Saturday, May. 18, 2024

Schulten-Baumer Returns Triumphant At Dortmund

Though the Dortmund CDI (Germany) didn’t have the strongest starting field on the Easter Holidays, April 7-9, it had some interesting competition.
   
In the Grand Prix for the freestyle tour and in the freestyle itself, Ellen Schulten-Baumer rode Donatha S to wins, scoring 71.62 and 76.15 percent respectively.
 
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Though the Dortmund CDI (Germany) didn’t have the strongest starting field on the Easter Holidays, April 7-9, it had some interesting competition.
   
In the Grand Prix for the freestyle tour and in the freestyle itself, Ellen Schulten-Baumer rode Donatha S to wins, scoring 71.62 and 76.15 percent respectively.
 
For Schulten-Baumer, 28, Dortmund was her first show back after losing her top mount, Lesotho, to an illness in March. She had been reserve rider for the German 2006 World Equestrian Games (Germany) team with Lesotho. And, she had already had some top successes with Donatha S, a 13-year-old, Hanoverian chestnut mare by Donnerhall.

Her performances at Dortmund confirmed their progress up the ranks—her 76.15 percent in the freestyle put her among the top international riders.

Highlights of her freestyle test to Caribbean music were the ground-covering extended walk and the fluid trot and canter half-passes and the extended trots, while the canter tempi-changes could have been more elevated and the canter pirouettes a bit smaller. In general, the connection between mouth and hands could have been more constant and the horse more relaxed. So there is still room for improvement.

Second to Schulten-Baumer in both the Grand Prix and the freestyle went to the young Austrian rider Victoria Max-Theurer. She rode the Oldenburg gelding Falcao, 15, to scores of 69.37 and 74.65 percent respectively. The 21-year-old daughter of 1980 Olympic indi-vidual gold medalist Sissi Max-Theurer showed a very well-done, nearly faultless freestyle performance.

Highlights of her test were fluid trot half-passes, the very ground-covering, expressive extented trots, the impressive passage tours and the forward-upward extended flying changes, as well as canter half-passes developed from the walk.

Schulten-Baumer’s walk and piaffes were slightly better than Max-Theurer’s, but Falcao showed a more consistent connection between mouth and rider’s hands and showed overall more relaxation and concentration.

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For the artistic part of their performances, both riders achieved scores around 80 percent. Third place in the freestyle went to Gina Capellmann-Luetkemeier with Amando (72.85%), who has been training for last two years with Wolfram Wittig. That Amando, a Swedish gelding, is already at the age of 17, is hard to believe. At times, he appeared even a bit too fresh and could have show a bit more relaxation.

Max-Theurer continued her success in the small tour, winning the Prix St. Georges on Easter Saturday aboard the youngest horse of the competition, the 7-year-old, Oldenburg stallion Augustin. The horse, a son of her Grand Prix mount August der Starke out of a Rohdiamant mare, was bred by her family.

In his first international competition, he left the other 14 starters behind him with a score of 69.93 percent. He and Max-Theurer put Dosse Christian Flamm with the stallion Samba Hit, a 9-year-old Sandro Hit son, and Isabell Werth with the 8-year-old Rhineland chestnut stallion Fuchsberger, in second and third place respectively.

In the Intermediaire I, Max-Theurer—who has a lot of high-quality horses in her barn—was only bested by Werth. Werth and Fuchsberger (69.58%) won, relegating Max-Theurer and Augsutin to second (69.33%) due to two small mistakes in the tempi changes, which cost them victory.

Victory in the Grand Prix of the Special tour went to Sarah Garayhi and the Hessen stallion Scarlatti, who won the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix freestyle at the Bremen CDI (Germany) in February. The 16-year-old, gray, breeding stallion showed again his outstanding talent for piaffe and passage.

In the Grand Prix for the Special, Monica Theodorescu and the Grand Prix prospect Whisper, 9, placed only sixth due to some faults. “He got nervous when some dogs started to bark, and we had marks from 10 to 2 in the Grand Prix,” explained Theodorescu. But Whisper rebounded to win the Special. “Today we left the 2s out of the score sheet,” she said.

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Theodorescu’s last victory at Dortmund was 11 years ago. With her victory in the Grand Prix Special of Easter Monday she marked her return into the international Grand Prix sport.

The judges awarded Whisper two scores of 10 for the extended walk. Theodorescu is convinced he’s a horse for the future. “Still he is not very consistent, but when he brings everything together he will be certainly a horse for the top sport. I was already pleased with his Grand Prix performance and would have been happy with a sixth place again. The Special was just his fifth Grand Prix test and to win in a show like Dortmund is just fantastic,” she said.

Theodorescu got the ride on Whisper from German teammate Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff five years ago after Theodorescu lost her top mount in an accident. The Welt Hit offspring won the Nuernberger Burg Pokal-Final together with Theodorescu and has had several successes in the Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire I classes over the last two years.

With the very small margin of just 4 points, Garyahi and Scarlatti had to be satisfied with second in the Special. The 36-year-old school teacher and dressage instructor said, “Scarlatti had a mistake in the passage and he jumped into the air when starting cantering.”

With a 12th place in the Grand Prix (63.50%) aboard Otto, American rider Heather Blitz qualified for the Grand Prix Special. In the Special, the Danish-based dressage instructor was able to improve with a 10th place (64.40%).

Werth did not compete in the Grand Prix classes at Dortmund since the Grand Prix of the Special tour and the Grand Prix freestyle were taking place on Easter Sunday, when her grandmother was celebrating her 95th birthday, but she showed an exhibition of the Grand Prix Special on Easter Sunday aboard Apache OLD before the beginning of this class, on which she commentated herself via microphone while riding.

Birgit Popp

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