After missing out on the 2013 World Cup Finals and 2013 German Championships due to an injured Desperados, German Olympic team rider Kristina Sprehe made her come back at 2013 CDIO Aachen by winning the CDI Grand Prix with 73.723%. Sprehe scored far below her normal level as her test was filled with irregularities and mistakes and it proves that German team selection for Herning might still be a long road ahead.
Sprehe and the gorgeous 12-year old Hanoverian licensed stallion Desperados (by De Niro x Wolkenstein II) started with safe trot extensions, but already in the first trot half pass to the right irregular steps meddled with the beauty of the strides. The half pass left was much better. The first passage was uneven behind and in the piaffe the horse showed much potential for super lift but the black had difficulties with the rhythm. The extended walk was good, as well as the collected walk. The second passage was slightly better, but again Desperados struggled in the piaffe with uneven steps and rhythm. He threw in a few big steps but then tossed his head high, followed again by a loss of rhythm. In the canter, Sprehe was able to restore her confidence and she rode a beautiful zig zag a lovely extended canter and good one tempi's but in the two's there was a mistake. The pirouettes were super. On the final centerline the horse became crooked after the piaffe.
The judges' panel consisted of Isabelle Judet (FRA), Francis Verbeek-van Rooij (NED), Andrew Gardner (GBR), Dietrich Plewa (GER), and Leif Törnblad (DEN). Four judges placed Sprehe first, German judge Plewa ranked her third.
Austrian Victoria Max-Theurer and her 11-year old Hanoverian mare Blind Date (by Breitling x Donnerhall) became the runners-up with 72.617%. Victoria began her test with safe half passes and a very smooth first passage, which could have had more collection. The first piaffe was laboured and lacked electricity but the rhythm was good. The extended walk had ok overtrack but the strides could have been longer. The second piaffe-passage was solid but could be a bit more bubbly. In canter the mare loudly ground her teeth. The zig zag was very nice, but in the one tempi changes the more lost more and more ground cover on the diagonal and finished the series of 15 already at X. The left pirouette was ok, but the liver chestnut mare became quite crooked before the pirouette right. The final piaffe at X was quite small.
Hans Peter Minderhoud and the Oldenburg stallion Romanov (by Rohdiamant x Grundstein II) came to Aachen on a mission to score their second 64% Minimum Eligibility Score in order to be entitled to ride at the 2013 European Championships. The duo succeeded and with Romanov Minderhoud was able to ride one of his best tests of the season so far. The trot extensions were lovely, there was a lot of leg crossing in the half passes, but in the rein back the horse dragged its feet. The first passage was quite conservative but nice. Also the piaffe was nice. The extended walk was good but the bay stallion became lateral in the collected walk. The second piaffe and passage were nice and steady in the rhythm. Minderhoud continued his safe and secure ride in canter with correct two tempi changes, even though the horse lost the straightness in the body. The ones could have been more ground covering. The pirouettes were small but the horse could have made its strides more uphill. Romanov made a small stumble in the final trot extension, but the last piaffe-passage centerline was nice. The pair scored 72.596% to finish third.
Nadine Capellmann and her talented chestnut mare Girasol (by Gribaldi x Landioso) were not on best form today in Aachen. The mare executed gorgeous trot half passes but dropped behind the vertical. There were many uneven steps both in the piaffe and passage throughout the test, even though Girasol was able to show some spectacular strides while she struggled to find the rhythm. The trot and canter extensions were decent, the one tempi's ok but there was a mistake in the two's. In the pirouette left Capellmann couldn't keep her mare closed in the frame, the right one was much better. She scored 71.787% to finish fourth.
Text and Photos by Astrid Appels - No Reproduction Allowed
Eurodressage photographer Astrid Appels took photos of all combinations competing at the CDIO Aachen. Contact us if you are interested in prints of your photos!