Special Edward Gal Weekend and More News from the World of Dressage

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dutch dressage probably has entered a new era. At the Dutch indoor championships Edward Gal and the black Gribaldi-son Moorland’s Totilas impressed to the most. “He made me remind Bonfire and Salinero in their first appearances, a true promise for the future”, Dutch Olympic judge Jan Peeters commented with a smile.

The new Dutch indoor champions: Edward Gal and the incredible Moorland’s Totilas
The weekend surely was both exhaustive and emotional for Edward Gal. On Friday he was reunited with the incredible Lingh in Sweden, on Saturday and Sunday he showed his future prospect 9 year old Moorlands Totilas in Ermelo in The Netherlands to his advantage. Judges Jan Peeters, Adriaan Hamoen and Els Mouw could only find the mark 10 for the incredible piaffe the pair showed. “I almost went emotional by the feeling of this horse and the music myself”, Edward commented afterwards. The half passes, the canterwork, nothing seems a problem for the pair. “No, nothing is a problem”, Edward agreed. “The only problem if you might say so is that we still need time to gain strength. I still won’t rush. No Indoor Brabant Horseshow for me and Totilas.”
The numbers two and three were son Nartan and 18 year old father Broere Jazz, an unique duo. At the KWPN Stallion show Broere Jazz and his son Parzival ridden by Adelinde Cornelissen showed their fluent and elegant piaffe and passage shoulder at shoulder. Parzival just like most of the other Dutch A-cadre-members stayed home except for Jazz-son Nartan who took the honours for the runner up position ridden by Jeannette Haazen. Her cheerful Freestyle was rewarded with 76,25%. A good last test for this week’s CDI-W Indoor Brabant Horseshow, which will be the last chance to gain some points for the Final in Las Vegas.

Read all the results of the Dutch indoor championships here
Find schedules and results of the Indoor Brabant Horseshow starting next week here

Anky Recovered in Time

Anky van Grunsven showed at the Dutch national indoor championships that she has recovered from her back problems. She used the championships by giving a small clinic in which she showed IPS Salinero in Grand Prix and explained how the horse felt. “Since the Olympic Games we have not been back in the arena. I feel this long pause has given  Salinero the proper relaxation”, Anky explained happily. In December back problems made Anky withdraw from the Olympia Horseshow in London, recently Goteborg had to be missed too. “Together with my doctor I found out that the main issue that caused my back problems has been the way I carry my kids. Fortunately this has nothing to do with the riding”, Anky explained.

Gal and Lingh Reunited for Once

Friday the 13th of March proved to be a fantastic night in Southern Sweden at Flyinge. In the cold spring weather walking through candlelight, the famous dressage stallion Lingh entered the main arena in Flyinge once again reunited with his former rider Edward Gal.

Edward  Gal and Lingh happily reunited for the Flyinge Stallionshow Picture www.fotokristerlindh.se

For Edward the moment was filled with emotions. After all, it is Lingh that was the horse for his high rise to the top of the world as a dressage rider. He trained the horse since 4 years old for a period over 10 years. Lingh looked absolutely gorgeous together again with Edward. The Dutch team of Edward’s could not hold the tears in their eyes when watching this majestic horse performing once again. A lot of people cried.
Owner and rider Karin Offield said: “Lingh looked like he had to rethink again how Dutch was spoken, after 2 and a half years of American English. Also more recently now all the Swedish spoken from his team in Flyinge. But very quickly he seemed relaxed and obviously very satisfied to realize he knew what was asked of him. All the tricks of GP dressage looked as easy as they could and Lingh showed his amazing qualities especially in his changes on every stride and his piaffe and passage. His pirouettes were spot-on!”
The dark evening, with all the stallions of Flyinge being warmed up and prepared for their performances in the main arena, was full of atmosphere and a little bit of magic. There is something very special about these imposing father animals when they are all together in a chilly arena and smelling the spring in the air. The nature obviously is letting them know that a new season is starting, but their modern life is still controlled by the stallion masters, riders and grooms. The Flyinge staff dressed up in19th century traditional clothing gave the stallion show the extra element of a theatre performance and a full hall of spectators could once again see what Flyinge has to offer for the breeding season of 2009.
The CEO of Flyinge, Johan Bredberg and the breeding director Karl Henrik-Heimdahl, both addressed Lingh in their speeches and are extremely happy to have gotten this world class stallion to Flyinge. Karin Reid Offield was also very happy to see how her decision to place Lingh into Sweden and Flyinge has proved to be very successful. Lingh is in fantastic condition and enjoying his Swedish life.
Edward said after his afternoon ride to prepare on Lingh that for him this was a strange feeling. He knows this horse so well and yet a period of time has gone and in some ways Lingh feels like a new horse. But in the show at night it incredibly suddenly felt like the old days! Edward genuinely thanked Karin Offield and the Swedish audience for surrounding him on this moment and he promised to be back in Sweden soon!

Hubertus Schmidt’s first training with Swedish Dressage
German top rider and trainer Hubertus Schmidt visited Sweden last weekend for a training session with the Swedish dressage riders.
Swedish Chef d´Equipe Bo Jenå was very pleased with the way the first gathering in the project with Schmidt and Swedish dressage turned out. “Couldn’t be better”, says Jenå, “It was happy faces all round, the initiative with Hubertus Schmidt as supervisor turned out very well.”
15 riders and 22 horses came together at Ericsberg for three days of riding and practising.
It was a mix of Olympic riders with younger horses, riders on their way up and riders established at top level.
Tinne Vilhelmson- Silfvén brought three horses to the training session, Olympic ride Solos Carex, her new horse Favourit and a young horse. She said: “Hubertus Schmidt was interested in every rider and horse. He took his time with everyone and it was a really good weekend!”

Proposals FEI Dressage Task Force
At the FEI website www.fei.org news was made public on the ideas of the Dressage Task Force. The FEI Dressage Task Force sent out two major proposals to all the National Federations as well as the Stakeholder Groups for their opinions and consultation on issues relating to the Olympic format for dressage and the representatives in the future FEI Dressage Committee.
The Dressage Task Force proposes to have 60 competitors at Olympic Games for dressage instead of the maximum of 50. Increasing the number of Dressage athletes would mean a better geographical spread and maintain the ability of developing countries to compete, and would also create greater equity between the disciplines in terms of overall numbers.
The Dressage Task Force also wants to reformat the number of team members going from three back to four, though the fourth rider will be an individual competitor and not contribute to a team score. Also the DTF has clear ideas on the makeup of the future FEI Dressage Committee which should include one member of each stakeholder group.
Read more at www.fei.org