Fabienne Lutkemeier and D’Agostino headed a German whitewash as home riders claimed the top four, and five of the top six places, at the third leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League at Stuttgart today. In a competition filled with quality performances, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl finished a close second with Unee BB ahead of Isabell Werth and Don Johnson NRW in third, while Dorothee Schneider completed the top-four clean sweep for the host nation when next in line with Forward Thinking. Only Holland’s Danielle Heijkoop and Kingsley Siro NOP managed to break the German grip at the sharp end of the leaderboard when slotting into fifth ahead of Sonke Rothenberger and Favourit.
Lutkemeier was delighted with the result which has promoted her to the top of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Western European League table. “It was a great competition and there was a big atmosphere in the arena today, but D’Agostino felt really good and controlled and focused” said the 25-year-old who hails from Paderborn in Germany.
Registered Their Approval
The Stuttgart spectators are always a knowledgeable bunch and, just before the judging break at the halfway stage, registered their approval when Finland’s Terhi Stegars and Axis TSF went into the lead on a score of 76.350. This horse-and-rider combination have a unique appeal that includes a very definite “cuteness” factor, and after a long career together they work in great harmony and are crowd-pleasers wherever they go.
They stayed out in front until overtaken by the former Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven ride, Favourit, with young German star, Sonke Rothenberger, in the saddle. The tall 20-year-old, who has enjoyed phenomenal success at Pony and Young Rider level, coasted in with a mark that was almost 0.5 better, but his lead wouldn’t last long as next in was fellow-German Dorothee Schneider, who produced a calm, confident and compliant test from the aptly-named mare Forward Thinking for a score of 79.475.
Isabell Werth’s Don Johnson FRH was unsettled at times, yet produced some lovely work to post a new lead-score of 79.500 when next into the ring, and when the Dutch duo of Heijkoop and Kingsley Siro NOP were awarded 77.325 then only two more stood between two-time FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion Werth and her first victory of the 2014/2015 season.
However the real battle was played out between the last two contenders, von Bredow-Werndl and the 13-year-old Unee BB throwing down 80.375 with a demanding floorplan that began with a double canter-pirouette and which was unrelenting to the very end. The Stuttgart crowd went wild with delight when the result flashed up on the scoreboard, and Lutkemeier and D’Agostino were greeted by that wall of sound as they began their preparation when last to go.
But nothing would get in their way today, the 14-year-old gelding remaining rock solid and fully concentrated on his job despite the excitement going on around him. At the second leg of the series in Lyon, France last month the pair had to settle for runner-up spot behind The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival, but today would be their day as they surpassed their German counterparts by 0.225 percentage points to take the win.
“After winning the Grand Prix yesterday I was just hoping we could do it again today, but I knew it would be difficult” said Lutkemeier whose career-highlights to date already include team gold at the FEI European Championships in Herning, Denmark last year and at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, France this summer.
Asked if she has the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Final now in her sights, the German rider said “it would be a dream to go to Las Vegas, but we will wait and see how the season goes. Danny (D’Agostino) will take a break now until Christmas and come back into work again in the new year and we will take it from there” she pointed out.
Runner-up, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, said “yesterday was more difficult. I was so happy with my piaffe as well as other key elements but maybe wasn’t as focused with my canter work as I should have been, and that is why I made the mistakes I did. Today, there were some small communication problems but that is absolutely normal and it can happen. I am really pleased with him” she said of Unee BB, “and the audience were absolutely fantastic - it was brilliant!”
Third-placed Isabell Werth joked afterwards that it was time for her 12-year-old horse, Don Johnson FRH, to do a bit of growing up. “Johnny was a bit naughty, he was playing with me a bit. That is his character anyways, nothing new, that is Johnny for you! He has a few more competitions ahead of him and it’s time for him to become more serious, especially when you bear in mind this is the horse I will be taking with me to the Final. The atmosphere in Las Vegas will be similar to here, with crazy spectators, so I need to do my best to get him back to earth before then!”
Result: 1, D'Agostino (Fabienne Lutkemeier) GER 80.600; 2, Unee BB (Jessica von Bredow-Werndl) GER 80.375; 3, Don Johnson FRH (Isabell Werth) GER 79.500; 4, Forward Looking (Dorothee Schneider) GER 79.475; 5, Kingsley Siro NOP (Danielle Heijkoop) NED 77.325; 6, Favourit (Sonke Rothenberger) GER 76.825; 7, Axis TSF (Terhi Stegars) FIN 76.350; 8, Smeyers Molberg (Marcela Krinke Susmelj) SUI 75.800; 9, Fabriano (Renate Voglsang) AUT 75.400; 10, Eres DL (Jeroen Devroe) BEL 73.050.
Full result here
Facts and Figures:
- The German Masters at Stuttgart presented round 3 of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League series today.
- German riders filled the top four places led by Fabienne Lutkemeier and D'Agostino.
- The same horse-and-rider combination also won yesterday's preliminary Grand Prix at the German fixture.
- The winning horse is a 14-year-old Hannoverian gelding by De Niro, owned by her mother Gina Capellmann-Lutkemeier.
- The winning rider is 25 years old and was a member of the German gold medal winning teams at the FEI European Championships in Herning, Denmark in 2013 and at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France this summer.
- Today's victory has promoted Lutkemeier to the top of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League leader board, having accumulated a total of 44 points over the first three rounds of the nine-leg series.
- The Ground Jury for today’s competition consisted of: At E, G. Fouarge (NED); At H, C. Umbach (LUX), At C, K Wuest (GER); At M, J Roudier (FRA); At B, Dr D Plewa (GER).
- The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Final will takes place in Las Vegas, USA from 15-19 April 2015.
Judge at C, Katharina Wuest: "From a judges point of view I am very pleased. There was no inflation of marks today, it was really top top sport and the audience was very happy. We have been having a lot of discussions about Freestyles recently and they really are getting better and better, certainly more creative and innovative. The judges should keep in mind that the riders nowadays are choosing music that suits their horse and they should be credited for that.”
Fabienne Lutkemeier GER: I was happy today, it was a fantastic show. I came here many years ago with my mother when I was growing up. It is great riding here in this arena, there is a great atmosphere. I am very grateful to the sponsors of the event, including Reem Acra, without whom a lot of this wouldn’t be possible”.
Standings after Round 3 of Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2014/2015 Western European League at Stuttgart, GER:
1. Fabienne Lutkemeier GER - 44
2. Adelinde Cornelissen NED - 37
2. Agnete Kirk Thinggaard DEN - 37
2. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl GER - 37
5. Valentina Truppa ITA - 34
6. Marcela Kinnke Susmejl SUI - 32
7. Isabell Werth GER - 30
8. Inna Logutenkova UKR - 29
9. Ulla Salzgeber GER - 28
10. Danielle Heijkoop NED - 25
11. Morgan Barbancon Mestre ESP - 23
12. Benjamin Werndl GER - 22
12. Malin Hamilton SWE - 22
12. Dorothee Schneider GER - 22
15. Sonke Rothenberger GER - 21