Zurich, Switzerland--The 19th annual Swiss Life CSI to be held in Zurich January 25-28 has invited six riders to compete in an invitational competition in a national level...Grand Prix Dressage Freestyle. Isabell Werth (GER), Michael Klimke (GER) and Catherine Haddad (USA) will make their way from Germany to Switzerland for the show. Three elite Swiss riders--Birgit Pläge, Simonne Staub and Marie-LineWettstein--have also been invited to start in the two part competition. All riders will compete on Friday in the Grand Prix and the best three will go on to compete in the Freestyle on Sunday for a total purse of CHF 21,000.00.
The Swiss Life International Jumping Show is one of the most hotly contended CSIs in Europe with prize money surpassing 1 million euros. Hosted at the Zurich Hallenstadion in the heart of the city, it attracts sold out crowds every day and top jumping competitors from all over the world. The show also hosts exhibitions and show programs to fulfill every wish. The addition of a national level invitational freestyle this year should spark the interest of dressage fans all over Europe.
Photo by Ruechel
Isabell Werth, the top star of the dressage program, will compete at two separate shows on this weekend. She plans to ride the CDI-W in Amsterdam with Polano and the freestyle invitational in Zurich with Apache. Both shows have accomodated their schedules to make this possible for Isabell who will fly back and forth over the weekend.
Catherine Haddad will bring her top horse, Maximus JSS, to Zurich. "I love that city," says the 42 year old US rider. "I've spent a lot of time looking for horses in Zurich. I bought Maximus there in 2003. He was owned by Daniel Ramseier and Michael Klimke. How ironic is that? Now we'll compete against his ex-half owner in the city where I first rode him!" Klimke will ride Bacchus de Light for the show and he and Haddad, in the spirit of international cooperation, plan to ship their horses to Zurich together.
Haddad has been re-writing and polishing the choreography of her "Gladiator Freestyle", ridden to the music score by Hans Zimmer from the award winning film. She was third in the Mechelen CDI-W (BEL) last month with this freestyle and has now moved into 9th position in the Western European League. "I'm putting a really difficult combination of movements in our piaffe-passage tour. I hope I can try it out in Zurich to see if it flows before we go to the next CDI-W." Haddad has not yet decided whether she will compete in at Neumuenster CDI-W or Goeteberg CDI-W in February.