The 9-year old Dutch warmblood stallion Vitalis became the winner of the 2016 Nurnberger Burgpokal Finals - the German Championships for Developing Prix St Georges horses. Under Norwegian Isabel Freese (née Bache), the liver chestnut stallion scored a whopping 79.220% in the Finals which were held at the 2016 CDI Frankfurt in Germany on Saturday 17 December 2016.
For the 25th time the Nurnberger Burgpokal Finals took place in Germany. After a series of qualifiers held throughout Germany during the outdoor show season, the winner at each qualifier is eligible to contest the Finals in Frankfurt. The circuit is open to 7 to 9-year old horses and they contest the Prix St Georges Special, a test designed by Dr. Reiner Klimke at the inception of the format. The rein back on the centerline at the end of the test was deliberately inserted by Klimke to test the horses' looseness and obedience.
"Partly thanks to the Nurnberger Burgpokal Germany has been able to stay at the world top of dressage sport at a constant level," said judge Katrina Wüst.
Isabel Freese and Vitalis (by Vivaldi x D-Day) were the hot favourites for the title and lived up to all the expectations in Frankfurt. The stallion placed first with four out of five judges and totalled 79.220% for the champion's sash.
Ingrid Klimke, daughter of Reiner, accomplished a very strong feat in qualifying two horses for the finals and ranking them second and third. Aboard Wilhelm Holkenbrink's Hanoverian stallion Franziskus (by Fidermark x Alabaster) she became the runner-up with 77.634%, while she steered Faith Berghuis and her own Rhinelander mare Geraldine (by Furst Grandios x Tolstoi) to a third place with 76.951%.
Klimke also became the recipient of the "seat and equitation" prize offered to the rider who presented her horses in the best, classical frame.
Photos © LL-foto
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