HAGEN, Germany, April 25, 2019–Frederic Wandres of Germany and Duke of Britain won the Horse & Dreams CDI4* Grand Prix Thursday.
Frederic and the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding scored 73.848% for the win in the third start this year. Frederic rides the British-bred horse for Hof Kasselmann, organizer of Horses & Dreams that is the major competition launching Germany’s outdoor circuit. The pair had three first place finishes in 2018, including the World Cup Freestyle at the Christmastime London Olympia.
Sweden’s 2018 World Equestrian Games partnership of Patrik Kittel and Well Done de la Roche CMF placed second on 73.022 per cent.
Diederik van Silfhout of the Netherlands on Expression was third on a personal best 72.652%.
HAGEN, Germany, April 24, 2019–Germany’s Friederike Hahn and Die Fuerstin OLD posted a personal best score to win the CDI1* Prix St. Georges Wednesday.
Friederike and the nine-year-old Oldenburg mare that competed in the Nürnberger Burg-Pokal final, the German championship for developing Small Tour horses, scored 72.176% for the win that was the fourth in seven CDI starts over the past 14 months.
German team rider Hubertus Schmidt on Denoix Pch placed second on 71.647% and Finland’s Susanna Steinberg on Rhapsodie was third on 70.618%.
TRYON, North Carolina, April 22, 2019–Naima Moreira-Laliberté, one of the most successful ever North American Championships youth riders, brought a “wow!” factor to Tryon with her performances on Statesman in the CDI3* that was only the second Big Tour show for the 22-year-old Canadian rider.
Naima found it hard to believe the success with the 12-year-old Statesman in posting a Grand Prix Special score of 72.404% that was the second highest for any Canadian combination this year, critical for her nation that will be at the Pan American Games three months from now seeking to earn one of the two spots available for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“I think it was my best ride,” Naima said in an understatement that heard professionals watching the competition expressing amazement at the performance. “Wow!” was a frequent exclamation. One judge placed her first over U.S. Olympian Adrienne Lyle on Harmony’s Duval; the other four put her second.
“I still don’t realize what is going on,” she added, “I’m super happy. I think we have a good partnership; we get along.
“This is all new for me so it’s very stressful,” but she smiled as she said it, clearly enjoying the how well it went more than the score.
Statesman came to Naima just over a year ago from Jordi Domingo Coll of Spain who had competed the Sandro Hit-sired horse through the World Young Horse Championships to the Spanish team at the 2017 European Chamepionships, so was not a novice at top sport.
Naima had been a star in youth championships–leading her Quebec team to gold medals as a junior at the North American Championships in 2012 and 2013 as well as individual silver and bronze. In 2014, she moved up to the Young Rider division in the continental championship to earn team silver and in 2015 captured individual gold at the same level.
Like several youth riders in Canada she had flowered under the coaching of Albrecht Heidemann who has since returned home to Germany.
Ashley Holzer, the four-time Olympian for Canada who two years ago switched to ride for America and is now based in Wellington, Florida, took over coaching. Under Ashley’s tutelage, Naima got her feet wet with the newly acquired Statesman in Under-25 competition at the top European shows, the World Equestrian Festival at Aachen, Germany and at Rotterdam.
Then, like she had for years riding different horses through the levels, Naima went to Florida this year to make her senior Grand Prix debut on Statesman at the 12 weeks of the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida that attracts many international competitors.
On another of her horses, I Do Kiss, her Canadian Under-25 Nations Cup team won silver though she was first individually in the team competition and also won individual silver.
The inaugural Big Tour for Statesman was at the same Nations Cup event, barely a month ago.
The partnership showed promise from the outset–67.848% for seventh place in a starting lineup of 20 combinations in the Grand Prix then 71.128% and third place in the Special behind Adrienne Lyle and Duval and fellow Canadian Jill Irving on Degas for second.
The Tryon Special results are second highest for Canadians so far this year to Jill and Degas, who are currently the top ranked Grand Prix combination to go to the Pan Ams in Lima, Peru. Brittany Fraser and All In, the top ranked Canadian on the world standings truncated their season as Brittany is on a “baby” break. A Grand Prix partnership on the team is a requirement for Olympic qualification.
Naima is not unusual in being reluctant to state definite plans.
“We’re looking to gain more experience. I don’t know where this journey is going to take us, hopefully somewhere really good.
“We are hopefully trying…,” she began when asked about plans for Statesman this year. “No, no. I don’t want to jinx anything. Whenever we make plans, plans don’t happen. So I’m just going with the flow at this point, wherever it takes us.”
But when pressed about the Pan Ams, she said, “Yeah, I’m hoping to be able to go. After that, making a decision about what’s best for my horse.
“Obviously, my heart is for next year.”
Naima and her horses are heading back to home base in Montreal, where Brittany Fraser also has her horses in the same barn, and helps her out with eyes on the ground. She’s also looking into live streaming options so she can get coaching from Ashley, similar to the online training Lars Petersen conducts regularly from his Wellington base for the Blue Hors riders in Denmark.
She describes Statesman as having a “great grandmother” personality.
“He eats outside his stall because he wants to look at everything,” she said. “If he’s not happy he makes this funny face to let you know. He’s the great grandma, the matriach.
“He’s a bit nosy, but super sweet.”
Naima is planning her equestrian career for the long term.
She recently bought Jaliska, a five-year-old KWPN mare (All at Once x Kigali) that Alice Tarjan of Frenchtown, New Jersey imported from Holland in October, 2017.
Alice, highly regarded as finding young horses and developing them toward top sport, showed Jaliska in a handful of national competitions last year.
Naima describes Jaliska as a “super character, such a sweet horse, super cuddly.”
“I’m lucky now because I had naughty horses growing up, now I know what I don’t want,” she said referring to the engaging and personable behavior of both Statesman and Jaliska.
“I’m looking forward to the journey with Jaliska. She is totally green. It’s a fresh start. Ash (Holzer) and I have the goal to teach her and compete… see where that takes us. I’m excited about her.”
TRYON, North Carolina, April 21, 2019–Adrienne Lyle on Harmony’s Duval won the CDI3* Grand Prix Special Sunday for the second victory for the U.S. team rider at the Tryon Spring Dressage before taking the American-bred gelding to Europe for the first time.
Adrienne and Duval, an 11-year-old gray KWPN scored 73,851% in the fourth Special since beginning Big Tour competition at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida in February. The combination won the Grand Prix Friday with a personal best score. The duo had competed at Small Tour in 2017.
Canada’s Naima Moreira Laliberte and Statesman placed second on 72.404% in only the fourth start since beginning Big Tour a month ago following a European circuit in the Under-25 division last summer. The horse had previously been competed by Jordi Domingo Coll of Spain through the World Young Horse Championships to the 2017 European Championships. (see separate story to come).
Jill Irving, also of Canada, and Degas were third on 69.596%.
Adrienne, 34 years old, rode Wizard at the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 World Equestrian Games. She competed Salvino on the silver medal team at the World Games here last September and at the World Cup Final in Sweden earlier this month.
Duval (Rousseau x Riverman) was bred by Leslie Malone’s Harmony Sporthorses of Kiowa, Colorado and is now owned by Duval Partners LLC, a group of supporters in the Pacific Northwest.
With the two victories this weekend, the pair have now won six of their eight starts, and two second places.
“I think his piaffes are getting more solid and confident on the spot,” Adrienne said. “He has super technique for it.”
Adrienne was awarded the $25,000 Anne L. Barlow Ramsay Grant to showcase American-bred horses and plans to take Duval with her to Europe along with Salvino in mid-June.
Specific plans are not completed, but Salvino is expected to compete at Leudelange, Luxemburg and on the U.S. team at the CDIO5* Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany in July. She plans to stable both horses with the American riders based in Belgium for about six weeks.
Pablo Gomez Molina of Spain was successful in two separate divisions.
He won the CDI3* Intermediate 1 Freestyle on Furst Fiorano Ymas with a score of 76.125% The pair won the Prix St. Georges two days earlier.
On Servus Ymas in the six-year-old division, Pablo received a score of 88% from the three-judge panel. That is the highest posted in the U.S. this year. Pablo plans to go to the U.S. Young Horse Championships in Chicago this summer, as the owner, Cristina Danguillecourt, is an American citizen.
TRYON, North Carolina, April 20, 2019–Jennifer Baumert and Handsome won the CDI3* Intermediate 1 Saturday to jump up the United States Pan American Games team rankings a week before the end of qualifying for the short list of up to eight horse and rider combinations. Ashley Holzer and Havanna won the Grand Prix Freestyle.
Jennifer of Wellington, Florida and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding were awarded 74.755% for the win a day after being the top placed American in the Prix St. Georges in the campaign for a place on the team of mixed Big and Small Tour combinations for the Pan Ams in Lima, Peru at the end of July.
Endel Ots also of Wellington on Lucky Strike placed second on 72.451% in the Int. 1 after placing third in the St. Georges behind Pablo Gomez Molina of Spain on Furst Fiorano Ymas and Jennifer at the Tryon International Equestrian Center that where the weather has been rainy and unseasonably frigid on Saturday.
Sarah Lockman of Murrieta, California on First Apple leads the Small Tour standings with an average of 74.956 and is entered in the Del Mar National in California next weekend, the last remaining qualifier in the United States.
Ashley Holzer, also of Wellington, on Valentine ranks second on 73.564.
Jennifer and Handsome had started this event in fourth place behind Endel and Lucky Strike.
However, her success at Tryon moved her and the Betsy Juliano-owned Handsome into third place with, according to calculations by dressage-news.com, an average of both three Prix St. Georges and three Int. 1 scores of 73.434.
Endel and Lucky Strike were at 72.447 after this final East Coast qualifier.
The team–the U.S. has not decided how many Big or Small Tour combinations to include but is expected to have it made up of three Small Tour and one Big Tour horses–will not be selected until much closer to the Pan Ams. The U.S. has already earned a start at the 2020 Olympics so will be in Lima looking to earn the fifth straight continental championship team gold.
Ashley Holzer of Wellington and Havanna won the Grand Prix Freestyle on a score of 77.225% on the second anniversary of the first CDI for the partnership at these same show grounds .
It was also the first international competition for Ashley after she switched to riding for the United States instead of her native Canada for which competed at four Olympics.
Ashley and the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Diane Fellows, was previously competed at small tour by Jessica von Bredow-Werndl of Germany.
Jill Irving and Arthur, leading contenders for a Big Tour slot on Canada’s team at the Pan Ams, placed second on 74.075%.
Jill returns to Canada to compete Arthur and her other Grand Prix horse Degas in one of the final Pan Am selection events at home.
The Pan Ams are critical for Canada that needs to take one of the two places available to earn a start at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
TRYON, North Carolina, April 19, 2018–Adrienne Lyle rode Harmony’s Duval to a personal best score to win the CDI3* Grand Prix Friday posting the fifth victory since starting Big Tour less than three months ago in the first CDI outside of their winter base in Wellington, Florida.
In a day interrupted by thunderstorms and threats of tornadoes sweeping across the southern United States, Adrienne and the American-bred 11-year-old KWPN gelding scored 75. 130%, easily beating the pair’s previous best of 71.565% set two months ago.
This was the first dressage event at the Tryon International Equestrian Center since the World Equestrian Games last September. Adrienne competed Duval at small tour throughout 2017 and moved up to Grand Prix this past February.
Adrienne will be going to Europe with Salvino and Duval this summer, and looks on the success of Duval, bred by Leslie Malone’s Harmony Sporthorses of Kiowa, Colorado as a “stepping stone”to bigger things to come.
“Being able to start putting in consistent, clean tests is a big accomplishment for this horse, who has had to learn to stay focused,” she said. “This show marks one year since our first national Grand Prix, and I think I’m starting to figure out a routine that works best for him at shows, and he’s starting to become more relaxed and confident in his work.
“He is an incredible horse with tremendous power and an engine that never stops. I am very excited about his future.”
American team mate Ashley Holzer and Havanna placed second on 72.478% in only the second competition since July last year. Ashley has an eye on taking the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare to Europe with an American squad.
She has tentatively committed to compete her Small Tour horse Valentine for the United States at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru at the end of July.
Jill Irving on Degas was third on 70.978% in their first score required after April 1 to be considered for Canada’s Pan Am team. Jill and the 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding are the leading Grand Prix combination for the Pan Ams. Teams riding to fill one of two places at the 2020 Olympics need to include a Big Tour horse. She placed fifth on her other Grand Prix mount, Arthur, with 69.696%.
Compatriot Naima Moreira Laliberte on Statesman also posted a personal best score of 70.261% for fourth place, the only other result above 70%.
Spain’s Pablo Gomez Molina on Furst Fiorano Ymas won the Prix St. Georges on 72.353%.
Jennifer Baumert of Wellington on Handsome, battling for a place on U.S. Pan Am team placed second on 71.765% with big disparities in the three-judge panel–75.441% from Janet Foy of the USA at C and 66.912% from Isobell Wessels of Great Britain at B with Lee Tubman of Canada at H on 72.941%.
The judges explained that the different positions–C and H on the short side and B the only judge on the long side–provided different views but they had discussed the disparity.
Endel Ots also of Wellington on Lucky Strike who is slightly ahead of Jennifer and Handsome in the team rankings placed third on 71.324%.
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, April 19, 2019–The United States Equestrian Federation announced 23 combinations to the Dressage Develpment Program designed to provide strategic guidance and resources to riders with the perceived ability to contribute to podium success. The program is overseen by the development coach, Charlotte Bredahl, with the youth a ...
April 18, 2019 Laura Graves, one of the world’s elite competitors, will give a master class at Langley, British Columbia June 1-2. Laura, who trained her Verdades from a foal to become the first American partnership at No. 1 in the world, will give what organizer Scott Hayes describes as, “an intimate VIP experience for all.” The eve ...
Steffen Peters, with his first 2020 World Cup qualifying score in hand, is pointing Suppenkasper to the Las Vegas Freestyle championship a year from now aiming to repeat at the same arena where in 2009 he became only the second American ever to capture the title.
Although the primary goal for 2020 remains the Olympics, the World Cup Final in Las Vegas is just a few hours drive from Steffen’s home in San Diego, California and three months before Tokyo that would be his fifth Games.
Steffen has set as his goal over the next year developing consistency of the scores he logged at last weekend’s World Cup qualifier at the West Coast Dressage Fesival in Temecula, California, the first 2020 qualifying competition in North America. The results were personal best in both the Grand Prix at 76.304% and the Freestyle at 79.750%. He needs two more results to contend for one of the two places reserved at the final for North America, plus an extra starting place.
However it works out for Steffen, German born but avowedly Californian since he came to the United States 35 years ago, his record for the United States has been outstanding. In addition to four Olympics 20 years apart with two team bronze medals, five World Equestrian Games with team silver and bronze medals and two individual bronzes, five World Cup appearances with the title in 2009 he also took team and individual gold at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games.
Suppenkasper is a Dutch-bred gelding that was bought by Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang of Four Winds Farm in late 2017 as a prospect for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the third different mount for Steffen if he makes it with the 11-year-old. His other mounts for Akiko and Jerry were Ravel in 2008 and 2012 and Legolas in 2016.
Since taking over the ride from German Olympian Helen Langehanenberg, Suppenkaper, or “Mopsie,” the not too flattering barn name about his weight that he came with from Germany, has been competed by Steffen on both sides of the Atlantic.
Steffen, 54 years old, has taken his time preparing Suppenkasper for 2020 with the career highlight so far the 2018 World Games team silver.
The latest Temecula results, he told dressage-news.com, was due to “a new level of relaxation.
“Mopsie used to get quite nervous as soon as the music started. I was happily surprised that this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.”
The immediate plan is another freestyle in Del Mar, California, at the end of April. Then, if selected for the U.S. squad for the European summer circuit, to perform with a higher degree of difficulty for shows at Leudelange in Luxembourg and the pinnacle of the year, the World Equestrian Fstival CDIO5* at Aachen, Germany in July. Aachen has a special place in Steffen’s heart–on Ravel in 2009 he became the first American CDIO champion, three months after the pair’s World Cup victory.
To qualify for the World Cup in Las Vegas next April 15-19, he and Suppenkasper have to improve the freestyle score by at least three percent.
“That,” he said, “is the goal for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers on the West Coast in the fall.”
Possible challengers for the guaranteed two starting places at Las Vegas–plus a likely home combination–are the three silver medal team mates from the Tryon World Games–Laura Graves on Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet and Adrienne Lyle on Salvino but who also has two other Grand Prix mounts, Horizon and Harmony’s Duval.
Laura has made it plain she is assessing the best future for her Verdades, on which she is ranked No. 2 in the world, after a third World Cup runner-up finish two weeks ago. She has been the sole competition partner for Verdades since the KWPN gelding was bought as a foal 17 years ago, and will let the horse tell her whether to return to the competition arena at 18 years of age.