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Birgit Popp

February 17, 2006

Freund Has The Winning Strategy For Leipzig

The World Cup class for four-in-hand drivers, held Jan. 22 in Leipzig, Germany, before the show jumping World Cup qualifier, was a meeting of the giants.

Four former as well as reigning individual World Champions--Germany's Michael Freund, the Netherland's Ijsbrand Chardon, Sweden's Tomas Eriksson and Switzerland's Werner Ulrich, plus Germany's former Team World Champion Christoph Sandmann--competed.

The sixth and final qualifying competition in the fifth World Cup season was held in front of more than 8,000 spectators.

January 20, 2006

Plonzke Stars At Frankfurt

Anja Plonzke made her World Cup-qualifying debut at the Frankfurt CDI-W and sealed the victory with an impressive ride aboard Tannenhof's Solero TSF.

Plonzkee, 37, was the last of the 15 competitors in the freestyle test, which was the fifth of eight qualifiers in the Western European League and the first one ever held at the Frankfurt Festhalle, Dec. 16-19 in Frankfurt, Germany.

January 20, 2006

The Nagels Enjoy Family Fun At Frankfurt

After Bjorn Nagel topped the main class on Saturday afternoon at the Frankfurt Festhallen Horse Show, father Tjark Nagel returned to take the show's feature event, the Grand Prix of Hessen. The pair pocketed a majority of the spoils during the CSI, held Dec. 16-19, taking it back to their home in the northern part of Germany.

January 12, 2006

Werth Makes Munich A Victorious Farewell To Antony FRH

Isabell Werth dominated the Grand Prix dressage at the Munich Indoors (Germany), held Dec. 2-4, with Antony FRH and Apache OLD. Late on Saturday evening (the Grand Prix was held in two parts early on Saturday morning and late Saturday evening), the 1996 Olympic champion won the Grand Prix in front of 9,000 spectators aboard the 12-year-old, Oldenburg gelding Apache OLD (74.25%) and placed third aboard Antony FRH (70.45%).

In the qualification for both the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix freestyle, Anja Ploenzke and Solero TSF finished second (72.29%).

January 12, 2006

Global Dressage Forum Sidesteps The Training Methods Issue

The fifth Global Dressage Forum seemed like a perfect place to debate training programs and methods, but it never quite happened.

The 325 trainers, riders, judges, journalists and dressage enthusiasts from 23 countries absorbed a great deal of information and insight from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 at the Academy Bartels at Hooge Mierde, the Netherlands, but the busy schedule precluded much insightful conversation.

December 27, 2005

Freund Dominates Stuttgart Driving

For the 12th consecutive time, three-time World Cup champion Michael Freund of Germany claimed the Schenker German Master title at Stuttgart, which was the second World Cup qualifier for four-in-hand drivers.

He won with a bigger margin than ever--almost 20 seconds over two rounds, one normal length course and a shortened drive-off. But it might be one of his last titles, since the two-time individual and team World Champion plans to retire after the 2006 World Equestrian Games at Aachen.

December 27, 2005

Schaudt Stays On Top In Stuttgart German Dressage Masters

Local hero Martin Schaudt defended his Kampmann German Master title in the Grand Prix Special at the Stuttgart German Masters, Nov. 16-20, with his Olympic mount Weltall VA.

The 2004 Olympic team gold medalist took victory with 77.56 percent. The second half of the extended walk was well done, but the collected walk did not find its rhythm, since the horse anticipated the coming piaffe. The piaffe-passage tour was expressive, but the horse was twisted in the poll, a basic fault which was never really taken under consideration by the judges in their marks.

December 27, 2005

Beerbaum Lands Third Mercedes German Master Title In Stuttgart

Ludger Beerbaum rode the only clear round in an eight-horse jump-off to win the $91,946 Mercedes German Master title, Nov. 18, aboard the recovered Gladdys S, with whom he earned the 2001 European Championship.

Beerbaum had already scored this title in 1995 with Ratina Z and in 1996 with Priamos. Besides Beerbaum, only two other riders have won this prestigious title three times: John Whitaker (1988, 1989, 1992) and Marcus Ehning (1999, 2002, 2004).

October 28, 2005

Pointl Brings World Pairs Title Back To Austria

Rainer Pointl secured the team and individual wins for Austria at the World Pairs Championships, held Sept. 7-11, near Salzburg, Austria.

The Austrian team had only placed sixth in the 2003 World Championships, but Pointl and his father, fourth-placed Albert Pointl, went clear in the cones to take this year's titles. The Austrian team (248.58) finished ahead of the Hungarian (257.76) and the German teams (262.29).

September 23, 2005

Ulrich Races To The Front Of The Aachen Four-In-Hand Championship

It's been a good year for Swiss four-in-hand driver Werner Ulrich, and it just got better at the Aachen CAIO, held Aug. 24-28 in Aachen, Germany.

World Champion in 1998, Ulrich traveled to Aachen leading the 2005 Top Driver Award standings, as well as in the qualifying rankings for the 2005/2006 indoor World Cup competitions, and he proved his strength again with another victory.

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