Feb. 25—Wellington, Fla.
While Frederic Wandres may have won the CDI5* Grand Prix for the freestyle with Bluetooth OLD on Wednesday night at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, he knew that Friday night in front of a bigger crowd would be a whole new game.
“Everything is possible for everyone, so we had to deliver today, again, a good test to be at the front,” the German rider said.
With a final centerline that featured a one-handed passage that had the huge crowd clapping to the beat, Wandres and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Bordeaux 28—Lorena, Riccione) delivered again, scoring an 81.65% to win.
“Bluetooth is getting better and better,” he said. “I get always more and more the feeling that I can ride during the test, and he offers me a very good feeling. I’m super happy about his development here in the Wellington season. He won now the World Cup in the beginning, the four-star Grand Prix as a second competition, and now in the end, both five-star tests. For him the season is finished now, and he has a few more weeks here to rest a little bit and enjoy now the Florida sun before he goes home. Then we are looking forward and trying to taking these things which we achieved and developed here together with us to Europe and bring it there also into the arena.”
Watch their winning ride here.
The gelding, owned by Sergey Knyaginichev and Elena Knyaginicheva, is a “very elegant and completely happy horse,” Wandres said.
“When you come into the stall, he looks super pretty and is always giving us a very good attitude,” he said. “When I started to ride him one year ago, he was a very shy horse and was not able to bring what I had in the warm up into the arena. It’s something that we have created better now, but overall now he’s a super horse. He’s always well-behaved. He’s not spooky, and he can handle the atmosphere.”
Adrienne Lyle and Betsy Juliano’s Salvino earned some of the biggest cheers of the night when they won the CDI5* Grand Prix Special (79.51%), following up their Grand Prix for the Special win on Wednesday.
“I’m incredibly thrilled with him,” Lyle said. “I think both our Grand Prix and the Special were possibly some of the best feelings I’ve had in the ring. He feels so strong, so solid in his work, and he’s always such an incredible competitor; didn’t put a foot wrong both tests. I don’t know what more I could ask for him. He’s just absolutely amazing.”
Lyle said she enjoys riding the Special test because it highlights the 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion’s (Sandro Hit—Dynastie, Donnerhall) ability for collection in the piaffe and passage.
“I think this test really highlights that I can step on the gas where I need to,” she said. “I can trust him to be there for the collection. He just felt right up to the last step like he was really trying. And coming down that last centerline is always so incredible on him, because most horses when you get to the end, they’re a little bit tired, and him, you turn onto the last centerline and you can kind of take a breath and be like ‘Take it home, baby, you got it.’ He loves it.”
Juliano sponsored the class, and she was excited to see it held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian center to give the horses a new electric atmosphere.
“I also think that it’s particularly special to have riders from different countries, like Frederic, Laurence [Vanommeslaghe], Juan [Matute Guimon] and others who really enhance the sport and make everybody better,” she said. “I think that for me personally to sponsor the Special, to have Adrienne in the Special, and then to have such a result is very touching and extremely meaningful to me.
“This horse has been a dream come true for her, myself and others. She calls him a warrior, and I think he is a warrior. He goes in there and does his best every single time. To see him do that over the last couple of days has been moving. It shows the world what this horse is made of, especially the combination of Adrienne and Salvino.”