Thursday, May. 23, 2024

Werth And Warum Nicht Score A Wiesbaden Win

This German superstar proves impossible to beat.

Isabell Werth couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the outdoor season for Warum Nicht FRH.

The pair scored 76.12 percent in the Grand Prix for the Special at the Wiesbaden CDI, May 9-12, in Wiesbaden, Germany, to win and went on to conquer the Grand Prix Special with 78.00 percent.
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This German superstar proves impossible to beat.

Isabell Werth couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the outdoor season for Warum Nicht FRH.

The pair scored 76.12 percent in the Grand Prix for the Special at the Wiesbaden CDI, May 9-12, in Wiesbaden, Germany, to win and went on to conquer the Grand Prix Special with 78.00 percent.

“The 78 percent was quite something,” said a delighted Werth. “Besides the short episode of whinnying in the half-passes, I found ‘Hannes’ concentrated well for the first start outdoors. He showed great expression during the test.”

Werth was coming off a second-placed finish with the 12-year-old Hanoverian (by Weltmeyer) at the FEI World Cup Final in March, but it was her other Grand Prix star, Satchmo, that she chose to ride in the Hagen CDI in April. Her continued domination with both horses proved her anchor role for the German dressage team.

Which horse is her top choice for the Hong Kong Olympics continues to be a secret. “I would be quite blonde if I made a ranking today,” said Werth. “I hope both horses will stay sound. I guess I will compete both of them at the CHIO Aachen [Germany]. After that we will know what the ranking is. I would like to ride Satchmo in the CDIO Tour. The Potsdam Symphonic Orchestra is recording my new freestyle music for Satchmo, and I would like to present it at Aachen.”

German Heike Kemmer also expressed satisfaction with her 15-year-old Hanoverian Bonaparte after placing second in the Grand Prix for the Special.

“ ‘Bonnie’ was floating from movement to movement,” said Kemmer. “I was very enthusiastic about how he was moving in and out of the piaffes and how he jumped in the two-tempis. Maybe I was riding too relaxed in the Special into the one-tempis and caused the faults. After the faults in the one-tempis, I risked a lot in the extended canter to make up the points I had lost before. Maybe I pulled a bit too much on the right rein, so he changed too early—a fault that never happened before in a test with him.”

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This fault cost more valuable points, and she placed fourth in the Grand Prix Special with 71.92 percent.

Everyone’s Jockeying For Position

The Danish and the Australians used both Grand Prix tours as trials for their Olympic teams, and the Danish riders presented themselves strongly. Three Danish riders are qualified for the Olympics by their position in the World Rankings, so they will be able to send a team.

Denmark’s Princess, Nathalie Sayn-Wittgenstein, placed second in the Grand Prix Special, adding a bit of sensation to the competition.

She’s steadily improved this year with Digby, an 11-year-old Danish stallion by Donnerhall that her mother bred.

In the Special, Sayn-Wittgenstein risked a bit more and rode Digby more forward than in her fourth-placed Grand Prix test. The stallion’s highlights included his piaffe/passage tour and his canter work.

“The decision about who will go to Hong Kong will be made after our Danish Championships and the CHIO Aachen,” said Sayn-Wittgenstein. “There are a handful of riders under consideration. I guess Andreas Helgstrand and I are the strongest contenders. For the third place, Anne van Olst and Lars Petersen will have to fight it out. Lone Jörgensen, who had said earlier that she would not go with her 8-year-old mare Donna Asana, did a really good job here and might still change her mind.”

Kyrklund Dances Ahead

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Finland’s Kyra Kyrklund and Max captured the accolades in the Grand Prix freestyle, which took place until midnight under floodlights in front of approximately 8,000 spectators on Saturday evening. The combination was last to start out of the 15 participants and presented a top-notch ride to the arranged medley from the musical Cabaret. They won with 78.10 percent.

“Max loves to be in the center of attention,” said Kyrklund to the audience. “He believes all of you bought your entry tickets just for him. Don’t tell him that you also have come to see some other horses.”

The 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood (by Master) also knew how to say thank you with a small circus trick—he left the ring in Spanish Walk. Who says that only the Spanish riders and horses could do that!

Faults in the tempi-changes for Kyrklund left the door open in the Grand Prix for local hero Anja Plönzke and her Trakehner stallion Tannenhof’s Solero TSF. Her father not only sponsored the freestyle test but also offered live streaming video of the show over the Internet through his company www.clipmyhorse.de.

Plönzke placed third in the freestyle. She attacked her last centerline with more risk than usual, only stopping her extended canter when the front legs of her stallion were on the track directly in front of the judge at C.

“Mrs. Withages [the judge in question] looked pretty pale,” said Plönzke with a laugh. 

Birgit Popp

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