Sir Donnerhall and Farewell III Win 2006 Bundeschampionate

The Oldenburg stallion Sir Donnerhall and the Westfalian stallion Farewell III became the Dressage Horse Champions at the 2006 Bundeschampionate, which are the German Young Horse Championships, hosted at the German Olympic Riding Committee (DOKR) equestrian center in Warendorf, Germany. The 5 and 6-year old dressage horse division followed a new concept this year, with new tests that require classical dressage training from the riders and with three rounds in total: two qualifiers and one big finals.

Dr. Ulf Möller won the 5-year old Dressage Horse division aboard Sir Donnerhall (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall), but it was a very disputed victory. In the two preliminary rounds, Möller placed second overall with 9.0 and afterwards dropped to a fourth place with 9.0. In the finals, however, Möller was able to push the score up to an overall of 9.04, scoring 8.8 for a trot that was too tight in the neck and barely engaged from behind, 9.5 for a superb ground-covering canter and 8.7 for a walk that was slightly tense.

The Bundeschampionate are a highly political competition where the money and name of the sponsors dictate the score board. Paul Schockemohle's stallion Sir Donnerhall is a superb dressage horse and an outstanding breeding stallion, but he shouldn't have been the winner of this show. The title should have gone to the second placed Oldenburg stallion Donavan (Diamond Hit x Consul), who was the most consistent over three tests. Sir Donnerhall has more lightness in his gaits, but Donavan's light and steady contact with the bit was exemplary. Under Carola Koppelmann, Donavan scored an overall of 8.96 with 8.70 for trot, 9.00 for canter and un undervalued 9.30 for a phenomenal walk.

The bronze medal went to Susan Pape's Oldenburg stallion San Remo (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall) who won both preliminary rounds, but who looked tired in the finals. The British born Susan Draper/Pape scored 8.84 in total and got 8.50 for trot, 9.50 for the best canter of the show and 9.20 for a good but lackluster walk.

Sir Donnerhall and Farewell III Win 2006 Bundeschampionate

Farewell III Beats World Champion Damon Hill NRW

The 6-year old division caused some excitement in the final round in which the Westfalian branded stallion Farewell III beat the current double World Champion Damon Hill NRW. German eventing champion Ingrid Klimke put down two outstanding preliminary rounds aboard Mr. Becks' Westfalian stallion Damon Hill (by Donnerhall x Rubinstein). She won both qualifiers with 9.1 and 9.4, but a mistake in the flying changes in the final round caused Sandra Kotter and Farewell III to pass them by in the ranking and top the leader board.

Owned by the Klatte stallion station, Farewell III (by Fidermark x Rubinstein) is a very unpredictable dressage horse with outstanding basic gaits but a temperament one can not rely one. At the Bundeschampionate in Warendorf, Farewell fortunately had his act together having left his rambunctious attitude at home. In the Finals, he scored 8.62, with an 8.70 for trot, 8.00 for canter and 9.00 walk. This was enough to become the 2006 German Young Horse Dressage Champion.

Klimke and Damon Hill earned the reserve champion's title with a minimal point difference. They got 8.60 in total and scored 10 for trot, 8.50 for canter and 7.80 for walk. The bronze medal went to Frank Mohr on the Rhinelander bred Lancelott. Mohr totaled 8.54 points on Lancelott and his mount got 9.5 for trot, 8.5 for canter and 7.2 for walk.

The American owned Hanoverian stallion His Highness (Hohenstein x Donnerhall) placed seventh under Inga von Helldorff. Doug and Louise Leatherdale's black beauty scored 8.30 overall and got good notes for his gaits: 8.5 for trot, 9.0 for canter and 7.0 for walk. The judges gave him 8.5 for suppleness and 8.5 for general impression.

Sir Donnerhall and Farewell III Win 2006 Bundeschampionate

Quaterback, Silberaster, Moses and Locksley II, Riding Horse Champions

A short walk from the dressage ring through the forest brings you to the terrain where the riding horse and show jumping classes are held in Warendorf. The winners of the German Riding Horse Championships were Quaterback, Silberaster, Moses and Locksley II who were all judges by guest rider judges in a final round.

In the 3-year old mares and geldings' class, the black Oldenburg mare Silberaster (Sandro Hit x Canaster) put down stellar performances under Andrea Muller-Kersten. The lovely black mare is already the 2006 Oldenburg Brood Mare Champion as well as the Oldenburg Regional Dressage Champion, and she can now be add the title of German Riding Horse Champion to her list of achievements. She scored two 9.5's under the guest judge riders.

The winner of the 3-year old stallion class was Quaterback, a Deutsches Sportpferd by Quaterman (by Quando Quando) x Brandenburger and ridden by Christian Flamm. This lovely stallion got two 10's from the guest judges and also scored a 10 for canter.

The bay Baden Wurttemberger bred Moses (by Metteur x Ragazzo) dominated the 4-year old mares and geldings class. Under Dr Susann Konrad, Moses scored 8.5 for trot, 9.0 for canter and 9.5 for walk. The guest judge riders gave two 9.5's to this lovely bay gelding.

The impressive Hanoverian stallion Locksley II (by Londonderry x Weltmeyer) won the 4-year old stallion class under Hans Peter Klaus. Guest judge rider Anja Rietbrock gave the fantastic mover a 10, while Jana Freund scored him 9.5. For his basic gaits, Locksley II scored 9.5 for trot, 9.0 for canter and 8.0 for walk.

Text by Astrid Appels - Photos copyrighted: Barbara Schnell
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