In their first time to compete outside of Spain, and after only 7 months at the Grand Prix level, Dani Martin and Hampton Green Farm's Grandioso gained the respect of the larger International Dressage community with solid performances at the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Kur last weekend in Salzburg. The pair received 68.213% and 71.975% respectively, placing Fourth both days behind Anky Van Grunsven, Anja Plonzke, and Yuko Kirai of Japan. Spanish National Trainer Jan Bemelmans was on hand to work with horse and rider. This indoor invitational Dressage competition fielded horses from 7 countries, with over 600 horses competing overall in the various disciplines.
Translation form TopIberian.com
Grandioso, of the American Hampton Green Farm, and Jose Daniel Martin Dockx of Malaga confirmed themselves as rising stars as the pair took a well deserved fourth place and passed another "litmus test" at the 2011 Salzburg CDI4* in Germany. To the sound of Spanish guitars, the Kur started with the exercises at the canter. The rhythm of the music matched the movements of the horse in many of the exercises, such as, for example, in the two-tempi changes on the circle, and the one-tempis today without errors which were expensive in the prior test. The bay stallion again gave everything. An extended canter where Daniel took some risks went directly into maximum collection in the corner and the first pirouette. The trot exercises followed the medium walk, and the trot, passage and piaffe transitions came back perfect. 71.975% is a magnificent score in this first season together.
"The pair has just begun their career and will gain strength, routine, know-how with each competition," Jan Bemelmans tells TopIberian, the national team trainer who was present for the occasion, "I am delighted, and we now have to work to increase quality in the Grand Prix. This competition is a starting point and I'm glad that the result is more than worthy. Now we have to work, the next show is the Sunshine Tour in mid-January Montenmedio for the pre-selected team."
Daniel is delighted with the response of the horse "It was our first time outside of Spain and the second International together and I am very happy with the result. I regret the mistakes in the changes yesterday. We could have gotten even better ranking if it were not for the errors yesterday. But we received many marks of 8, and this is very important to me. In the transitions today the judges give us high marks, and in the series of two-tempis we today received 8s. Grandioso was phenomenal. I congratulate Kim Boyer for this horse and I am very happy with the result in this first competition outside of Spain." Kimberly van Kampen, the owner of Hampton Green Farm also welcomes this success, who prolonged her stay in Europe following a trip to SICAB to accompany the pair to Salzburg. TopIberian Horse
"I am happy to see the partnership between horse and rider developing. Grandioso has become fully Dani's horse now, and they are doing a Grand Prix test that is a product of this partnership. I look forward to seeing what happens as Dani and Grandioso mature together under the direction of Jan."
The plan is now to give Grandioso a much-needed rest following his recent successes in two major competitions--the National Championships of Spain in October, where he placed First, and then this Salzburg CDI, which required an 18 hour journey by truck each direction.
Dani and Grandioso will be setting their sites on Sunshine Tour 2012 where they will join other members of the Spanish pre-selection team in the kick-off competition of the Olympic year.