The FEI World Championship Final of five-year-old dressage horses was a victory for two countries, with winning horse Sezuan taking the honours for Denmark, but ridden by Germany’s Dorothee Schneider.
The Danish Warmblood son of Blue Hors Zack, bred by Linette Jaeger from a Don Schufro mare and owned by the Gestüt Peterhof, won the 2014 title with a final score of 9.76. Schneider has ridden the black stallion only since March. The combination had also won Thursday’s qualifier.
Sezuan’s brilliant trot was rewarded with a mark of 10, and he scored each 9.6 for his walk and his trot. The judges gave him 9.9 for overall impression.
The competition gave head Judge Ghislain Fourarge and his colleagues a difficult task, with five horses earning overall scores of 9 and better, six horses ranging between 8 and 9, and four more between 7.9 and 7.6.
Westphalian mare Samoura M, ridden by Ann-Christin Wienkamp of Mesum, moved up two places from the qualifier to take the reserve championship title with 9.34. The The Amour / Ferragamo daughter, bred and owned by Heinrich Musemann, was completely supple and relaxed, absolutely concentrated and accomplished.
Third place went to the KWPN-stallion Eye Catcher (Vivaldi / Partout), who was also third in the qualifier. He is a wonderful mover but made too many mistakes and had to settle for bronze. Owned by Titan Wilaras and Joop van Uytert, the horse earned 10 for trot and 9.8 for walk, and it was quite an achievement for Brouwer who has only been paired with the talented stallion for the last month. Despite a mistake in the canter tour, the stallion achieved a final score of 9.3 with the fantastic score of 10 for the trot considerably contributing to his result.
DSP Belanti (Benetton Dream / Exposé) , who was runner up in the qualifier, made a mistake in the canter and the judges dropped him back to fourth in the final. The grey stallion, ridden at Verden by ridden by Isabell Werth’s assistant trainer Beatrice Buchwald, was bred by the Neustadt/Dosse National State Stud and is now also co-owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze.
Gold-medallist Schneider describes Sezuan as “an amazing horse – I’ve never had such a good one before,” she said. She believes the pair are quickly developing a strong relationship and is delighted with the horse’s ability to adapt since taking over the stallion, who was previously competed by Denmark’s Andreas Helgstrand.
Weinkamp admitted she had been a little conservative in the qualifying leg but that she really went for it on the final day. It paid off by bringing her right up to silver medal spot with a total of 9.34 that included 9.6 for trot.
Five-year-old Championship: GOLD – Sezuan (Dorothee Schneider) GER 9.76; SILVER – Samoura M (Ann-Christin Wienkamp) GER 9.34; BRONZE – Eye Catcher 6 (Kirsten Brouwer) NED 9.30.
• US dressage star Steffen Peters dominated the Grand Prix de Dressage with his Westphalian gelding Legolas, winning in 74.98, followed by Canadian David Marcus and Chevri’s Capital with 74.98%, and Germany’s Dorothee Schneider in third on Silvano with 71.92%. There were 31 entries in the grand prix.
It was Marcus’s highest score to date. “What more can you ask for than to have a personal best right before the world championships!” Marcus, 33, said afterwards. “It is great for our confidence, and it shows the world the improvements that Capital is making and what he is capable of.
“He was great; he did exactly what we were hoping to do,” Marcus said of the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Chrevi’s Cavallo x Weinberg). “He felt the best that he’s felt in the ring so far without even feeling like he was at maximum capacity yet.
“I was especially pleased with the piaffe today,” he said, referencing one of the most difficult movements required at the Olympic-level of grand prix competition. “It’s always something we are working to improve, and I think the scores reflected that his piaffe today was the best that he has done in the ring.”
Since arriving in Germany at the beginning of July, Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital have been based with renowned trainer Jean Bemelmans, who is training the French team for the World Equestrian Games. Marcus’s personal trainer, Oded Shimoni, who has been flying back and forth from his base in Wellington, Florida, arrived two days before the competition in Verden to coach Marcus.
• Show jumping rider Tobias Meyer from Löningen-Benstrup won the second qualifier with Quidam’s Queen, Prize of the Verden Grand Prix donated by the County of Verden and the VGH-Versicherungen, racing home in 39.27 seconds and winning €6000. US rider Sarah Segal was second with her holsteiner mare Ubris, followed by Carsten-Otto Nagel and Ultima.
• Dutch rider Chantal Regter and Bengel SFN won the Verden Championships. The horse is owned by the Dutch Springpaarden Fonds. Just behind was Denis Nielsen, now domiciled at Gestüt Sprehe in Löningen-Benstrup in Lower Saxony, who rode Special One to second place.