Wellington, FL – January 19, 2013 – Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic added a brilliant victory in today’s Gold Coast Opener Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W to their win in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI-W, both at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. The pair of strong showings establishes them as top contenders in the World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach at Jim Brandon, which will take place January 24-26.
WDM will be far from a walkover, however. Kittel and Watermill Scandic will go up against many of the top-placed pairs from today’s competition, as well as an array of new challengers that includes Steffen Peters, Edward Gal, and Hans Peter Minderhoud. But Kittel and Scandic impressed both the judges and the crowd with their stirring freestyle routine.
They performed to an assortment of upbeat rock tunes, displaying impeccable passage transitions to “Hot in the City.” “I think it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in the piaffe/passage,” Kittel exclaimed. Although “Dancing with Myself” was also among the musical selections, Kittel and Scandic danced together in complete harmony through rhythmic one-tempis and a striking canter half-pass. The judges awarded them a score of 80.125%.
Wellington, FL – January 18, 2013 – Today’s Gold Coast Opener Grand Prix CDI-W showcased horses and riders preparing for next weekend’s World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach, and the WDM competitors certainly displayed their dominance. WDM entrants swept all six ribbons in the Grand Prix, with all but one riding the horses they will compete next weekend.
And if the results from today are a predictor, it seems that Sweden will be a force to be reckoned with. Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic posted 72.723% to steal the win at the last moment from fellow Swedish Olympic teammate Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven aboard Divertimento, whose 71.170% was the leading score until the final ride. At WDM, Kittel will try to duplicate today’s success on Watermill Scandic, while Vilhelmson-Silfven will switch to her Olympic mount, Don Auriello.
The chilly weather at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Wellington, site of both the Gold Coast Opener and WDM, had a few horses on edge in the warm-up, including Watermill Scandic. But most held it together once they entered the ring. Kittel was full of praise for the venue. “The whole place is lovely!” he exclaimed, adding that he would happily show there every weekend if it were “just a bit closer” to his home in Sweden.