San Sation, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding by San City x Baroncelli, to an overall percentage of 68.804%, scoring eights in the canter tour.

Sunday’s FEI Intermediate II class saw Natalie Pai (USA) victorious with Melanie Pai’s Utopie D’Ouilly (Quite Easy x Narcos II). Pai’s test with the 14-year-old Selle Français mare was also one that improved throughout, notching several eights in the second half to finish just under 70% at 69.999%.

It was the second blue ribbon in as many days for Pai, who also was the winner of Saturday’s FEI or Equivalent Test of Choice with Inspiration PF (nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Everdale x Calido I) for their USEF FEI Prix St. Georges test scoring 65.661%.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Jennifer Williams and Joppe K Wins Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series

Jennifer Williams (USA) and Joppe K ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 27, 2022 – International action for the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) 2022 season wrapped up on Sunday, March 27. The grand champions were crowned in both the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series.

Joppe K’s considerable talents came to fruition in the grand final of the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series, which he won with 70.052% under the saddle of Jennifer Williams (USA). The horse has an exceptional competition trajectory, having won both the six- and seven-year-old young horse finals at Wellington in 2020 and 2021.

These classes aim to identify and nurture talented, up-and-coming young FEI horses, giving them exposure to benefit their development with the biggest of world stages in mind. Williams and the eight-year-old KWPN gelding by Harmony’s Rousseau had only qualified a week earlier for the final, earning their ticket at the last opportunity.

Australian Olympian Kelly Layne and Fernando, who qualified via a win in AGDF 3, claimed second place with 68.815%. Layne has been riding Ellen Trouillé’s 10-year-old gelding, by Foundation x Sandro Hit, since he was five. Alice Tarjan rounded out her busy season by taking third place on her own eight-year-old mare Jane, by Desperado NOP. Jane and Joppe K were the youngest horses in the class.

A tactical decision not to contest the previous day’s warm-up class at Intermediate II level with Joppe K paid off. The horse had been competing in CDIs at small tour until just last month.

“Because the I-2 was the warm-up and the day before the class, and there’s the halt at X [instead of at G, as in the Grand Prix, on the final center line], I decided that wasn’t wise for him, because we did his first grand prix on Thursday and I learned that he wanted to halt at X,” explained Williams. “We had to talk about that, and today he was not thinking halt.”

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén of class sponsor Lövsta said: “The thought with the Lövsta Future Challenge is to give the young horses this possibility to get into the international arena with the best judges and with the kind of different atmosphere than a smaller show. They are inexperienced, young horses, and it’s okay if there are mistakes here and there, because it should be educational. It’s not already five-star top grand prix; it’s young horse grand prix. And it should be that quality is the most important part.”

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Christoph Koschel Reigns Supreme on New Ride in Final Grand Prix Special of AGDF

Christoph Koschel on Dünensee. ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2022 – The culmination of top-level international action in the final week of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) season came in the form of Saturday’s showcase class: the Grand Prix Special CDI4*, presented by The Dutta Corp. On the penultimate day of the final CDI week, Christoph Koschel (GER) claimed the richest purse of the day, scooping the blue ribbon thanks to a 69.957% victory on Dünensee.

Susan Dutta (USA) logged 69.255% for second place on her and her husband Tim’s Don Design DC, a 12-year-old gelding by Der Designer. Naïma Moreira Laliberté (CAN) added to her already lucrative week with a 68.915% third-place finish on Statesman, KML Inc’s 15-year-old Sandro Hit gelding.

“I had a super nice feeling today, and he was really light in my hand,” said Koschel of Dünensee, Diamante Farms’ 13-year-old Dancier gelding. “There was one mistake on the centerline in the ones that was maybe a little bit my fault; I was a little too forward, and it’s always a little bit of a risk if you want to do it too nice. We’re at the end of the season and maybe you don’t have the same energy like the first CDI, but I was super happy because he was really fighting for me in there still.”

Koschel has been riding Dünensee for less than four months and he is for sale, so his competitive future remains undecided.

“He was pretty consistent today, maybe a little lighter in everything [compared to the Grand Prix],” added Koschel. “He really lets me ride now, and then we grow more and more together. It’s now our second special and maybe fifth or sixth test together.”

Valentine Delivers Sweet Results for Holzer

Ashley Holzer (USA) made it two wins from two starts this week with Valentine, topping the Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Adequan®, just a day after winning the qualifying Grand Prix. These were the pair’s first international grand prix wins. Last to go of the 13 starters, Holzer produced a test worthy of plenty of eights, finishing with a final score of 72.17%. She relegated Katie Duerrhammer (USA) and Paxton, who scored 70.255%, to second place. Laurence Vanommeslaghe (BEL) finished third, riding Havalon to 70.106%.

Of her own 12-year-old mare by Sir Donnerhall I, Holzer said: “I was honestly really thrilled with her, because all of the hard stuff she did really well. The mistakes were little glitches of miscommunication, but that’s a long test and when she passages as high as she passages, it takes a lot out of her. On that last centerline she really was so honest for me. She’s green; she hasn’t done this test a lot and I’ve had issues with her being very spooky and getting nervous.”

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Adrienne Lyle Makes History Riding Salvino To Highest-Ever AGDF Score

Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Salvino ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2022 – In the final “Friday Night Stars” of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) season, Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Salvino pulled out a sensational performance under lights to post an 85.58% win in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

It was a new career high for the pair, who were on the silver medal-winning U.S. team at the Tokyo Olympics, and the highest score ever recorded in the history of the AGDF. The previous highest of 84.975% was set by Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades in March 2018.

The ride came just a day after Lyle and Salvino, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 15-year-old stallion by Sandro Hit, posted the highest Grand Prix score by any American combination since last year’s Olympic Games. In second place came another stallion and another personal best: Sarah Tubman (USA) rode First Apple, Summit Farm’s 12-year-old by Vivaldi to 78.205%. Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In — who represented Canada in Tokyo — filled third with 77.01%.

Lyle, who scored two tens for piaffe and another for music, said: “It was hands down the best feeling I’ve ever had in the ring in my life. Salvino just feels unbelievable. This is such a fun place to show. The crowd’s amazing and enthusiastic. The competition was super tonight; it was a magical evening.”

Tubman heard the crowd clapping along on her final center line and was reduced to happy tears about her performance with First Apple.

“That’s an amazing feeling,” said the 33-year-old Tubman, who rode First Apple to individual gold and team silver medals with the U.S. Dressage team at the 2019 Pan American Games. “I haven’t shown at that many other places, but this is pretty addicting, and it’s really fun. We all work really hard, so it’s so cool to have the crowd help you, and to be [on the podium] with two Olympians.”

Fraser-Beaulieu, who is pregnant and due in August, was delighted with her own 17-year-old All In.

“He loves his job, and it seems like the older he gets, the more he loves it,” she said. “He keeps getting hotter, actually, not lazier. But every time he goes into the ring, he tries his best for me, and tonight I really enjoyed my freestyle. I thought in general his piaffe was so much better than it has been in the last few years.”

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Benjamin Ebeling Scores New Personal Best to Clinch Stillpoint Farm Grand Prix Freestyle

Benjamin Ebeling (USA) riding Indeed ©susanjstickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 20, 2022 – Week 10 of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) wrapped up on Sunday, March 20. The day featured the individual conclusion of the CDIO classes as well as the final qualifiers for both the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series. The Ebeling family had a red-letter day, with both father Jan and son Benjamin winning classes on horses bought from Jan Brink in Sweden.

Benjamin Ebeling (USA) rounded off a busy week of competition, scoring a new personal best and topping the leaderboard with a commanding 78.41% in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm. British Olympic judge Stephen Clarke awarded Ebeling and Indeed, Vantage Equestrian Group II LLC’s 14-year-old mare by Hofrat, over 80%. Katie Duerrhammer (USA) clinched second, riding Quartett to 75.09%, with Germany’s Michael Klimke third on Harmony’s Sanrino RHP (73.78%).

Ebeling, 23, said: “It’s been really awesome to watch Indeed develop, first, of course, under my dad, who did a fantastic job. These past couple of months have been serious development for her, and she continues to get better and impress me. I think she just loves being at the show; it’s her favorite thing, and she’s turning into a really consistent horse.”

Second-placed Katie Duerrhammer was full of praise for Quartett, Kylee Lourie’s 14-year-old gelding by Quaterback: “He’s a very consistent, reliable horse, and you can always count on him,” she said. “It’s the end of a very long, hot week, and he just went out there and tried as hard as he could and completed everything. The music was made for him by Terri Gallo, and it really fits him. I wanted something that was fun and upbeat. He’s just a really pleasant horse and makes you feel like you’re having a good time.”

Michael Klimke, who was part of the gold medal-winning German Nations Cup team, was riding Harmony’s Sanrino RHP, a 13-year-old stallion by San Remo in his first ever freestyle at the level. This was only their third big tour CDI together.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo Are as Good as Ever in Grand Prix Special

Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo © SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 19, 2022 – Week 10 of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) has been nonstop action, with Saturday’s competition being no exception. As one of the last combinations to go in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Iron Spring Farm, Charlotte Jorst (USA) and her longtime partner, Kastel’s Nintendo, did what they do best and strutted to the top spot with a score of 72.936%.

In a highly competitive field of 15 starting combinations for the Special, Anna Marek (USA) rode Janet Simile’s Fire Fly to a personal best 69.915% to rocket up the standings. Their score held up for quite a while until Alice Tarjan (USA) and her nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, Serenade MF (Sir Donnerhall I x Don Principe), laid down a stylish test for 70.872%.

Tarjan would have to settle for second and Marek for third as Jorst and “Nintendo” came triumphantly down their last centerline to applause from the crowd.

“I love my cheering section, and I love being out there,” expressed Jorst. “Especially at my age and because I started older, it’s a huge privilege to be able to do this at all, and then in addition to also to have someone actually admire what you do is unbelievable.”

Jorst’s 19-year-old KWPN stallion by Negro x Monaco seems to be turning back the clock, showing more and more exuberance. Even after a demanding Grand Prix Special test, Nintendo was still charged up for the awards ceremony.

“He was so on fire today! I gave him yesterday off and he just walked, so he was full of energy today. It was such a fun test, and it was just so incredible to ride him like that today,” enthused Jorst.

“In the test, I kept going and going, and he was always completely in front of my leg. He hasn’t been this energetic in I don’t know how long!” she laughed.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Germany Bests USA in FEI Dressage Nations Cup Thriller

Michael Klimke (GER) riding Harmony’s Sanrino RHP (FEI/Thierry Billet)

The opening leg of the 2022 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ series hinted at a competitive season to come, as defending series Champions Germany bested the United States by just over a percentage point in Wellington (USA).

Strong starts defined the weekend, as the opening day results from Michael Klimke (Harmony’s Sanrino RHP), Christoph Koschel (Dünensee), Lars Ligus (Soccer City), and Frederic Wandres (Dolciario) could not be caught by the American contingent, who were the first official series champions in 2016.

“Last year it was a really big surprise, and it motivated us for this year. We all had a top day yesterday, and today it got very close again,” said Michael Klimke (GER).

Klimke and Wandres each pulled weight for their team, with Klimke winning Thursday’s Grand Prix (72.652). Despite Big Tour combinations receiving a 1.5 percent boost to their scores, Small Tour combination Wandres and Dolciario gave Germany its best Day 2 score in winning the Intermediate I, receiving 73.176 from judges Stephen Clarke (GBR), Carlos Lopes (POR), Michael Osinski (USA), Mariette Sanders – van Gansewinkel (NED), and Knut Danzberg (GER).

“The team can only be successful if all of us are fighting until the end, and we really did that,” Wandres said. “[Dolciario] is just 8 years old, and this is his first CDI tour this season. I was already very happy yesterday, but today was his first Intermediate 1.”

Down to the wire

While Thursday’s results provided a slight cushion, the United States rallied strongly on Friday in the Grand Prix Special to keep the standings incredibly close. Twenty-two-year-old Ben Ebeling took won the deciding event — the Grand Prix Special — receiving 73.649 aboard Indeed, a mount he’s only campaigned since the beginning of the year. Beatrice Berktold (Imperial) won the Prix St. Geroges (72.441), adding a 72.676 score to finish second in the Intermediate I in her first senior Nations Cup.

“I think my teammates can be really happy with their rides. I’m certainly very happy with my ride,” Ebeling said.  “I love riding Indeed. I think it’s so much about my riding, but more about my coaching, from Christoph Koschel and also my dad Jan Ebeling, who did a fantastic job training this horse. I’m just lucky that I get to ride her. She’s got a lot of power in there and today you could really see it, and I really felt it. For me, that’s something that I’m really excited about.”

“I was not aware of how close it was. It was very exciting,” added Koschel, who finished second to his student in the Grand Prix Special. “There was team spirit, and I’m happy that we won. I have to say big congratulations today to Ben for winning the class; well done.”

With just three teams competing, Wellington’s leg will not offer series points. The FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ season will resume 05-08 May at Mariakalnok (HUN).

Full results here.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46