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January 16, 2007

Iklé Finishes First At Frankfurt

he Frankfurt CDI-W definitively belonged to Silvia Iklé and Salieri CH, as they conquered the Grand Prix and the freestyle on Dec. 16-17 in Frankfurt, Germany.

In the Grand Prix test, the Swiss rider and the 12-year-old, Swiss-bred, dark brown gelding showed an excellent performance, scoring a 76.00 percent for an undisputed victory. Runner-up with 71.08 percent went to 25-year-old German rider Sonja Bolz, aboard Cockney.

In 1999, Nadine Capellmann won the N�rnberger Burg-Pokal Final at Frankfurt on Cockney. But she sold him two years ago to Bolz because she had too many Grand Prix mounts, and Cockney was not getting the attention he should have received.

German team gold medalists at the 2006 World Equestrian Games (Germany), Capellmann and Elvis placed just fifth (70.20%). The great mover, who received 9s for his extended trot, once again showed resistance in the first piaffe, stepping back and even rearing. Eventually, Capellmann got her way and made the chestnut Hanoverian finish the piaffe and he didn't refuse anymore in the two following piaffes. Nevertheless, with this severe disobedience the score had dropped.

Isabell Werth had an even bigger fight on her hands aboard Polano. Although the 13-year-old stallion didn't show a single severe resistance, in general he was very hot and it was everything but a harmonic ride. They scored just 67.83 percent for ninth. Werth admitted that Polano was only longed while she had been competing Warum Nicht FRH at London Olympia (England) the week before.

While the German stars didn't have the best of weekends, Iklé showed the freestyle test of her life with great highlights--a nearly perfect piaffe-passage tour and great forward and upward flying tempi changes. They earned an 81.45 percent for this excellent test.

At Frankfurt, Iklé debuted a new freestyle, for which live musicians recorded the music, consisting of songs like "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and tango pieces. "I am more than satisfied," Ilk� said of the performance. "It is always hard when you present a new freestyle test for the first time.

"Would you be able to execute all movements like planned, do you meet the transitions of the music, how is the reception by the public and the judges? Can you transmit the idea behind the choreography? I have the feeling that the music is very well suited for me and my horse. I like the songs and I have the feeling that also my horse feels well with this new test," she added.

Her positive impression was confirmed by judge Cara Witham. "Silvia Iklé's ride was a very solid technical work and very entertaining at the same time. And, if there is a horse that could be called a happy athlete, I can only say we saw today a happy horse with Salieri CH," Witham said.

With the Frankfurt victory, Iklé jumped to 14th after the fifth of 10 qualifying competitions in the Western European League. Her next focus is on the CDI-W Amsterdam (the Netherlands) at the end of January.

Iklé hadn't competed in World Cup-qualifying classes earlier this year because of some minor problems. After the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, in August, Salieri had a fever, and Iklé rested him. Then, just before Stuttgart (Germany) in mid-November, Salieri sprung an abscess. So, she had to wait until Frankfurt to compete.

Mixed Emotions
Bad luck continued to plague the German riders in the freestyle. Capellmann started very well into the freestyle, but when she came to the piaffes her music began to stutter. The judge at C, Canada's Cara Witham, decided that Capellmann could start the test again, where she had inter-rupted it, and the marks given to that point would still count.

Capellmann's groom promptly brought another CD, and Capellmann continued. But the music skipped to another section, and finally Capellmann gave up. This situation was quite a unfortunate, since she certainly would have gained at least some World Cup points.

The first four places of the freestyle test repeated the results of the Grand Prix, and Bolz was again a very happy runner-up. Bolz was not only competing in the World Cup dressage tour, but also in the international amateur show jumping classes.

"I started with show jumping. That I found my way to dressage was more or less by accident. To start, my aim had been to win an L [elementary] test or to be placed in a M [me-dium] test," said Bolz. "I had a very good dressage horse and finally I continued with the discipline, which worked out better. And it was the FEI Waldfried Euro Future Cup that really made me continue with dressage on a high level. But, my aim is also to ride the Rhineland Championships in show jumping next year."

Ellen Schulten-Baumer, the leader of the Western European World Cup League, was satisfied with her third place (73.60%) in the freestyle aboard the Donnerhall daughter Donatha S.

"My clear aim is Las Vegas. This summer I had the bad luck to be the reserve rider for the German WEG team. Until the last moment I was on hot heels if I could still go or not. After it was clear I could not compete at Aachen, I immediately changed to the World Cup. In the Western European League I have been competing with Lesotho and Donatha, but it will be Donatha to fly to Las Vegas."

Young Stars
In the unofficial German Championship for 7- to 9-year-old dressage horses--the N�rnberger Burg-Pokal--Carola Koppelmann emerged victorious aboard the 9-year-old, Hanoverian stallion Comic Hilltop FRH.

Ingrid Klimke started the impressive gray stallion, but Carola has had the ride for the last two years. The Come On son qualified last year for the final but did not compete. With their 74.10 percent as the top score, they succeeded famous combinations like Nicole Uphoff and Relevant, Alexandra Simons-de Ridder and Chacomo, Heike Kemmer and Bonaparte, Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff and Wahajama-Unicef and Nadine Capellmann and Elvis, who won two years ago.

Comic Hilltop is owned by his breeder, Jochen Brinkmann and by FRH and Hilltop Farms Inc. (Md.) in the United States. Besides his sports career, he is also used for breeding. Runner-up (73.35%) went to Dorothee Schneider and the Trakehner stallion Kaiserkult TSF, sired by Schneider's former Grand Prix mount Van Deyk. Third place went to the 7-year-old Rohdiamant daughter Responsible, presented by Helen Lange-hanenberg, who received also a prize for her sensitive way of riding.

Birgit Popp
 
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