International News from the World of Dressage

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Collegiate Positive Atmosphere at IDTC Meeting Warendorf

On April 1 and 2 the DOKR, Warendorf hosted a meeting of the International Dressage Trainers Club. Over 40 of the top trainers from 12 countries were present including Lars Anderson, Klaus Balkenhol, Jean Bemelmans, Heinz Breza, Johann Hinnemann, Sjef Janssen, Diederik Wigmans, Waclaw Pruchniewicz, Holger Schmetzer and Hubertus Schmidt.

Michael Klimke talking to the international trainers Photo Credit: Linda Keenan

Jürgen Koschel and Christoph Hess organized a fantastic group of demonstration riders: Annabel Balkenhol, Insa Hansen, Michael Klimke, Carola Koppelmann, Christoph Koschel, Oliver Oelrich, Charlott-Maria Schuermann, Wibke Stommel, and two riders from the Landgestuet, to stimulate the discussion. There was a positive collegiate atmosphere with members, sharing experiences and opinions in a respectful and open way. In addition the members discussed ways to work as a group to develop their influence within the sport. Next year the meeting is planned to be held in Poland.

Over 40 international trainers were present in Warendorf. At the picture Holger Schmezer, Jürgen Koschel, Klaus Balkenhol Photo Credit: Linda Keenan
WEG 2014 Allocated to Normandie, France

Last week during the FEI Bureau meeting in Vevey (SUI) decisions were taken on future championships. The FEI Bureau awarded the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games to the region of Normandie, France. After Stockholm (1990), The Hague (1994), Rome (1998), Jerez de la Frontera (2002), Aachen (2006) and the coming WEG in Kentucky (2010), this will be the seventh edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games and the first one to be held in France.

FEI President HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein expressed her happiness and said: “The allocation of the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games to the region of Normandie in France is an important development for the future of our sport. The bid committee in cooperation with the French Equestrian Federation have worked for eight years and presented a project of outstanding quality and vision which enjoys the support of the French government and regional authorities, and presents us as a sport with an exceptional platform in the very heart of a region that shares our passion for horses.”

Laurent Beauvais, President of the Regional Council of Basse-Normandie and President of the Organizing Committee Normandie 2014 said: “Hosting the FEI World Equestrian Games represents an exceptional opportunity for the promotion and development of Normandie on the international level. Normandie is the first region in France for horse breeding and champions and Normandie is proud to take up this challenge.”

The French Equestrian Federation is the third national federation in Europe with 600,000 members. Normandie is the symbol of the vitality of the French horse industry. It boasts a natural environment favourable to all horse activities, first rank infrastructure, renowned equine research centres, and high level industry related to horses. Many competitions are organised in Normandie each year.

The FEI World Equestrian Games are the combination of the world championships of all eight FEI disciplines - Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, Reining, and Para-Equestrian – held concurrently at the same place.

Verden Will Host World Breeding Championships for Three More Years

The FEI World Breeding Championships for dressage has been allocated to Verden (Germany) for another period of three more years to come, from 2010 to 2012.

In 2009, the International Dressage and Show Jumping Festival in Verden will be held from 4-9 August. It is featuring the whole range of training levels for dressage horses, from riding horse ability classes, qualifier for the Nuremberg Cup Finals and the Piaff-Challenge-Cup to Grand Prix de Dressage and Grand Prix Spécial. The worldwide interest however is focused on the F.E.I. World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses. It will again attract more than 40,000 guests from all over the world. Share the interest of breeders, instructors and riders as well as all those who love equestrian sport to come to the Rider’s Town of Verden and schedule your trip.

Find more info at

The venue of the rider’s town of Verden will host for three more years to come the FEI World Breeding Championships dressage Picture

Another Win Isabell at Hünxe Dressage Days
By Sabine Becker-Stils

The ‘Hünxe Dressage Days’, the big national tournament at the private barn of German O-judge Peter Engel, have taken place the first weekend of April. It was again time for the barn of Isabell Werth, to take part there - in the neighbourhood - with a full truckload of horses – and to secure some victories.

Matthias Bouten, stable rider of Isabell Werth, now had the chance to compete Apache and debuted for fourth position in Hünxe, Germany

This year, there was a real debut to see in the Grand Prix. Oldenburg-bred Apache, the 16-year old “winning pony” of Isabell Werth, for the first time was shown under his new jockey. Isabell’s professional rider, young talent Matthias Bouten, now uses the experienced gelding as a schoolmaster and is allowed to present him at shows. The first time Matthias and Apache fitted quite well. There was a small hook here and there, but a result of 66,603% (4th place) was more than sufficient and Matthias for sure was relieved that everything went well under the severe eyes of his boss and the interested look of horse owner Madeleine Winter-Schulze.

Winner of the test naturally was the current World Champion Isabell. With her up and coming El Santo, sired by Ehrentusch, Isabell Werth won the test with a result of 69,362% despite some mistakes. She was ahead of runner-up Ellen Schulten-Baumer with River of Joy (68,227%). River of Joy presented himself in a very pleasant way and thus proved he learned a lot during the winter. If not run into two costly mistakes, he would by far have won the test. Dutch Marlies van Baalen and the talented and quick reacting mare BMC Phoebe finished third (67,021%). Isabell and her second upcoming horse, the highly talented Whisper, earned 64,965% for 5th place. The second group of the Grand Prix was won by current eventing Olympic champion Ingrid Klimke showing Damon Hill NRW. The 9-year old approved stallion proved that he is one of the highest up and coming talents in the German dressage scene. Also the third-placed in the second group, Katharina Winkelhues and Rino, need to be mentioned: at their second Grand Prix only, the young rider and the chestnut gelding showed a very solid test.

Isabell Werth showing her young talent Whisper reaching for fifth position in Grand Prix in Hünxe
Pictures courtesy Sabine Becker