Photo Report: Balkenhol Victorious at 2012 CDI Donaueschingen
Germany's individual Olympic contestant Anabel Balkenhol made a clean sweap at the 2012 CDI Donaueschingen on 14 - 16 September 2012. Balkenhol and her Hanoverian gelding Dablino (by De Niro x Wanderbusch II) won the Grand Prix and Special with top notes of 78.191% and 77.489%.
Balkenhol had Dablino on great form. The sensitive chestnut was more relaxed, very expressive in his powerful extended trot and super regular passage. The piaffes were in good rhythm but the horse should still take more weight on the hind quarters.
Nadine Capellmann and her Baden Wurttemberger mare Girasol (by Gribaldi x Landioso) produced two peak performances. The mare looked much more self-confident, had the poll as highest point and was less tense in her amazingly talented piaffe and passage. She finished third in the Grand Prix (73.915%) and second in the Special (74.644%).
"I'm super happy with Dablino," Balkenhol commened. "It's so much fun to finally get 80% from a few judges. Yes we can!"
Isabell Werth had her hands full steering her cold Rhinelander gelding El Santo (by Ehrentusch I) through the test. While the trot extensions are very ground covering and the passage is rhythmical and regular, the bay gelding lacks steam and willingness to go in the piaffe. In the Grand Prix the piaffes were very small or too forward, but the pair was able to finish second with 74.830%. In the Special Werth was spurring her horse visibly through the test and El Santo refused to do the second piaffe, reversing several meters and forcing the rider to do a volte and try again. The first and third piaffe were better. They ended up seventh with 70.422%.
At national level Under 25 rider Stella Charlott Roth won the Piaff Forderpreis tests aboard her own Hanoverian mare Diva Royal (by Don Frederico x Warkant). Roth took back the ride on her Olympic mount, which she lent to her trainer Dorothee Schneider for the 2012 Games in London, and made a winning return to the show ring with 73.474% in the Inter 2 and 74.465% in the Grand Prix.
The upcoming young Grand Prix horse class was won by Benjamin Werndl on the Oldenburg gelding Der Hit (by Del Gado x Welt Hit II) with 70.513% followed by Carola Koppelmann on the former world young horse champion Desperado OLD (by Dressage Royal) with 69.538%.
"I'm incredibly proud of 'Schlomo'," said Benjamin Wernd. "He wants to do everything right and is always with me. And then, I'm the one making mistakes!"
Photos © Silke Rottermann