Kiichi Harada became the big winner of the 2015 Japanese Dressage Championships held at the CDI 3* in Miki, Japan, on 7 - 8 November 2015. No less than 19 big tour riders contested the Grand Prix and the top six moved on to the Grand Prix Special. Both classes counted for the final ranking in the All Japan Championships.
The 2015 Japanese Dressage Championships were judged by Maria Schwennesen (AUS), Alison King (NZL), Susie Hoevenaars (AUS), Yang (JPN) and Francis Verbeek-van Rooy (NED).
The 42-year old Kiichi Harada is a newcomer to the Nationals and he captured his first Grand Prix title in his career. Aboard the 12-year old Dutch warmblood gelding Egistar (by Cabochon x Kaiserstern xx) he won the Grand Prix with 66.100% and the Special with 66.960%. Egistar is bred by Gert van Norel in The Netherlands and previously competed at Grand Prix level by German Peter Koch before selling to Japan. The horse is owned by Haruka Nakada.
Harada began his international equestrian career in 2003 as an eventing rider but in 2014 he switched to dressage. He began competing at international Grand Prix level on Egistar in April 2015. The 2015 CDI Tokyo was his first international and he placed second (61.480% Grand Prix) and third (63.900% Kur) there. He trains on a regular basis with Jurgen Koschel.
Routinier Hiroyuki Kitahara and his brand new ride Winnetou DDH, a 12-year old Dutch warmblood by Welcome x Investment, became the reserve champion with a 63.780% Grand Prix score and 65.640% in the Special. Winnetou DDH was originally trained and competed by Femke Beljon in The Netherlands but sold to Japan in May 2013. He was first shown there by Kazuki Sado before Kitahara took over the ride.
Shingo Hayashi, the 2014 Japanese Dressage Championships, was also in Miki but after placing 7th in the Grand Prix (59.720%) on his 18-year old Dutch warmblood gelding Peter Pan (by Gribaldi x Oldenburg) he did not move on to the second round.
Photos © Japan Equestrian Federation
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