Nations competing included Germany, Great-Britain, Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Australia and the United States of America. The judges were Katrina Wust (GER) Gotthilf Riexinger (GER), Mariette Withages-Dieltjens (BEL), Wim Ernes (NED) and Linda Zang (USA).
Isabell Werth and Satchmo, pictured in Frankfurt. © Stfan Lafrentz/FEI
The Olympic individual silver medallist Isabell Werth agreed with that. "I already was happy with the behaviour of Satchie in Grand Prix while he showed relaxation and happiness in the arena. The Holstenhalle in Neumunster is small and has a special atmosphere. It's never a certainty how the reaction of your horse will be. Today in the Freestyle the atmosphere with all horse loving people from the region again was top and so was Satchmo. He really enjoyed himself while performing and simply did his job without one single mistake or wrong reaction!"
Chair Mariette Withages rewarded Satchmo for one of the half passes in canter with the ultimate ten and she gave a lot of eights and nines.
Another ultimate 10 was given for the piaffe of the 19-year-old grey Balagur ridden by Russian Alexandra Korelova. The willingness and eagerness of the former police horse Balagur to perform is amazing. Not a single mistake occurred in doing so, taking the runner up position. Alexandra Korelova and Balagur even beat their trainer Monica Theodorescu aboard Whisper, who finished third.
Britain's Laura Bechtolsheimer did a wonderful test with her talented Mistral Hojris but mistakes in the one tempi changes and two tempi changes and a lack of relaxation in the final halt cost her some points.
Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein had made her mistakes in Grand Prix yet, thus receiving one of the first starting positions. It was her turn to improve in the Freestyle. She rode the Freestyle test without mistakes although it could have been a bit more powerful. She improved her Amsterdam-results and was rewarded with some valuable points for the standings. Jeannette Haazen had to withdraw from competing as family circumstances left her home.
A harmonious test was performed by American Catherine Haddad on Maximus. Haddad, who won the other Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special aboard Cadillac in Neumunster, experienced one of her bigger weekends in Europe. She improved her results from Mechelen and Amsterdam and therefore took some valuable World Cup points as well. Haddad who recently renewed her sponsorship with Schockemohle Sports has set her heart on competing in the final in Las Vegas. Her schedule includes this week's Gothenburg Horseshow where she will show Cadillac in the World Cup qualifier.
To meet the criteria of the reglement which include two WC starts Anky van Grunsven and IPS Salinero will travel to Gothenburg to ride this show, as well as the last European Qualifier in 's-Hertogenbosch in March. Isabell Werth has chosen to compete in Bremen, Dortmund and the last qualifier in 's-Hertogenbosch, after which she will make the decision which horse to bring to Las Vegas.
Western European League Standings following 7 competitions in WEL + 6 CEL
1. Isabell WERTH GER 80
2. Hans Peter MINDERHOUD NED 68
3. Adelinde CORNELISSEN NED 60
4. Monica THEODORESCU GER 57
5. Jeannette HAAZEN NED 54
6. Christa LAARAKKERS NED 42
7. Catherine HADDAD USA 41
8. Stefan VAN INGELGEM BEL 39
8. Nathalie ZU SAYN WITTGENSTEIN DEN 39
10. Laura BECHTOLSHEIMER GBR 38
10. Heike KEMMER GER 38
12. Jan BRINK SWE 37