Catherine Haddad and Cadillac Cruise to Victory
Marianske Lazne August 19, 2007. The CDI-W drew a surprisingly competitive starter field with 14 nations represented--26 starters for the big tour and 18 for the small tour. Five competitors competed in this year’s newly offered international tour for Juniors.
Two American riders based in Germany, Catherine Haddad and Casey Dornan, ventured into the Czech Republic for a World Cup qualifier last weekend with fantastic results. Although Victoria Max-Teuerer (AUT) dominated the Grand Prix Freestyle (73.1%) with her 9 year old Sandro Hit, Salieri, the American riders were able to leave their mark on almost every other test.
Photo credit: Wiegaarden/T.B. Jensen
“I’ve never started in the Central European League before,” said Haddad. “The distance always seemed so daunting. But Marianske Lazne is actually much closer than Munich for us so we decided to drive over to the Czech Republic this weekend.”
Haddad rode her young Grand Prix horse, Cadillac—10 year old Danish Warmblood, to victory in the Intermediaire II (68%), winning over Udo Lange (GER), Nicole Glaser-Kappeler (GER) and Max-Teuerer (AUT). The pair was also 3rd in the Grand Prix (67.9%) behind Irina Lys (BLR) with Problesk and Jeanette Haazen (NED) with Nartan. Fourth in the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle qualifier with over 70% wrapped up a hugely successful weekend for Cadillac.
“I’m not ready to call it a big breakthrough because Cadillac is so young and still difficult to keep focused. But I finally ‘got to drive’ this weekend and the feeling was wonderful. Both the Int II and GP were clean, conservative tests. We made some mistakes in the Freestyle, but they were my mistakes since I was still driving! I am just happy that I’m finally developing a system that works for showing this horse. He has tremendous quality and potential.”
Catherine Haddad Gives First Impression with Frido
Haddad also made a grandiose first impression on a new mount, Frido, a 10 year old stallion owned by Ewald Wolpert of Dinklage, Germany. Second place in the PSG with 68% was just a warm up for the pair. With his powerful, majestic movement, the Westfalen stallion carried Haddad to victory in both the Intermediare I (69.3%) and the Int I Freestyle (71.5%).
“I’m surprised and pleased at how easy this stallion is to show. He is 100% clear in the head. That rideability combined with his movement and presence is a show stopper. We had a lot of fun in the Freestyle.” Spectators and judges were impressed by Frido’s huge extended canter and airborn flying changes.
“Frido has been ridden by a student of mine, Eva-Maria Willenborg, for the last year—I took over the ride just after Aachen in July. Eva did super basic training with this horse. She made my job easy. I’ll work on getting the Grand Prix movements confirmed this winter.”
Haddad is focusing on one other important goal for this year: Finding sponsorship for Cadillac. “I need financial support for this horse. He is developing into a top prospect for the US Team so I really hope we can find an American sponsor.” Haddad has video clips from Marianske Lazne on her website:internationaldressage.com
Casey Dornan and Charmeur A Charming Pair
Casey Dornan continued to impress with her 8 year old Oldenburg gelding, Le Charmeur. Surprisingly, the judges had some trouble finding the right score for this correct, accurate and graceful pair, with scores ranging from 63% to 71% in the Prix St. George. A final score of 66.9% put them in third.
A tie for second place in the Intermediare I (69.25%) and third place in the Intermediare I Freestyle (68.25%) rounded out another successful weekend for these newcomers to the international scene.
“This was the first time I rode a freestyle in competition. I knew some things would go wrong—especially since ‘Murray’ gets a bit tense with loud music—but I’m really happy with our results. He is getting steadier and easier to ride at every show. I can really go for it with him now!”
Haddad, Dornan’s trainer for over 10 years, is very complimentary of Le Charmeur and his pilot. “For me, this was the best pair in every test for frame, impulsion and absolutely correct riding. A couple of the judges saw it that way too. I think Casey is gaining ground in this sport.”
The riding club of Marianske Lazne hopes to host more international shows in the Czech Republic. Some improvements to the footing and stabling are planned for next year, but the lovely quiet atmosphere of the show grounds and the incredible beauty of this famous European spa city cannot be surpassed. Dressage is making a comeback in Central Europe!
Photo Credit: Craig Bernstein