Frederic Wandres (GER) on Harrods 3. ©SusanJStickle.
Wellington, FL – January 16, 2022 – The first week of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, Florida wrapped up on Sunday, January 16, with the opening qualifiers of the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series under brooding skies. Both classes aim to identify and nurture talented, up-and-coming young horses. Grand finals for both classes will be held during AGDF 11.
Germany’s Frederic Wandres capped a week already replete with winner’s sashes — both courtesy of his Grand Prix horse Bluetooth OLD — with victory in the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series competing in the FEI Intermediate II test. He rode the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding Harrods 3 to 74.352%.
Wandres, who successfully competed Harrods at last year’s AGDF in Prix St. Georges, said: “I felt already last year that there is so much talent in him, and we just have to bring it into the arena now, which is sometimes not that easy. At home you feel what your horse can do, but to bring it inside is something else. But I’m super happy with him and he feels fantastic.
“For competing in the Intermediate II, you have to train all of the exercises step by step,” he continued. “Then you have to bring it all together, like a puzzle, and connect it. The piaffe-passage, the whole pirouettes, and the changes, that takes so much energy out of the horses — more than you expect sometimes. You have to do it step by step over the winter and then try to bring it together. The horse is getting more power by doing it.”
With threatening skies that would open up at the conclusion of competition, Wandres was confident that Harrods would be solid no matter what.
“He can handle nearly all kinds of weather. I thought the connection of the whole test was good. I had a small mistake in the two tempis, but that can happen to a young horse. I felt he was in front of me and willing to do everything,” added Wandres, who praised the Hochadel gelding’s good temperament. “I love him, and I think he’s exactly where he has to be.”
Kelly Layne (AUS) filled the runner-up spot with a 72.381% test on Ellen Trouillé’s 10-year-old Foundation gelding, Fernando. She went one better in the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges class, winning it from last draw with 67.734% on the nine-year-old Safira 66. The mare is another owned by Trouillé, who bought her at the Hanoverian auction in Germany.
“She’s always been scared about things on the ground and nervous even of the rider, so you have to be really careful,” explained Layne, who competed Samhitas at the Tokyo Olympic Games. “Safira is super sensitive to ride, and you have to be gentle. I just coaxed her round out there today to give her a good experience, and I’m thrilled that we are the winners. It wasn’t really expected, but I think that’s the quality of horse I’m sitting on. I can’t believe in my life that I get to sit on a horse like that. She’s like flying a kite, and it feels like you’re going to lift off any second.”
For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.