Catherine Haddad and Heather Blitz Rock n Roll at Falsterbo CDIO in Sweden

Falsterbo July 22, 2007 American dressage riders Catherine Haddad and Heather Blitz made a good showing at the CDIO competition in Falsterbo, Sweden. The United States did not send a team but both Americans started as individual riders in the team competition and both qualified for the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix Freestyle.

The team competition was won by Sweden. Jan Brink with Briar, Per Sandgaard with Orient and Kristian Von Krusenstierna with Wilson combined to outscore both the German and Danish teams anchored by Karen Rehbein (GER) and Andreas Helgstrand (DEN). Jan Brink (SWE) and Briar dominated all three tests with clear and decisive wins. (Scores at

Catherine Haddad (USA) made an exceptionally strong showing in all three tests with her World Cup mount, Maximus JSS. They showed elastic, energetic and accurate riding over all three days. Scores over 69% in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special placed the pair 5th and 3rd respectively. A technically accurate and as ever dramatic ride to the music from “Gladiator” finished out their weekend with a score over 73% and 3rd place in the Grand Prix Freestyle competition, despite the overwhelming rain that doused the last competitors in the freestyle and led to the cancellation of the Grand Prix jumping on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m so pleased to have Maximus back in action. We had good tests at Aachen a few weeks ago but I didn’t feel like I had all the fine tuning in place since he had a long break after the World Cup. I didn’t have him back in full form until this week.”

Maximus showed marked improvement in “losgelassenheit” in all three tests. More bounce and fluidity in a ground covering passage, smooth transitions with good impulsion in extended trot and the typical steady accuracy of the canter tour earned Haddad and the 13 year old Danish gelding high marks in every test. The walk tour also seemed much improved since the pair’s 7th place in the World Cup last April.

“Zeilinger has been after me about the overall relaxation in the training. I was pushing too hard through the winter—trying like crazy to improve the piaffe—and I lost some of the elasticity in the gaits. We are back on track with that and I am thrilled with the feeling. Falsterbo is the first show since Verden last summer where I have actually ENJOYED every stride of every test. It was truly a wonderful weekend.”