Week after week, the American presence at the European international dressage shows has been a dominating and overpowering one. With victories at the CDI Wickrath, CDI Lingen and CDI Norten Hardenberg by USET team riders Susan Blinks, Lisa Wilcox and Guenter Seidel, the Americans have shown excellent preparedness for the World Equestrian Games that kick off next week.
At the Turnier der Sieger in Munster, Germany, it was Debbie McDonald's turn to ride herself in the spotlight. Reigning in the Short Grand Prix at CDI Munster, McDonald scored 75.47% aboard her Hanoverian mare Brentina and was 28 points ahead of second placed Hubertus Schmidt. The former German Champion for professional dressage riders saddled Wansuale Suerte for the Grand Prix tour in Munster. Ellen Schulten Baumer came in third with Lesotho, yet another Hanoverian filling up the top three of the Short Grand Prix.
In the Grand Prix Special it was Hubertus Schmidt who excelled with his chestnut mare, taking the blue ribbon and trophy for that class. Schmidt rode a correct, expressive test and received 1859 points for it. Ulla Salzgber, who cancelled her entry with Rusty for this CDI, rode her second Grand Prix mount Wall Street and placed second with 1854 points. Salzgber flew in from Bad Worishofen and back in order to continue to train Rusty at home for the WEG and to compete Wallstreet at the Turnier der Sieger.
More American successes were produced in Munster in the small tour. For the 2002 show season, Lisa Wilcox seems to have a subscription on the first place in the Prix St Georges and Intermediaire I. Trained by Ernst Hoyos, Wilcox owes the largest part of her success to the top quality dressage horses she's offered to ride by Gudula Vorwerk/Happ of stallion station Vorwerk in Cappeln, Germany.
Wilcox picked Royal Diamond out of her vast collection of FEI horses for the Munster show. The licensed Oldenburg breeding stallion (by Rubinstein x Inschallah AA) won the Prix St Georges Special with 1339 points and referred Isabell Werth with her brilliant Richard Kimble to a second position. Werth and her Westfalian gelding (by Ribbeck x Rheingold) gathered 1324 points. Although Wilcox won the class, she was not as pleased with her victory as expected. "I wished I could have ridden the trot tour with more expression," she commented. The canter tour, however, was one of Royal Diamond's forté's in his test.
In the Intermediaire I, Wilcox got what she complained about before and rode a brilliant test with her dapple grey stallion. Scoring 1513 points, Wilcox created an impressive distance between second placed Isabell Werth, who scored 1450 points.
One week before the start of the World Equestrian Games in Spain, there is a big disturbance in the German WEG Dressage Team. None of the WEG team members chose to compete at the CDI Munster, aiming to spare their horses for the big show and to avoid doping tests. At the German Dressage Championships in Mannheim, Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff's Renoir Unicef was claimed to be tested positive on doping, but in a press release the German Olympic Equestrian Committee (DOKR) denied this rumour. They acknowledged that before Mannheim, Renoir Unicef was treated with a prophylaktic regeneration treatment by Linsenhoff's own veterinary in co-operation with the team vet Dr. Bjorn Nolting.
The standard procedure includes that all short listed horses undergo a blood test after the German Championships but there seems to have been a communication breakdown between Linsenhoff's veterinary and the DOKR about the testing of Renoir after his regeneration treatment. Renoir Unicef was, therefore, tested again at the CDI Donaueschingen and the results turned out to be negative. To prevent further tests, both Nadine Capellmann and Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff opted only to ride the Grand Prix at the CDI Donaueschingen and no further tests.
Text by Astrid Appels
Scores Turnier der Sieger at Eurodressage.com
Isabell Werth and Richard Kimble
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DOKR Press Release about the doping tests (in German)