Chiara Prijs Vitale Wins Big at 2012 CDI-J Drachten
Dutch based Italian junior rider Chiara Prijs Vitale made a big entry with her new horse Hot Chocolate at the 2012 CDI-J Drachten on 6 - 8 January 2012. Coached by Dutch Moroccan Yessin Rahmouni, Prijs Vitale won the Junior Riders team championship and individual test and placed second in the Kur to Music.
Prijs Vitale paints a whole new picture on top of the sensitive 15-year old Oldenburg mare Hot Chocolate (by Sandro Hit x Lateiner) compared to her previous junior rider's horse Michigan. With the bay mare Prijs Vitale can sit focused and quiet in the saddle and make her horse dance beneath her while the contact stays light and steady at all times. The trot work was the absolute highlight of the test, while the canter was very confirmed. Only in walk the combination failed to impress as the horse lacked clarity of rhythm. The Italian posted big scores in Drachten, winning the team test with 69.729%, the individual test with 72.368% and slotting in second in the Kur with 74.458%.
Prijs Vitale began riding Hot Chocolate four weeks ago, when her parents started to lease the horse from former Italian eventing chef d'equipe Michele Betti. The Oldenburg mare was previously competed by Betti's life partner, Italian Grand Prix rider Silvia Rizzo.
Prijs Vitale's biggest competitor in Drachten was Suzanne van de Ven on the 17-year old Rhinelander mare Donna Gracia (by Donnerschlag). The highly experienced mare makes the junior rider's test look like a piece of cake: fantastic flying changes and beautiful walk pirouettes pushed the score high up.
Only in trot the rider has the tendency to push her seat in the saddle instead of letting herself be carried by the horse. Van den Ven finished second twice (69.279% and 70.614%) and won the kur to music with 74.625%.
"What a super start of 2012," said an ecstatic Van den Ven. "Second in the team test and individual and I won the finals with almost 75%. I'm so proud of my little Donna."
Belgian Jorinde Verwimp and her tall Dutch warmblood gelding Tiamo (by Lester x Hemmingway) were very consistent in their performances throughout the weekend and placed third three times.
In the team championship test the pair stood out with their huge flying changes and massive trot and canter extensions. The whole could have looked a bit more smoother and rhythmical with a lighter curb contact and the rider squeezing her knees slightly less into the saddle. Verwimp scored 67.657% in the team test, 70.000% in the individual and 73.791% in the kur.
"I had an awesome time in Drachten," Verwimp commented. "It was a very successful competition in cold Friesland. I'm happy with my Timmie."
Text and Photos © Astrid Appels - No Reproduction Allowed