Euro News From DressageDirect- American Dressage Rider in Europe Catherine Haddad Opens 2009 with Win at Leipzig

Monday, January 19, 2009


American Catherine Haddad living in Germany won the Grand Prix Special at the Leipzig CDI4* aboard her 12 year old Danish gelding Cadillac by Solos Carex.  The pair placed second in the Grand Prix on Friday to Susanne Lebek and Potomac.

Haddad earned good points in the collected tour of both tests with seamless transitions in and out of the piaffe, which was always balanced, active and on the spot. Cadillac was more relaxed and engaged in the Grand Prix Special on Saturday which Haddad was able to win even after going off course. “Somehow I switched into automatic in the middle of the one tempi centerline and went back to riding the old Special. So I finished the line with the left lead and a left pirouette right in front of the judges and then I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I just DID a left pirouette!’  It will be months before I’m used to riding the new tests!”, Haddad said.

Haddad went off course in the Special but still could go in the lap of honor as the winner aboard Picture courtesy

Haddad was not the only rider to make mistakes in the course in Leipzig. Werth slipped into automatic in the Grand Prix after the canter depart as she turned down the centerline to ride the zig-zag. The new test calls for two tempi’s as the first canter exercise. The deducted points caused the loss of her first place in the Grand Prix.

Both riders seemed unperturbed by the mistakes as did the several riders who went off course in Münster last weekend.

“The new FEI tests will cause confusion for a while but I’m not going to worry about it. I am so happy with my horse this weekend!  Cadillac is just getting better and better now. And of course taking home a gold ribbon this weekend really feels like a pay off for the long years of hard work with him. 2009 is going to be a good year!”

2009 is the first year that organizer Volker Wulff included an international Grand Prix program at the much lauded Partner Pferd international jumping show. While Lebek and Haddad won in the Grand Prix for Special tour, Heike Kemmer was first in the Grand Prix for Kür with Rubin Royal and Isabell Werth won the Freestyle on Saturday night with a characteristic blockbuster ride on her 10 year old First Class by Florestan.

“I watched the Freestyles. The atmosphere on Saturday night was incredible,” said Haddad. “The Leipziger Messe is a perfect venue for international shows.  I’ve been very engaged with the World Cup tour over the past three years and this stadium compares favorably to all the others I have seen.”

Haddad is currently ranked 8th in the Western European League for World Cup™. She will start at the Amsterdam CDI-W next weekend and hopes to earn a start for the USA at the Final in Las Vegas. She also has her eyes set on Kentucky for the WEG in 2010.  “I would be honored to start for my own country in my own country!”, Haddad expressed. Haddad is competing with both Cadillac and her better known Maximus JSS, also a Danish Warmblood, who was placed 7th at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2007.

(Source: press release Partner Pferd 2009, Julia Wentscher, find more at

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