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Turmoil at World Championship for Young Dressage Horses

Verden, Germany - August 6, 2006 – Sensational developments today in Verden at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses. With the World Championship title directly at stake, a great deal happened. Riders getting nervous, a huge crowd being loudly outspoken with their comments and even booing the judges’ verdicts, and horses reacting to all the turmoil. Throughout it all, Dutch rider Patrick van der Meer kept cool and led the KWPN-bred Uzzo (Lancet x Indoctro) to an equally unexpected and well-deserved win. “I was nervous, nonetheless,” Patrick van der Meer commented. “This test is extremely difficult, and I really had to be concentrated in order not to make a mistake in these tricky lines.”

Big time favorite Sir Donnerhall caved in! He was tense, sometimes unsubmissive, unable to maintain both counter canters, and was deservedly punished for not being sufficiently cooperative with his rider Dr. Ulf Möller. Yet he achieved very high marks for the gaits, much to the disagreement of the public. In trot, his hind legs tended to move upward rather than forward, so the 9.2 mark for trot attracted a great deal of spectator opposition as the judges were booed and whistled. They then claimed that points had to be deducted for his canter because of the resistance in counter canter; still Sir Donnerhall was awarded a 9.0 for canter, which again prompted an extremely rebellious atmosphere.

The stadium being in absolute turmoil, Hans Peter Minderhoud decided to enter with Uptown as late as possible. But the KWPN-bred stallion, partially owned by the American Hyperion Farm, was sadly too excited to demonstrate his possibilities and ended up fifth.

The combinations that started before Sir Donnerhall were obviously not distracted by this very unusual outbreak and display of public discontent. Amongst them San Remo (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall), very well ridden by Great Britain’s Susan Pape, who claimed third place with average 8.5 mark. San Remo is very functional in his elevation tendency and correct gaits. This black Oldenburg-bred stallion was one of the best horses in canter.

The new World Champion Uzzo, sired by Emma Hindle’s Grand Prix stallion Lancet (Wenzel x Shogun xx), out of an Indoctro dam, gave a thrilling performance, especially in trot (9.0), but Submissiveness (8.7) and General Impression (8.8) also were highly appreciated. A true World Champion, this beautiful, graceful, elastic, well-balanced athlete. A little disappointing nonetheless, that it required Sir Donnerhall’s nervous breakdown to bring the title to the horse that really deserved it anyway.

If the five-year-old division caused a sensation, there were few surprises among the six year olds as Damon Hill lived up to expectations. Winner of his qualifying round, and last year’s World Championship for five year olds, this stunning stallion prolonged his reign. Christof Hess, commenting on behalf of the judges, was overjoyed with the impeccable communication between rider Ingrid Klimke and the beautiful stallion who is stationed at the Westphalian stud in Warendorf. For a youngster, in addition to the basic gaits and movements, all his extensions were highly rewarded.

Today, the KWPN-bred Hexagon’s Truppa, who was runner-up in qualification, was very tense, so Holland’s Thamar Zweistra maintained a high front end in order to control this big horse, sired by Rubiquil. As a result his back did not swing and the whole presentation was rather contrived rather than showing ‘free will’ as the FEI requires in its rules. The pair subsequently dropped to 13th place overall with an average mark of 7.14.

On this occasion, another Dutch horse claimed second place and therefore reserve title: Hyperion’s Tanirma (De Niro x Inspekteur), very well ridden by Sarah van Fessem. An easy-going performance, it appeared as though she could canter this wonderful mare for half an hour without losing the quality of pace.

Likewise, the bronze medal went to another mare, the Oldenburg-bred Biagiotti (Breitling x Diego xx) who, remarkably, qualified yesterday through the consolation final with her rider Brigitte Wittig of Germany. Three successive days of work had only improved Biagiotti’s quality, showing a lot of expression and power in movement. Her conformation (slightly short foreleg, with the neck a little too horizontal) has an impact on her front end that should be a little more elevated.

The highest mark for trot (9.6) was awarded to the fourth-placed horse FBW Deja Vu (Dacaprio x Glückspilz), ridden by Nadine Plaster, while a very talented horse for top-level dressage finished fifth: the Hannoverian-bred Dablino (De Niro x Wanderbursch II), who lost the title in walk, which was not a clear and steady four beat. Dablino is owned by U.S. team trainer Klaus Balkenhol, and was ridden by Holga Finken.

For full results: http://www.verden-turnier.de

This special report is a preview provided by PhelpsSports.com. Look for the debut of this new equestrian news website during the World Equestrian Games in August. Visit http://www.PhelpsSports.com for more information.

 

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