Winner of today's class, the second qualifier for five year olds dressage horses, was the Hanoverian bred Keystone Dimaggio. Presented by the British Suzanne Davies, Dimaggio impresses with his superb moving mechanism which is large and impulsive. The extensions were adorable, the canter was good and expressive with nice frame opening.
The only disturbing thing about the combination was that Davies constantly yanked the reins while Dimaggio could have even been more excelling when left free. The overall image could have been more peaceful, more harmonious. Nevertheless, the judges were fanatic about the couple and they awarded it with a 9.2.
Hot Pairs in Freezing Weather
The second qualifier for five year old dressage horses was ridden in the afternoon of Friday 24th June 2000. The weather was so cold and as it was June all spectators were prepared for some summer weather. Well, let's say that the trade fair resellers did an excellent job in selling fleeces, sweaters, jackters and shirts. It was freezing cold and therefore the stands were completely empty except at B were an international panel of journalists enjoyed themselves watching, judging and photographing the world's best young horses. The Dutch Steven Stegen came as a representative for BCM's Hoefslag, American photographer Mary Phelps was there her own website horsesdaily.com, Belgian photographer Dirk Caremans covered the show for the official KWPN magazine and Belgian Astrid Appels was the official reporter on duty for Hippo Revue and Oldenburg Sportpferd. With a cup of cappucino the show was quite enjoyable!
First horse to leave a good impression was Wetano. The chestnut German bred Hanoverian is owned the Sweden's national stud farm Flyinge and is presented by WCYH veteran Susanne Gielen. Wetano is a very nice type of horse, really Weltmeyer like with an exceptional trot. However, the canter was a little bit short and the horse was a little bit stiff in the back. The image of harmony was disrupted by the rider constantly trying to lift the horse's head by raising her hands. Nonetheless with a little more self carriage and engagement from behind the horse could have been a real splasher! Their score was 8.10.
Next pair which was really dazzling was British Carl Hester on Keystone Waterford. This Hanoverian bred Weltmeyer son is a typical horse for female riders. The chestnut shows sensitivity, elegance, balance, rhythm, he's almost sensual. Waterford got his movement from sire Weltmeyer and his elegance from his dam sire Shogun xx. A tiny bit of extra impulsion would have lifted the shoulder more showing great reach in the front leg. Waterford was very light on the bit. The transisitions were sometimes a little hesitant and the walk can cover more ground but overall the stallion, owned by fellow competitor Suzanne Davies, is a real darling. They scored 8.50
Rohdiamant Carries on the Legacy
Last month the great Westfalian bred stallion Rubinstein I died. A tradition of superb dressage horses was about to be ended if there wouldn't have been his son Rohdiamant who carries on the legacy. The United States Equestrian Team refused to recognize the talent of the stallion, as they withheld Lisa Wilcox the right to try for the American Olympic Dressage Team. The German equestrian Federation (FN) doesn't. In Roman Nature and Ronaldo the FN saw two of its best young horses representing the country at the 2000 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses.
Ronaldo, an Oldenburg bred Rohdiamant, descends out of a great dam line by Westminster x Equador xx. Susanne Miesner won the German Bundeschampionate with him but in Arnhem the superb dark bay gelding had to beat up against top stars like Dimaggio, Placido and Quantum Tyme. Ronaldo did an excellent job under former American citizen Susanne Hopman, now married to German Claus Miesner. The gelding worked with great fluency and elasticity. He has an exceptional walk, an uphill canter. He's overall ground covering and rhythmic. With all his suppleness Ronaldo seems to be the perfect horse but in Arnhem he wasn't as electric as needed in a test. However, a score of 8.70 proves his talent. It ranked him fifth.
Another Rohdiamant offspring was positioned in the top five. Dutch Marlies van Baalen represented the Rhinelander verband with the Rohdiamant x Ehrentusch son Roman Nature. As the Dutch young rider is officially employed by German former Chef d'equipe Johan Hinnemann, Marlies gets the option to train and compete a collection of German talents.
Roman Nature is one of them. In the second qualifier Roman Nature needed more suspension in order to really excel and his engagement didn't suffice. In the extended walk he hardly stretched the neck although there was overtrack. Some tension took away the suppleness of this mount, which has a really nice conformation. The score of 8.9 seemed a little high but his talent and potential can not be ignored.
Americans Worth the Debut
Two Americans represented the United States. Scott Hassler had to withdraw prematurely as his Westphalian stallion, Hilltop Festrausch, was detected with a minor injury prior to the show. "It's not a big deal, he bumped himself in the stall, it's just bad timing," Susan Hassler told Junior Riders. Festrausch, by Florestan I out of a Carprilli dam, already competed in Arnhem last year but then under the "young horse master" Dr. Ulf Moeller.
Robert Dover saddled his students KWPN gelding New Tango, the dark bay gelding by Contango out of a Saluut dam, had only been ridden three times by Dover before the show? the pair did exceptionally well for their first major young horse event. In the first qualifier they scored a 7.9 and in their second test they moved up a point: 8.0. Overall New Tango needs more balance and self carriage, was the judges' remark. The canter was very good but the walk could have been more relaxed. Owner Tara Stegen was more than pleased with her boy's work.
Heather Bender from California had a more difficult ride on Winwood who was destracted and not really nice on the bit. The Wonderful x Amarillo gelding was more insterested in the commotion in the stands than showing of his movements. But Bender did a fine job. One major mistake was the simple change which didn't come through at all. The pair scored 6.9. "The test is too
easy for Winwood, he wants to be busy doing shoulder in, half passes. When we move up a level everything will be much better," Bender told Eurodressage.
Quantum Tyme and Dreamy's Dream, Dream Boys
Two absolutely exceptional horses were presented in the third section of the second qualifier for 5 year old dressage horses. Canadian Evi Strasser, a native German but married to a famous Canadian Hollywood film producer, received the official note that she was to ride her 5 year old in the World Championships ten days before the competition started.
Quantum Tyme, an Oldenburg gelding by Quattro out of an Argentinus dam, is one true star. The small chestnut fits Strasser perfectly. The horse has a nice expression, excellent engagement and a super balance. In the ring he behaved perfectly. "Quantum is very nice and never looks at a thing," Evi told Junior Riders, "but sometimes he can go boom and explode." The now cool-headed Quantum Tyme was very resistant against the pressure exercised by other top European young dressage horses and with an 8.80 and fourth place the Canadian Strasser was more than pleased.
Maybe the sweetest 'dream' in today's class was Dreamy's Dream, a Dream of Glory x Roscanini product, representing the Hanoverian verband. Dreamy's Dream, ridden by Anja Hermelink, is a very refined Trakehner-like sport horse with three fluid movements. In the extended trot the total image could have been more harmonic and Dreamy's Dream tends to go wide behind. His walk is very good, even the best of the day as the judges quoted this after the test. Dreamy's head tossed up occasionally but Hermelink managed the whole deal very well. The differences between extensions and collections had to be more obvious. Overall the pair was very elegant and impressive, the horse is a real asset for the future.
Text by Astrid Appels
Photos © Dirk Caremans