It was a wonderful evening at the Equita’ Lyon CDI-W–FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle Hermès. At the end of which Isabell Werth added one more World Cup victory to her endless list, the second victory this season. Even though Warum Nicht does have the radiance of Gigolo, Isabell’s superstar of the 90s, he still allows the German idol to remain one of the best riders of the world. The 15-year-old Hannoverian chestnut gelding by Weltmeyer x Wenzel I, is long and leggy with powerful trot extentions and fluid half passes like Werth's favorite Olympic champion. Home from America and the , Kentucky 2010 just one month, the duo displayed what a championship performance requires.
“Hannes (the nickname in Warum Nicht’s stables) was more attentive tonight. One little mistake, otherwise there is nothing to add”, says the German champion Werth who is satisfied with the good work that practically qualified her for the final. This allows her to introduce her young horses El Santo and Don Johnson, both 9-year-olds who are anxious to be part of the big scene, to the World Cup. The audience did not contest the fact and applauded the German leader of this event.
Tonight's runner-up is also German: Ulla Salzberger’s horse Herzruf's Erbe has to mature a little in order to win against Warum Nicht aka Hannes. The 11-year-old Rheinlaner by Herzruf x Caletto I is a horse is still very young in dressage. Like Warum Nicht is reminiscent of Gigilo in look and body type, Salzgeber's Herzruf's Erbe looks as if we could be watching another Rusty getting ready for the 2012 Olympics. Germany was bumped to a Bronze medal position at the 2010 Alltech World Games, a reality which can happen in a country where the older stars have retired, and there is new talent yet to mature. It’s also the age of the highest scoring French rider, Marc Boblet’s horse Whitni Star, that showed his best World Cup performance so far with an 8th place and an average of 70%. Valentina Truppa, riding Chablis, from Italy, caused quite a stir tonight with a third place in her very first participation in a World Cup competition.
The American Flag is on the scoreboard thanks to USEF Dressage Team reserve rider Catherine Haddad and her up and coming 10-year-old Winyamaro by Walt Disney x Trapper, finishing in 11th place almost touching the 70% magic mark at 69.150. Although still quite young and new to this level US Dressage Team technical deligate Anne Gribbons urged Haddad to bring the Hannoverian gelding to America where he launched up the ladder in rankings to make the reserve spot for the American team.
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