International dressage competition started today in the wonderful arena of the Aachen Rennverein for the 2003 CDIO Aachen. The world's best riders came in action today in two exhilarating classes, the CDI Prix St Georges and the CDIO Grand Prix Nations' Cup.
Leading the ranking of group 1 in the CDIO Grand Prix is German Klaus Husenbeth aboard his Hanoverian gelding Piccolino. Purchased at the Verden auction and trained to Grand Prix by Husenbeth, Piccolino is an absolutely superb Grand Prix horse with Rusty-traversal quality and impulsion. Scoring 71.67%, the international panel of judges placed Husenbeth unanimously into first position. Husenbeth's Piccolino (by Prince Tatch xx) has became so much stronger since his last big international appearance at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. The dark bay gelding dances with such great rhythm and has never before shown a stronger, confirmed piaffe-passage tour than in the CDIO Grand Prix.
Following decisively in second position is Finnish Kyra Kyrklund, who realises she has a new international calibre horse in Linda Fowler's Andiamo Tyme. Putting 70.79% on the scoreboard, Kyra and Andiamo excelled in the piaffe and passage and showed an overall extremely harmonious picture.
In third position is Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff and her genious Renoir Unicef with 69.63%. Linsenhoff kicked off riding a 75% test, but as the tension built up in the test due to its rising brilliance, Linsenhoff couldn't handle the pressure and flawed in the tempi's every two strides. The error made her lose all connection with the horse, yet Linsenhoff did her best to repair the damage that had been done. Renoir Unicef had shown a divine test in which cadance, rhythm, impulsion and suppleness ruled, but after the error in the tempi's, he became too hot to handle. Although the pair received five nines in the extended walk, the scores dropped unfortunately at the end.
Two Americans came in action in the CDIO Grand Prix and that were Guenter Seidel and Steffen Peters. Seidel who gaurantees a peaceful picture of harmony between rider and horse got the best out of his hot Nikolaus and scored 68.33% (6th). Steffen Peters presented a rebooted Grandeur, as the horse was fresh and crispy in the mind and tookd great pleasure in showing the Grand Prix movements at Aachen. 67.63% placed them eighth and put the American Dressage team in a provisional second place in the nations' cup.
Aachen citizen and show favorite Nadine Capellmann dominated the CDI Prix St Georges on her Hanoverian Bolero-offspring Bouton. The nine-year old chestnut scored a generous 69.00% for a test that started out at a high level of suspension, and ended in a slight loss of collection. Second placed Sterntaler, Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff's newest acquisition, is qualitywise superior to Bouton, but the communication with his rider needed more finetuning in order to prevail. 68.85% ranked the combination second, beating Monica Theodorescu on her latest grey revelation, Cooper. The Holsteiner gelding by Carolus received 68.50% from the judges, who suffered from malcommunication on Wednesday morning
Each member of the panel of judges envisaged a different winner. Beatrice Burchler Keller and Volker Moritz favored Simons de Ridder on Wellington, Mariette Withages chose Rehbein on Placido, Truppa made Capellmann win and Linda Zang liked Oatley Nist on Quando Quando the most. While Zang placed Oatley Nist first, Withages chose to rank her last (19th).
Aachen is known to be an exhilarating show, where controversy, surprise and tradition go hand in hand. In the CDIO Grand Prix, the judges' opinions equalled out and showed a more balanced reflection of the reality.
Tune into Horsesdaily and Dressagedaily for live coverage of the 2003 CHIO Aachen.