Tag Archives: Michael Klimke

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
+41 78 750 61 46

Michael Klimke Claims 3* Freestyle on Youngest Horse in the Class at AGDF

Michael Klimke (GER) on Domino 957. © SusanJStickle.com.

Germany’s Michael Klimke laid down 74.110% to claim the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Beatrice Marienau Dressage, on Friday, January 28, of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). Partnered with Domino 957, Uwe Kappel’s mare by Den Haag, Klimke was untouchable, edging out the previous day’s grand prix winners Benjamin Ebeling (USA) and Indeed. Ben’s father Jan Ebeling (USA) finished third with 73.14% on Bellena.

At 10 years old, Klimke’s ride Domino 957 was the youngest horse in the class and competing at her first CDI at big tour level. She contested small tour classes at AGDF in 2021, but this marked her first international win. The pair was awarded a high score of 75.875%.

“Yesterday in the grand prix she wasn’t too hot in the piaffe, which is normally her highlight,” said Klimke. “I’ve been long enough in the sport of the training of young horses up to grand prix that I don’t get completely crazy tonight because my horse won the freestyle. I’m super happy about the whole circuit, and thankful to the organizers, to everybody, that makes it happen.”

Paula Matute Guimón Caps Career-Defining Week to Win Freestyle under Lights

Spanish rider Paula Matute Guimón pulled off the biggest win of her career, piloting her own and Julie McAllister’s 14-year-old Delagronge to the blue ribbon in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, presented by U.S. P.R.E. Association. The second “Friday Night Stars” evening freestyle at AGDF also provided a personal best for Matute Guimón and the De Niro stallion of 74.480%.

It was an international podium, with Germany’s Christoph Koschel finishing runner-up on the striking grey Lusitano Favorito 11 (71.670%) and Mikala Münter (USA) filling third on Salsa Hit with 71.425%.

“I honestly didn’t expect those results,” said the 26-year-old Matute Guimón. “The victory is amazing, but I want to keep improving. Winning is a very nice reward, and it means a lot. Of course, we all like the color blue, but I wasn’t expecting it. I have great competitors next to me, who work very hard. I’m super happy, and I’m going to remember this week forever.”

This was Matute Guimón’s first four-star freestyle win.

“This freestyle [music] used to belong to my brother with Don Diego and I took over, and I think now I can say that it’s mine,” she added. “The horse was a little bit challenging today, but we still made it happen.

“This win means a lot to me,” continued Matute Guimón. “It’s been many years watching from the outside trying to figure out what it takes to come back, so I really am enjoying every second of this. I’m so happy, so grateful to the team behind me, the owners for believing in me, for believing in us, and for making this dream come true.”

Judge Janet Foy said: “Paula and I spoke last month at a CDI, and she had a little issue with some of her choreography. I was thrilled that tonight she came back after a big disappointment there and fixed it, rode beautifully, and did a great job.

“The quality of the horses keeps getting more and more amazing at this circuit,” she continued. “I’m really looking forward to judging the five-star and seeing how these horses are progressing through the season. There are world-class horses, and we have world-class riders here as well. To have the Friday nights again is very, very special.”

Runner-up Christoph Koschel found his horse, Favorito 11, during a clinic in Portugal.

“I train a few team riders from Portugal, and I found him there,” explained Koschel, who rode to music from “Peter and the Wolf.” “The guys said his head is a little too big, so they didn’t want to have him. I said I’d always wanted a Lusitano. It was just for fun, and I wanted to see where I can get to, and so I bought him when he was five, and now we’re in the international ring.

“He was a little scared under the lights in the canter tonight,” added Koschel, who explained that the horse was due to make his CDI debut last year, but it was delayed due to white line disease in his hoof which took a year to clear up. “It’s really his first time away from home, but I was really happy with my ride.”

Mikala Münter was delighted to be back on a grand prix podium.

“It’s just amazing to be back; it’s been many years,” said Münter, referring to the stellar career of her former top ride, My Lady. “I got Salsa Hit in training, and nobody ever thought he was going to make it to this level. He was very spicy. A lot of people have seen me fly around the show grounds with this horse over the years, so I’m thrilled that he can keep it all together and he’s made it to this level. And I’m sure he’s going to get even better once I get everything cleaned up.”

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

AGDF Wraps Up Week 1 with a Win for Michael Klimke and Harmony’s Diabolo

Klimke riding his Freestyle with Harmony’s Diabolo. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) finished its first week of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL with a win for Michael Klimke (GER) and Harmony’s Diabolo in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition.

Klimke and Harmony’s Diabolo, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Desparadis owned by Harmony Sporthorses, won with a score of 73.425%.

Klimke said, “I was very happy today, actually all three days, with Harmony’s Diabolo. I’ve had him since he was six, and I really think his highlight is [strength mentally, with] the nerves; he’s totally rideable. The gaits are good, and the highlight at the end is his availability for piaffe and pirouettes. He can really sit.”

Looking forward, Klimke said that “[his] plan with Harmony’s Diabolo is he goes another small tour in two weeks, then I take a break, and then I will ride him in Intermediate II.”

After AGDF, Klimke returns to his hometown of Münster, Germany, “the capital of the Westphalian Horses.” “My aim is when I come back to Germany to see that he goes in the Young Developing Grand Prix. He’s ready for it,” he said.

Klimke commented, “[Diabolo] is really one of the few horses I’ve had in my life that is in the ring exactly the same ride outside. When you make no mistakes, he makes no mistakes.”

Earlier in the day Ashley Holzer (USA) and Valentine, a nine-year-old Oldenburg mare (by Sir Donnerhall) owned by Holzer, won the FEI Intermediate I CDI1* with a score of 70.588%.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Laura Graves and Verdades Open 2019 Adequan Global Dressage Festival with Victory

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 10, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) started with its first day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), in Wellington, FL, on Thursday with a win for Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades in the FEI Grand Prix CDIW, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services. The first week at AGDF, the Lloyd Landkamer Memorial, features CDI-W competition from January 10-12.

Laura Graves (USA) won the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W with a score of 80.065%. Graves rode her own mount, Verdades, a 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Florett AS.

Graves said that her ride was “a good way to put the first show into perspective after we haven’t been out since the [World Equestrian Games] was called off before the freestyle, so it’s been quite a bit since we’ve been in the arena. It always feels like, ‘Okay, we still know what we’re doing.’” She remarked, “He obviously still has a ton of gas in the tank. I’m really, really excited with how today went.”

Her favorite part of her ride was that Verdades “saved [her] today in the zig zag.” She continued, “I poked him on five and he said, ‘Mom, you gotta wait for 6.’ And so I was just really lucky that he saved me there and it’s nice to know that you can count on a horse like that.

“He gets even more electric here than he does at any other huge venue in the world,” said the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon (WEG) silver medalist. “We want to see more relaxation in his free walk because we lose some points there when he has such a good walk in the school. And again, just tidying things up so my transitions are on time so I can really feel safe to push.”

Graves and Verdades will be debuting their new freestyle created for WEG on Friday evening.

Michael Klimke (GER) started off the season by winning the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI3*, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition with a score of 70.265%. Klimke rode Harmony’s Diabolo, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Desparadis owned by Harmony Sporthorses.

Klimke also won the FEI Grand Prix CDI3*, presented by MTICA Farm with a score of 68.435%. Klimke rode his own mount, Royal Dancer 33, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Royal Blend.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.