Aachen, Germany—July 18
The team and individual world champions, Isabell Werth and Bella Rose 2, rode to victory in the Prize of Family Tesch Grand Prix at Aachen with a sensational score of 82.78 percent. Second place went to the German champions Dorothee Schneider and Showtime (80.60 percent). To her own surprise, three-time Olympic gold medalist, Charlotte Dujardin finished third with her second-string horse, Erlentanz (79.15 percent).
Werth and Bella Rose’s performance was virtually perfect with just one small mistake in the one-tempi flying changes. “Completely unnecessary,” said Werth, slightly annoyed. However, her delight at the successful performance soon clearly overweighed her annoyance. “It was a great test! The mare was extremely concentrated. I am totally happy!” she said.
And she had every reason to be, especially since the German national coach, Monica Theodorescu, waved away the mistake in the flying changes. “That doesn’t matter when one takes into consideration the super piaffe and passage tour,” she said.
The piaffe and passage tour and the transitions, as well as the rider score were awarded 10s several times.
The judges dealt out plenty of 10s, also to the recently crowned “German Master,” Dorothee Schneider with Showtime, with whom she won Olympic team gold in 2016.
After the CHIO Aachen in 2018, the 13-year-old Hanoverian by Sandro Hit was out of action for a long time due to injury. He didn’t start competing again until the spring. The long time-out obviously did him no harm. Showtime already excelled at the German Championships in Balve, and he was able to repeat this form again today.
“Showtime has grown up; he is much more self-confident,” said Schneider. She added that he had listened to her today much better than last year and had been very concentrated. Not even a loud noise, probably a bottle falling over on the stand, distracted the pair. It was just rather annoying that it had to happen in the middle of the half-passes that count double. Showtime flinched briefly but was immediately focused again. However, it cost the pair a few valuable points, as did a small mistake in the one-tempi flying changes. Nevertheless, the highlights such as the passage, the extended walk, piaffe, the transitions and the overall fresh, motivated impression the gelding made dominated their performance.
Great Britain’s dressage darling Dujardin made her return to the Deutsche Bank Stadium for the first time since the European Championships in 2015, and she was still amazed at how much the riders in the arena can feel the spectators in the stands.
Dujardin has the temporary ride on Erlentanz, and Aachen will be the last show for the pair.
The 12-year-old Latimer son belongs to one of her pupils, Sonnar Murray Brown, and her mentor, Carl Hester. Erlentanz and his owner competed in their first Grand Prix competitions together last year and she’ll be taking “Erly” back on after Aachen.
He had asked Charlotte Dujardin if she could compete Erly because he broke his leg and was out of action for quite a while. Dujardin said yes straightaway. Since then they’ve won three competitions at three shows in England, but hadn’t ever achieved a result like today, 79.15 percent and a personal record, and that in spite of the fact that Dujardin hadn’t really had any high expectations.
“I knew the Germans would be competing with their best horses,” she said. “Erlentanz is a super horse, but I really hadn’t expected to achieve this result. I simply wanted to enjoy this wonderful show and have fun.”
Adrienne Lyle and Betsy Juliano’s Salvino were the best-placed U.S. pair, scoring a 76.87 percent to finish eighth. Right behind her was Steffen Peters and Four Winds Farm’s Suppenkasper (75.84 percent) in ninth.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Jane Forbes Clark’s Alcazar were 15th (72.67 percent), and Shelly Francis and Patricia Stempel’s Danilo were 22nd (70.82 percent).
Germany is currently in the lead in the Nations Cup with a score of 242.39 ahead of the Danish quartet on 228.17 points, and the team from the United States on 225.39. The final result of the Nations Cup will be revealed after the second competition on Saturday, the Grand Prix Special, the MEGGLE Prize.
For full results, click here.
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