Euro Update: Record Amount of Countries at 2008 Global Dressage Forum

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At the eighth Global Dressage Forum in Hooge Mierde a record amount of countries of 25 was represented, more than ever. Old and new nicely came together when highlights in the program from earlier years Dr Hilary Clayton and Hubertus Schmidt were brought back again at the GDF, while a new formula with working groups was also added. The Forum was held in a good communicative and respectful atmosphere. This was something chairman of the IDTC David Hunt pleaded for at the start.

Some of the highlights included Heike Kemmer who commented her own Grand Prix Special test at the Olympic Games. She admitted that the unevenness at the last centreline was caused by her own distraction by the videoscreen! The famous French military-based Cadre Noir, the special lecture on skeletal intervention to elite athletes by Andrew Thomas combined with the riding skills of Emma Hindle and Lancet and last but not least the impressive lesson of Hubertus Schmidt were more highlights.

British moderator Richard Davison described the eighth Global Dressage Forum as frank in a positive, respectful way as well as fun and informative. Davison, who has attended all of the forums designed to be the leading debating platform for the international dressage world, said: “I have been responsible for lighting the fuse before now, but I detected a far more receptive attitude this year.”

There was a strong British presence. Britain’s number one ranked rider and forum first-timer Emma Hindle and her stallion Lancet were invited to support the Dutch breeding display and help with a demo given by Britain’s World Class Development sports physio Andrew Thomas. His long-term pupil, another leading British rider, Laura Bechtolsheimer was also part of the popular workshop, which demonstrated exercises to help riders build up their strength to be able to have a correct seat.

It was also the first time the whole dramatic story was revealed behind Hindle’s amazing recovery from major surgery just five weeks before the Olympics. Hindle went for a routine check-up with her GP the day after the final selection trials. Within 24hrs she had an overian cyst the size of a tennis ball removed. The surgeons told Britain’s team captain Davison there was no way she would be able to ride for three months.

Davison said: “When we went into quarantine a week before flying out to Hong Kong, Emma could only ride in walk and only for a short period. It was total commitment and incredible teamwork from Emma, the World Class team, the other team members and Andy [the physio] in particular, that got her those amazing scores. There were many implications, such as the running order of the team, and everyone was one hundred per cent behind her.”

The format of the forum was changed slightly this year so delegates could chose from a selection of workshops. Thomas concentrated on core stability for the rider, which tied in well with Hilary Clayton’s session on core strengthening for the horse. Read More

Brink and DueBoje Win 2008 Swedish Dressage Championships

Senior rider Jan Brink and young rider Johanna Dueboje won the 2008 Swedish Dressage Championships for Grand Prix and Young Riders held in Helsingborg, Sweden, October 31 - November 2, 2008. Brink claimed his seventh and last champion's title aboard Biar (by Magini x Kroket), as this was the last championships in which the leading Swedish dressage rider will be participating with his 17-year old Swedish stallion. Briar is planned to retire from competition at the 2009 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Brink's reign used to be unchallenged. However, this year, he faced some tough competition from his former partner Minna Telde, who won the Grand Prix aboard Johan Ifverson's Don Charlys (by Don Gregory x Inschallah AA). Telde won the class with 70.083 but had Brink on her heels with a 69.708 % score. In the Kur to Music, Brink was supreme again riding to his "Number One" freestyle. The duo scored 74.600 %, won the kur and the overall championship with an average score of 72.154. The silver medal went to Telde who finished third in the kur on 72.550%. Maria Eriksson and her chestnut Galliano (by Labrador x Collin) claimed the bronze medal after finishing second in the kur with 73.100%. Their average championship score was 70.987%.

"This is our seventh gold medal together and it is especially cool that we were able to win it in Helsingborg, which is my home riding club," Jan Brink said. "This is also Briar's last Swedish Championships, which makes it a bit special. Briar can go another Championship, but I want to end with him at the top, so this will be his last season."

In the young riders division Johanna DueBoje reigned supreme winning all three championship rounds with Brownie, a Swedish warmblood gelding by Bernstein x Ganesco offspring, bred by Ester and Karl-Erik Jönsson. The winners obtained an average score of 68.953%. The silver medal went to Sanna Edsmar on Pay Back TP (by Come Back II x Bernstein) who finished with an 66.891 % average. Emilie Nyreröd and her sympathetic Swedish liver chestnut Milca (by Briar x Brisad) earned the bronze with an 66.825 % average. View Scores

Versace, Price Highlight of the 2008 Equine Elite Auction

The Equine Elite Auction is always one big party and this year it was no different. Besides the sale of top quality dressage horses, Equine Elite offers VIP entertainment and a big show. Held at Stable Korenbloem in Weert, The Netherlands, the 2008 Equine Elite Auction auctioned forty-four horses and this year the price highlight was Versace, a 6-year old Sandro Hit x Ulft offspring with a strong trot and canter. The black gelding sold for 315,000 euro.

The second highest knockdown price was 160,000 euro. A British dressage rider paid this amount of money for Wednesday, a bay mare by Future x Havidoff. The licensed Dutch warmblood stallion Amoor (by OOSeven x Jazz) sold for 110,000 euro and was the third most expensive horse of the collection.

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