Photo Report: Day Four - Freestyle Festival at the 2009 CDI-PJYR Weert
Diederik van Silfhout chose to ride Davidoff in the Kur and not his European gold medal winning mare Ruby. He competed the Gribaldi x Landwind II daughter in the consolation classes and won.
Lotje Schoots also ended up in the consolation class with her number one horse Reine B. This super talented, powerfully moving horse was not so quick to the aids in the team test and was outclassed by Schoots' second horse Toricelli. In the consolation finals, Reine B (by Rubinstein) finished second.
Diederik's younger sister Jarissa van Silfhout finished third on her big Dutch warmblood Trappel.
Pony Riders - Kur to Music Finals
The pony riders kur to music individual finals were won by Antoinette te Riele on Golden Girl. She received the monster score of 77.250% which was quite exaggerated as the kur was the mare's least performance of the three test she had done during the CDI Weert. She looked quite tired and flat in her otherwise nicely engaged trot. She had one big booboo when she broke into canter in the extended trot and got crooked in the strike off to canter from walk. The simple changes were still too hasty and did not enough quality steps in collected walk. Riding to ABBA music, the combination improved in the canterwork and did show great extensions and good counter canter. Her extended walk was the best of the day. However, her winning score of 77.25% was over the top. A big fan club gathered round Golden Girl (by Don't Worry) after her test.
Maria van den Dungen and her black stallion Rembrandt DDH finished second with 75.42%. The refined black stallion has three outstanding basic gaits but there are still some serious training issues that meddle with the harmonious image. The stallion is always VERY unsteady in the contact with the bit and bops his head constantly in the trot work. He is often too tight in the neck and behind the vertical and becomes very hasty in trot. He does not work through the body and is pushing his back down, preventing to swing through the body. This explains why he is not properly balanced in the trot work and why true self carriage lacks in this pony at the moment. His trot extensions do show great ground coverage, though, and the canter is stallion's strong side. The combination had the best music of the day and earned their over-appreciated second place to their high points for the artistic level.
A pony which is well established and experienced in his work is Nanna Skodborg Merrald's 11-year old Centrum. This Danish bred pony is ALWAYS nicely balanced, ALWAYS well engaged from behind, ALWAYS uphill and forward. He can get a bit passive in the mouth, but this pony just has quality written all over his body. They finished third with 73.50%
Dana van Lierop's Lord Champion (by Le Champion) is quite similar in looks to Centrum but lacks the experience and training. He lost some power and push from behind in the trot today but was always nicely at the vertical. Van Lierop's music was lovely (featuring Natalie Imbruglia's Torn) and the tunes clearly marked the different movements in the test. They got 73.08%
Junior Riders - Kur to Music Finals
No, no, no, ... Brigit van der Drift and Twister were not the rightful winners of the Junior Riders' Kur to Music Finals. Yes Twister (by Havidoff) is a fantastic, super talented horse. Yes, he's a real eye catcher in the ring, but there were too many issues in their freestyle to make them the winner's of the day (in our humble opinion). Of course it's great for Van der Drift to win the Kur Finals, but Twister had not performed the best test of the class. One wonders if the judges got hypnotized by Twister's stunning front leg usage?! He has the most wonderful knee action imaginable but was not tracking up behind enough in the Kur. The contact with the bit was unsteady as he was often tight in the neck or behind the vertical. He appeared quite tense which resulted in a walk that had not enough overtrack and stretch in the body. The horse is very impressive and he is a star for the future, but today in the Kur it just looked all too messy and uncontrolled. They got 75.750% and won the class.
Angela Krooswijk and the licensed stallion Roman Nature (by Rohdiamant) finished third with 72.670%
Young Riders - Kur to Music Finals
While the judging had been quite discorded in the team tests and individual tests (no matter what age division) at this beautifully organized CDI-PJYR Weert at Adri Gordijn's Stable De Ijzeren Man, in the freestyle classes the judges seemed much more in tune with one another, sharing opinions in the winner of a class and how the ranking should be. The young riders kur to music was won by Lotje Schoots on the powerhouse Toricelli (by Florestan).
Diederik van Silfhout and the Finnish owned Davidoff finished second. Davidoff is by Davignon I x Rotschild J x Welt As and is born in Finland. The gelding is bred and owned by Mrs Marjukka Kärki. The pair rode to a new freestyle based on music of Bad Boys and Madagascar.
Marrigje van Baalen and Don Cardinale finished third