Early in the day on Friday at the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Christoph Koschel (GER) and Rostropowitsch NRW finished first on a 75.100% in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty. The duo put together a lovely test during the horse's first competition ever in the United States. The horse arrived in Florida in mid-January and suffered an untimely spider-bite upon his arrival, which led to Koschel giving him a few more weeks off than previously planned. "When I came into the stable, it looked awful to be honest. It has healed great and we've been taking very good care of it, so he is good to go now," Koschel explained. As for their test, "Rusty" put together a lovely freestyle considering the pair hadn't had much time to practice the routine. "He may have lacked a little bit of conditioning this week from being out for the spider bite, but I'm happy with the test," said Koschel.
"We had a few mistakes in the canter tour, a small mistake in our one-tempis, but he was very nice and in front of the leg the entire time. I really liked the ride."
The delay to the start of their AGDF season will not affect the rest of their plans at circuit, and Koschel will bring "Rusty" back in two weeks for the FEI CDI 4*/3* at AGDF 7. The horse is a staple in Koschel's string of competitive mounts, which he attests to the horse's incredible personality. "He's a very sweet horse, a bit like a big dog to be honest, which you wouldn't normally expect from a Grand Prix horse. The kids play with him in the stall when he lies down. He is just so well-behaved," he related.
Crowd favorite, the young Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP), placed second in the class aboard his longtime mount Don Diego Ymas. The pair earned a 72.375% in their second CDI Grand Prix Freestyle of the 2015 season. "I really enjoyed it. It is always so much fun. This is our second freestyle, and I think we've done great. I have another routine in the works, but we're going to stick with this one at the moment and improve on it," he said.
At only 17 years old, Matute is gaining valuable experience this season competing at the Grand Prix level. The switch from Prix St. Georges to Grand Prix is a large jump for many riders, and Matute feels that he is beginning to feel confident at the new level. He explained, "It's a bit intimidating sitting up here next to some of the best, like Mr. Koschel, but like I said, it's a challenge and I enjoy it. It is always so fun. I have five CDI horses here, and we have a great season to look forward to."
As for the partnership he has with Don Diego Ymas, Matute says the gelding has taught him everything he knows and they have an established relationship that gives him confidence in the ring. "I did my first CDI as a junior on him in 2012, and we've grown up together and gotten to where we have," Matute said. "I feel like we've built this relationship that now when I go into the ring, I feel such a strong connection with him and I trust in him, and he trusts in me. We have a special magic that just helps to make everything flow."
Final Results FEI CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%
1. Christoph Koschel (GER), Rostropowitsch NRW, 2002 Westphalian gelding, Rockwell x Windandela x Coriograf B: 72.750%, 73.750%, 76.125%, 77.750%, 75.125%, 75.100%
2. Juan Matute Jr. (ESP), Don Diego Ymas, 2003 Hanoverian gelding, Don Frederico x Wie Plantine: 70.000%, 70.750%, 72.500%, 73.500%, 75.125%, 72.375%
3. Lisa Wilcox (USA), Pikko del Cerro HU, 2003 Hanoverian stallion, Pik L x Rohweena x Rohdiamont: 70.500%, 70.250%, 71.875%, 74.875%, 70.750%, 71.650%
4. Daniel Jose Martin Dockx (ESP), Bolero CXLVIII, 2004 PRE Stallion, Utrerano VII xFelina XVIII x Urano II: 66.750%, 67.875%, 72.625%, 70.500%, 71.500%, 69.850%
5. Janne Rumbough (USA), Junior, 2002 PRE gelding, Gaucho III x La Nin III x Brioso VI: 66.875%, 64.125%, 66.375%, 67.375%, 66.000%, 66.150%
6. Franziska Seidl (SUI), Sigalia, 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding, Kigali x Foske x Animo: 64.000%, 64.500%, 64.500%, 62.875%, 62.875%, 63.750%
7. Tom Dvorak (CAN), Fling, 2000 Westphalian gelding, Florestan x Meilynn x Montmartre: 64.500%, 65.875%, 63.000%, 64.375%, 59.750%, 63.500%
8. Lisa Bukowski (CAN), Santos Utopia, 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding, Flemmingh x Mistral Utopia x Elcaro: 64.500%, 62.375%, 60.750%, 67.750%, 60.500%, 63.025%
To learn more about the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival and for schedules and ride times, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com for more information. The FEI CDI5*/3*/1* competition will continue through Sunday February 5, 2015.
About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world's largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations' Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.