Sprehe Wins CDIO Grand Prix at 2012 CDIO Aachen
Aachen press release - 79.702 percent was the score of Kristina Sprehe and her 11-year-old stallion Desperados, which made her win the CDIO Aachen Grand Prix class on Thursday 5 July 2012.
“I am relieved and happy that we did so well in the first competition. But we can even do a little bit better,” Sprehe commented. “Desperados is often a little over-motivated during the first competitions at a new show, so you have to be very careful that he doesn’t make any mistakes in the rhythm. In the second competition we were able to risk a bit more.”
Hence, the rider was able to take the victory ahead of her fellow team member, Helen Langehanenberg. The two-time German Champion, Langehanenberg, was unlucky, because it started raining while she rode. Finishing on a score of 78.436 percent, Damon Hill made a few mistakes which ultimately cost them the victory.
“Damon Hill was rather worked up, the weather made it difficult and of course there is a lot of pressure on the riders here,” the national trainer, Johnny Hilberath, summed up. “But there are no laws governing this, the stadium is of course very special and it makes a great impression on the horses. Nevertheless, there were a lot of highlights in the test, and it also gives us food for thought and there is still work to be done,” commented Hilberath.
The German team coach was very pleased with the team result in the Lambertz Nations Cup: “They all rode at a high level.”
Third place went to the Austrian dressage rider Victoria Max-Theurer with the home bred licensed stallion Augustin. The Oldenburg son of her former ride August der Starke (by Argentinus) was awarded a score of 77.894 percent.
Anabel Balkenhol, who was placed fourth, was “very happy” with Dablino’s performance (75.426 percent). “This is our third show after a long break and I can now finally say that he has regained his old form. I can actually start riding again, he is in good spirits and he is keen, which is a great feeling,” Balkenhol explained.
The daughter of the former German national coach, entered the dressage ring as second German rider in the Grand Prix.
“With the Olympic Games looming, one takes a different approach when competing. You have to perform well, you can’t make any mistakes and we have got some super pairs, who are putting in top performance. I would love to be on the team in London and I think my chances are quite good, if Dablino does as well in the next competitions.”
After having experienced two unfortunate CHIO years – first of all Anabel Balkenhol caught the Noro virus, then Dablino went lame – she is now optimistic. “I have done a lot of things to make sure I stay fit here, including autogenic and mental training.” She already represented the German team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky with Dablino, a 12-year-old Hanoverian De Niro x Wanderbursch son.
Dorothee Schneider, who put in her first performance as a Nations Cup team member, also achieved a good result with the 10-year-old Don Frederico x Warkant daughter Diva Royal: sixth place, (74.277 percent).
“I had my nerves under control,” she reported. “I was overjoyed at being able to compete here, I only found out a week ago that I would be on the Nations Cup team. Of course, I was nervous, but I also enjoyed it.” She is not thinking about the Olympic Games at the moment, she noted. “I want to perform well here and just stay cool.”
-- Aachen Press release
Photos © Astrid Appels
The Big Eurodressage Report about the CDIO Grand Prix will be posted on Friday!!