Last year’s silver medallist moved up the ranks to take gold at the FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships in Verden Sunday. Uno Donna Unique (s.Don Schufro), ridden by Denmark's Andreas Helgstrand, was the undisputed World Champion of the 6-year-old division at the German fixture in which Danish horses excelled. The new 5-year-old World Champion however comes from Holland. Astrix (s.Obelisk) helped Emmelie Scholtens to win her second consecutive title.
The points for Uno Donna Unique, awarded by Dr Wojciech Markowski, Elisabeth Max-Theurer, Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Angelika Frömming were spectacular - a total of 9.46. Equally spectacular was the way the judges had to mark down Helgstrand’s other horse, last year’s gold medallist Hönnerups Driver (s. Blue Hors Romanov). Due to ‘exaggerated movements’, ‘passage-like trot’ and problems with the contact, Driver this time only earned in 12th place with a score of 7.80.
The new World Champion Uno Donna Unique has grown stronger and more stable, showing three superb basic gaits, and the judging panel were highly impressed.
ONE RIDER, TWO MEDALS
One lady rider took both silver and bronze. Aboard the powerful Hanoverian Soliere (s.Sandro Hit), Eva Möller from Germany earned 8.66, only slightly more than the result of her other ride Blickpunkt (v.Belissimo M), who gained his second consecutive bronze medal with a mark of 8.54. Again Blickpunkt excelled in trot, while Soliere showed the better canter.
“Winning silver and bronze makes the whole thing complete for me”, said Möller who was third with Blickpunkt last year and who won the Bundeschampionat in Germany in 2009 with the Belissimo M offspring. “My husband Ulf bought both horses when they were foals, so this really is special to us.”
Fourth place went to another Don Schufro offspring, Rebelle, ridden by Maria Andersen from Denmark (8.42). Don Schufro is also the dam sire of the fifth placed horse Skovens Rafael, ridden by Denmark's Lotte Skaerbek. This approved son of Blue Hors Romanov showed tremendous potential for Grand Prix (8.38).
In the 5-year-old division Holland's Emmelie Scholtens emulated her success in the 6 year old section at the previous Championships. In 2009 she took gold with Westpoint, this time she rode Astrix – also a KWPN bred stallion – to take the 5 year old honours.
“This time was a lot more relaxed”, said Emmelie after the prize giving ceremony. “Last year was my first time, there was a lot of pressure. This time I just had a lovely ride. Obviously, after Thursday, when he won the qualifier, there was a bit of pressure, but I had a great time on him anyway. He is such a nice character! Anyone can perform the test I had with Astrix today!”
Three very good basic gaits, a beautiful dressage model, a golden temperament and very good rideability - Astrix (Obelisk out of an Olivi dam) has it all.
The winning horse achieved a score of 9.18 points while second placed Lissaro van de Helle (Lissabon x Matcho A) was awarded 9.08 as Claudia Ruscher claimed both silver and bronze. This was a superb result for the German rider who was competing in her very first World Championships at Verden. The Hanoverian bred and approved Lissaro van de Helle equalled the quality of the gold-medal-winning Astrix in walk and canter, but had to give way in trot.
Bronze went to Ruscher and Stedinger’s son Schumacher (8.76), who made a huge impression with his powerful gaits. “Lissaro is a very quiet stallion”, said Rüscher, comparing her two rides. “He’s bothered by nothing, he just does his job. Schumacher is a little more delicate, but he has a great mentality.”
Fourth place went to one of the greatest dressage talents in the field: Damon Jerome H, by the former double World Champion Damon Hill. Ridden by Uta Gräf from Germany this stallion missed the bronze medal by only 0.02 points. Two Danish horses, second generation offspring of Sandro Hit, were placed fifth and sixth, the light-footed Grevens Sa Va (s.Soprano), ridden by Camilla Ahlers Pedersen finishing ahead of the expressive Törveslettens Stamina (s.Stedinger), ridden by fellow-Dane, Andreas Helgstrand.
Full results at www.verden-turnier.de