5-year old Florencio and 6-year old FBW French Kiss were the winners at the 2004 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden, Germany, July 9-11, 2004.
Heavy rain showers throughout the weekend did not damper the spirit of the crowds, nor that of the competitors and the show was one of superb quality despite the difficult weather conditions and heavy footing on Friday. Both Florestan bred horses were the favorites for the victory and both lived up to the expectations.
While the audience produced a respectful applause for the deserved win of FBW French Kiss in the 6-year old division, the stadium-filling crowd went bezerk when Florencio received a 10 for his canter, a 9.8 for his walk and a 9.7 for his trot in the Finals on Sunday. With an 9.80 total mark, Florencio has become the highest scoring horse in the history of the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses.
The Westfalian bred Florencio (Florestan x Weltmeyer) was professionally presented by Dutch rider Hans Peter Minderhoud, who already won the World Championships twice aboard his NRPS bred Rubels.
Minderhoud hit the jackpot again with Florencio and made history by winning the competition on the world's best young horse of the moment.
Owned by Eugene Reesink and Henk Nijhoff, Florencio is not only an extraterrestrial dressage horse, he is also a superb breeding stallion, actually producing top quality foals as well. Florencio covered approximately 500 mares this year and he's expected to breed even much more next year.
The title in the 6-year old division went to the black pearl FBW French Kiss. This Baden Wurttemberger bred licensed stallion by Florestan x Donnerhall was a title favorite together with Baroncelli.
Under Gestut Schlossacker's leading rider Katrin Burger, FBW French Kiss had already a bronze medal at the 2003 World Champion's title and one Bundeschampionate title and three Regional Championship titles on his list of achievements; only the 2004 World Champion's title was missing.
In Verden, the elegant combination got the deal done by riding a very harmonious, correct test in which the walk was the highlight gait earning a 9.7 mark. Burger's total score was 9.16 with which she won the 6-year old division with great distinction.
"Last year we said that it couldn't get any better than this, wehad also said that three years ago, but it is still getting better and better," FEI technical delegate and FEI Dressage Commission chairman Mariette Withages said. "I also want to congratulate the Verden Turniergesellschaft for its perfect organisation of the show," Withages added.
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