German Grand Prix rider Benjamin Werndl is making headlines with his newest Grand Prix horse, Flora Keller's Daily Mirror. At the 2018 CDI Wiener Neustadt in Austria on 29 - 31 March 2018, Werndl swept the GP Special tour in a field of 14 combinations.
Daily Mirror is a 14-year old Westfalian gelding by Damon Hill out of Fiedergirl II (by Florestan).
He was first started as a youngster by Berit Schunk and briefly competed by Nicole Onken and Hans Peter Mohr, before Saskia Lieben Seuter began campaigning him in 2013. Holga Finken took over in 2014 and brought the horse to Grand Prix. One year ago Swiss owner Flora Keller decided to move her horses to the Werndl family, who are based in Aubenhausen in the south of Germany.
Werndl made his CDI debut half a year ago at the CDI Lambrechtshausen in September 2017 and also took him to Donaueschingen and Lier. In Wiener Neustadt, however, they struck gold and won the Grand Prix with 71.913% and the Special with 73.255%
"Daily Mirror felt great," Benjamin told Eurodressage. "He was much more relaxed than in Lier. So I was really happy with him. Of course there are still things to improve. We are working on that. But especially the piaffes were much better. I think I found a way that he feels more comfortable in the piaffe."
Werndl also brought along his long-time GP horse Der Hit for the freestyle tour and placed third and second with him. He further rides the 9-year old Oldenburg gelding Famoso (by Farewell III x Welt Hit II) amongst others for owner Flora Keller, who is the half sister of former international dressage judge Beatrice Burchler-Keller. Beatrice sponsors Benjamin's sister Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.
"Jessi and I are really lucky to have such great supporters. All their horses are keepers," Werndl said when asked if his horses are for sale. "My plan for Daily Mirror this season is to still improve. Then we'll see. Famoso and Sandokan will both go in the Louisdor Cup."
Photos © Rainer Dill