Clooney Wins 5-year old Dressage Pony Final at 2017 Bundeschampionate

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 08:57
Nadine Krause on her home bred Clooney, winner of the 5-year old final at the 2017 Bundeschampionate
Photo © LL-foto
2017 Bundeschampionate

The buckskin Clooney became the winner of the 5-year old Dressage Pony Final at the 2017 Bundeschampionate, which are held annually at the DOKR headquarters in Warendorf, Germany. Clooney edged out Nike's Newcomer and Disney Dancer for the top podium place.

Under former German team pony rider Nadine Krause the buckskin Clooney (by Cyrill x Valido) was not an unfamiliar face in Warendorf. In 2016 he won the 4-year old Riding Pony stallion class under professional rider Wibke Hartmann-Stommel. This year he reigned supreme under his owner and breeder Nadine Krause, a 18-year old international junior rider. 

The duo was not automatically guaranteed of gold. In the preliminary round they tied in fourth place after scoring 8.0, but in the finals they upped the ante and put 8.5 on the leader board, which gave them gold and the pony's second, consecutive Bundeschampion's title.

Judges Ebert, Lehrmann, Nivelle rewarded the stallion with 8.5 for walk and trot, 8 for canter, 9 for submission and 8.5 for general impression. The pony was praised for its elastic and cadenced trot. The walk was secure in the rhythm and the canter showed good balance although the cadence got lost in the collection. The pony was very well on the aids and through in the body. 

"In the first test, Clooney was a bit unconcentrated due to stables right next to the DOKR, but he still listened to me and together we managed to make the best out of it," Krause told Eurodressage. "Therefore, there were a few little mistakes that lowered my result. In the final test, everything was perfect, from beginning to the end. I had an amazing feeling and I could show his whole potential. Just like his sire, he loves to be ridden in stadium-like atmospheres with many people, which is why he felt extremely comfortable in the final arena."

Krause knew her pony had the potential to win, but did not expect an automatic victory.

"There are many good ponies at the Bundeschampionate, but I know what an amazing pony Clooney is, and i knew that if everything goes right he definitely has the potential to win," she said about Clooney, who will stay in the family and probably be leased to a talented German pony rider.

Nike's Newcomer Cruises to Silver

Antonia Busch-Kuffner and the Hanoverian bred pony stallion Nike's Newcomer cruised to silver in the finals. Bred by U. Wesemann and H. Kuhlmann and owned by the rider, this gelding is by Nacromancer in the Dark x Niveau.

The 12-year old Antonia was the only real pony rider on the podium, sandwiched by two elder junior/young riders. Antonia accomplished another impressive feat, she qualified and rode three ponies at the Bundeschampionate. 

The buckskin beauty already gave a convincing impression in the preliminary round with a third place and 8.1 score and did even better in the finals with an 8.4 total. The judges rewarded the stalion with 8.5 for trot, 7.5 for walk, 8.5 for canter, 9 for submission and 8.5 for general impression. The pony was praised for its expression, looseness and relaxation . The trot had good balance with much swing in the extensions. In walk the pony is a bit limited in shoulder freedom. The canter was well balanced and correctly on the aids. 

The Busch-Kuffner family bought Nike's Newcomer as a 3-year old stallion, but they had him gelded quite quickly as he turned out to be too cheeky. Petite Antonia has truly connected with the buckskin, who is now her favourite in the barn.

"He can still be cheeky, but when it matters he won't drop a stitch," said Antonia's mom Silvia Busch-Kuffner. "He is quite electric, but very rideable. We believe that he will be able to do L and FEI in the next few years. But the goal for sure are the Bundeschampionate next year. With her 6-year old Reitland's Obama she already won FEI tests this year. He is ready for the big pony tour. We hope that Nike will follow him soon."

Disney Dancer Gets Bronze

Fresh off winning triple gold at the 2017 European Young Riders Championships in Roosendaal, The Netherlands, the 18-year old young rider Hannah Erbe rode Stefanie Friess' Rhinelander pony gelding Disney Dancer to bronze. Bred by Alexa Prange, the gelding is by Daddy Cool x Derbino.

Erbe and Disney Dancer did not have a perfect start at the Bundeschampionate. In the preliminary round they were only 14th with a  7.40 score, but the pair got its act together in the consolation finals and ranked third with 7.5 and earned their ticket to the finals after all. In the Finals they improved their total score by 0.5 points and finished on 8.0. Disney Dancer got 7.5 for trot, 9 for walk, 8 for canter, 7.5 for submission and 8 for general impression. 

"In the finals he gave me an amazing feeling and the increased difficulty of the test was no problem because Disney already took part in even more difficult competitions for young horses this year," Erbe told Eurodressage. "I didn’t expect to win bronze after the first two rides, but I knew that he is a very good pony and that we have the possibility to finish with a good result if everything worked out well."

Crowd Favorite Diamond Touch Ranks Sixth

One of the crowd favourites was the winner of the preliminary round: licensed stallion Diamond Touch (by Golden Dime x Golden Moonlight). Under the petite Lara Stoll the stallion scored 8.5 in the first round, but in the finals he scored only 7.7 in total despite extra applause from the crowds. The stallion got 9 for trot, 7 for walk, 8 for canter, 7 for submission and 7.5 for general impression. The palomino stallion was numb in the mouth and had to be more accepting of the bit by chewing and foaming.

The second place getter in the preliminary round, Schierensees Midnight Blue (by Schierensees Marillion) landed fourth place in the Finals. Under Antonia Busch-Kuffner Midnight Blue first scored 8.20, but in the finals dropped to a 7.9. 

Judge Dietrich Plewa, who provided the public commentary on the ponies, summarized that the quality of the riding was very good this year. The ponies were "the way you like to see them, with movements like big horses. This year the majority of the ponies were very well ridden, so that there were few technical problems."

Photos © LL-foto

Related Link
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2017 Bundeschampionate

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