Sunday, Apr. 14, 2024

Wandres’ Hot Streak Continues In Wellington Grand Prix; Helgstrand Makes Winning Senior CDI Debut

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Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 9

For three years Frederic Wandres has been coming from Germany to Wellington, Florida, for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, and it’s easy to see why he likes it.

He wins here. A lot.

On Thursday, he scored his fifth win of the season when he rode Bluetooth OLD to a mark of 74.91% to claim blue in the Havensafe Farm CDI-W Grand Prix for the freestyle.

web 1 Frederic Wandres Bluetooth OLD-3305

Frederic Wandres scored his fifth win of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival season in the Havensafe Farm CDI-W Grand Prix for the freestyle. Mollie Bailey Photos

Morgan Barbançon was second on Bolero (71.78%). Ashley Holzer on Valentine, in their first time in the Grand Prix CDI ring since last summer, claimed third on a mark of 71.17%.

WEB 1 Frederic Wandres Bluetooth OLD 0DF_2922

Frederic Wandres tacked up Bluetooth OLD to win this week.

“That felt much, much better than the last CDI here,” said Wandres. “I could present him a little bit more fresh and forward, although [the temperature] was way warmer than last time. There are still many things to develop, but overall it’s good that he can show consistency in a test like this.”

Wandres said that 13-year-old Bluetooth OLD (Bordeaux 28—Lorena, Riccione) always feels super good in the warm-up, and when he gets in the ring he backs off a bit.

web 2 Morgan Barbançon and Bolero-3060

Morgan Barbançon had two rides in the CDI-W Grand Prix for the freestyle Thursday, and she finished second with Bolero.

“Sometimes he becomes in the arena a little bit shy, and you have to figure out how much pressure you can give him that he doesn’t turn in the other direction,” said Wandres, 35. “It’s about getting self-confidence for him that he gets a good feeling. Sometimes it’s a little bit like it is with a kid. It’s like, ‘Come, you can do it! Don’t be shy, do it.’ [I give him] a little positive support, but in the end he has to come out of himself more and more, and that’s the thing we’ve been working on.

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“We [have to] figure out how we can bring the warm-up feeling into the arena,” he continued. “I think it’s perfect here to train during the season here [to get] a little bit more and more experience. Last year we experienced a lot also, but then we worked more on technical issues, and I think we could solve those things during the season at home in Europe. Now we could put another level on top, that’s what we want to do. So far very good.”

web 3 Valentine and Ashley Holzer-2128

Valentine and Ashley Holzer put in a lovely test to finish third in the CDI-W Grand Prix for the freestyle.

Wandres, who’s a member of the German national team, is aiming toward this summer’s FEI European Championships (Germany).

“So far [Bluetooth OLD is] behind [Duke Of Britain FRH] my first horse, but you never know,” said Wandres. “The situation can change very quickly. It’s always good to have him and also Hot Hit OLD, the one [I rode] the first week here, behind me so that I can split a little bit the horses into the classes and always have something coming up behind. And it’s good that he can grow up behind ‘Duke.’ It also keeps the pressure from being too high, so I don’t have to force him too early.”

web 4 Susan Pape Harmony's Eclectisch-2270

Britain’s Susan Pape rode Harmony’s Eclectisch to fourth in the CDI-W Grand Prix for the freestyle.

Helgstrand Makes His Senior CDI Debut One To Remember 

Last year Alexander Yde Helgstrand made the trek from Denmark to Wellington to visit the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, and he was blown away. He pledged that he’d come back this year with his saddle.

So he returned and brought along Belantis, his mount for last year’s FEI European Young Riders Championship (Great Britain). And in his senior CDI debut Thursday, the 19-year-old  scored a win in the Prix St. Georges CDI1*.

WEB 1 Alexander Yde Helgstrand 0DF_8836

Alexander Yde Helgstrand rode Belantis to win the Prix St. Georges CDI1*.

Charlotte Jorst (Zhaplin Langholt) finished second, and Amanda Perkowski (Sonata MF) rounded out the top three.

WeB 1 Alexander Yde Helgstrand Belantis 0DF_8854

Alexander Yde Helgstrand made his senior CDI debut a winning one with Belantis.

Helgstrand said normally the 14-year-old German Sporthorse’s canter work is his strong suit, but today Belantis (Benetton Dream FRH 1301—Philharmonie, Expo’se) had a mistake in the four-tempi changes. Helgstrand blamed that on himself but also pointed to their strong points elsewhere in the test.

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“I feel like I had a really nice trot tour, which is definitely something we’ve been working with at home,” he said. “Seeing that come together—I’m really pleased with that.”

WEB 2 PSG Charlotte Jorst Zhaplin Langholt 0DF_7489

Charlotte Jorst and Zhaplin Langholt claimed second in the Prix St. Georges CDI1*.

“[Belantis] did a super job,” he continued. “Overall I think it was a nice test, and we definitely learned a lot from it.”

In Europe he trains with his father, Andreas Helgstrand, but with Andreas back home in Denmark, Alexander has been riding in Florida with Helgstrand USA head trainer Lars Petersen.

WEB 3 Amanda Perkowski Sonata MF 0DF_0188

Amanda Perkowski and Sonata MF took third in the Prix St. Georges CDI1*.

“The pirouettes is one of the things we’ve been working on,” Alexander said. “It’s all these small adjustments that you need to make all the time to get the perfect test—which will never happen. But we’re trying to work as best as possible.”

Alexander paired up with Belantis about two years ago, and he said one of the horse’s best qualities is that he has his own energy.

“It’s nice to have a horse that’s self-carrying and willing to work,” he said.

For full results click here.

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