Thursday, Jun. 6, 2024

Warum Nicht Starts Off Strong In The Grand Prix

The audience at the Rolex FEI World Cup Final for Dressage was hoping to see something really special in the Grand Prix test, and Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht didn’t disappoint them. 
  
 The enormous chestnut was last to go in the order, and the test wasn’t fault-free, but his tremendous talent and suppleness won the judges, and the crowd, over.  The only German pair in the field, they scored 74.79 percent to win convincingly over Steffen Peters on Floriano (72.87%) and Kyra Kyrklund on Max (71.70%).
   

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The audience at the Rolex FEI World Cup Final for Dressage was hoping to see something really special in the Grand Prix test, and Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht didn’t disappoint them. 
  
 The enormous chestnut was last to go in the order, and the test wasn’t fault-free, but his tremendous talent and suppleness won the judges, and the crowd, over.  The only German pair in the field, they scored 74.79 percent to win convincingly over Steffen Peters on Floriano (72.87%) and Kyra Kyrklund on Max (71.70%).
   
Werth entered the arena and gave “Hannes” a chance to trot around and get a good look at everything.  “In the first part [of the test] I was really happy,” said Werth.  “But he started to get spooky when he saw the camera in the first piaffe.  From that point on he was a bit unconcentrated.  That was the reason for the mistake in the one and two-tempis.” 
   
Werth admitted that she was riding a bit cautiously in the Grand Prix, which doesn’t count at all for the final result.  It only determines the order of go for the freestyle.

“I wanted to bring him out, keep him quiet and not take too much risk,” she said.  “See how it all works in this small arena.”
   
But she won’t be holding back on Saturday in the freestyle.  “The music is made for a powerful ride,” she said.  “There’s no choice but to go forward.”
   
Peters put in a precise test for the United States, showing off Floriano to his full advantage.  “He felt pretty similar [to his Grand Prix test at the World Equestrian Games],” he said.  “The entrance wasn’t as good, but he was very forward and I didn’t have to push him a lot.  The score and the overall feeling was very similar to the WEG.”
   
Peters said that Floriano was reluctant to traverse the tunnel down to the arena and executed a “pirouette we didn’t ask for,” but he settled once he got into the ring.
   
“He was a little pumped, but it didn’t make him more difficult to ride,” he said.
   
“I don’t think there was anybody, except for Steffen, who was fault-free,” said Cara Witham, who judged at M.

“He did a better test than he did in Burbank [at the U.S. League Finals], and he did a pretty decent test there,” she said.  “Today, he did a really nice, clean test.  There was some beautiful straight work, and to me, Steffen is the master of half-passes.”
   
Finland’s Kyrklund actually tied with Imke Schellekens-Bartels of the Netherlands on Sunrise, but the tie was broken with the collective marks, so Schellekens-Bartels had to settle for fourth.
   
Kyrklund said she was impatient for the judges to ring the bell, so she could start her test.  Max was a bit spooked in his first extended trot, but recovered nicely for the half-pass and went on to perform clean straight tempi changes and lovely piaffe and passage work.
   
Kyrklund rode Max’s sire, Master, in the 1998 World Cup Final (Sweden).  “He is a little bit the same as Master,” she said.  “They come in and say, ‘Oh, 17,000 people have paid for tickets to look at me today, so I have to do my best.’  They grow when they go into the arena instead of shying away.”
   
Schellekens-Bartels wasn’t as anxious to start her test as Kyrklund.  “I was a little bit nervous,” she admitted.  “I felt that Sunrise was a bit nervous too, but we got it together and ended well.”
   
Courtney King was next highest-placed U.S. rider in eighth place with Idocus (67.83%).  “I was thrilled with Idocus,” she said.  “He’s been traveling a lot, and he wasn’t exactly tired, but he didn’t have his normal energy level.  He went in there and was really honest.

“There were definitely mistakes,” she continued.  “In the twos, we just had a serious miscommunication.  He fell a little bit left, and I corrected him with my left leg, and he started doing ones.  It was an honest miscommunication.”

This is King’s first opportunity to represent her country, so she was pleased to find that the pressure didn’t get to her.  “I felt so relaxed about it,” she said.  “I think that having that environment of it being fun, and having everyone behind you, I couldn’t have been more relaxed and comfortable and confident about it.”

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It was also Catherine Haddad’s first chance to ride for the United States, and she finished just behind King with Maximus JSS (66.75%).  Haddad qualified to ride at the Final on a wild card through the Western European League, because she lives in Germany.

Leslie Morse, the fourth U.S. rider, also rode a solid test for 11th place with Tip Top 962 (64.00%).  Strong pirouettes and half-passes in both trot and canter were the highlights of her test.  She had an error early in the one-tempis, but quickly corrected the problem.

All the U.S. riders will ride to music in the freestyle Final on Saturday.

Grand Prix Results
1.    Warum Nicht/Isabell Werth/GER/74.79%
2.    Floriano/Steffen Peters/USA/72.87%
3.    Max/Kyra Kyrklund/FIN/71.70%
4.    Sunrise/Imke Schellekens-Bartels/NED/71.70%
5.    Briar 899/Jan Brink/SWE/71.62%
6.    Solos Carex/Tinne Vilhelmson/SWE/70.75%
7.    Group 4 Securicor IPS Gribaldi/Edward Gal/NED/68.08%
8.    Idocus/Courtney King/USA/67.83%
9.    Maximus JSS/Catherine Haddad/USA/66.75%
10.    Problesk/Iryna Lis/BLR/64.54%
11.    Tip Top 962/Leslie Morse/USA/64.00%
12.    BMC Kigali/Marlies van Baalen/NED/63.75%
13.    Galopin de la Font/Daniel Pinto/POR/63.33%
14.    Quantum Tyme/Evi Strasser/CAN/63.00%
15.    Lorenzo CH/Wayne Channon/GBR/62.00%
16.    Gran Gesto/Jacqueline Brooks/CAN/61.08%

For complete results,
go to http://events.horses.nl/2007/lasvegas/results/results.htm.  

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