Hindle and Bigwood Dominate 2007 CDI Stadl Paura

Thu, 04/12/2007 - 00:00
2007 CDI Stadl Paura

British world class performance riders Fiona Bigwood and Emma Hindle dominated the Grand Prix level classes at the 2007 CDI Stadl Paura in Austria. Bigwood reigned supreme in the Grand Prix Kur tour, while Emma Hindle won the Special tour, riding a personal best score in the Grand Prix of 73.500%.

The organisation of Stadl Paura had done much to improve their popular indoor show by enhancing the show facilities. The footing of the show ring and warm up arena had been considerably improved since last year and the competition atmosphere was much more relaxed for the horses as well, who had moved into stables set at a more beneficial position on the show grounds. Furthermore, the riders were fortunate enough to compete in brilliant weather conditions.

Austrian team rider Caroline Kottas-Heldenberg had to withdraw before the show as her horse Exupery (by Ex Libris) was still not fit after having undergone a correction to his club foot. Kottas' team mate Nina Stadlinger, on the other hand, was celebrated at the show. She announced that the 2007 show season will be the final competition year for her 17-year old Egalité (by Ehrentusch). Stadlinger and Egalité were being honored in Stadl Paura with a special ceremony, in which they received a commemoration blanket for the achievements for the Austrian team.

Hindle Rides Grand Prix Personal Best Score

Riding against a field of 25 international competitors, Emma Hindle and her Hanoverian licensed stallion Lancet (by Wenzel x Shogun xx) won the Grand Prix with a personal best score of 73.500%. The combination placed far ahead second placed Danish duo Sanne Hennigsen on Clearwater (69.625%) and continued their success tour by topping the leader board in the Grand Prix Special with 72.64%.

Hindle credits her trainer Richard White and her equine physiotherapist for the big progress she made on Lancet this winter. "We made the horses feel as good as possible at the show and everything came together. We did the right preparation and warm-up. We are definitely working the right way," she said.

Aboard her rising Grand Prix horse Diamond Hit, a 10-year old Oldenburg licensed stallion by Don Schufro, she placed second in the Grand Prix for Special with 69.793%. It was only "Basil's" second Grand Prix test ever and he proved his worth by landing right behind experienced team mate Fiona Bigwood on Mr G de Lully.

Bigwood Makes it Big in Austria

"Rule Brittania" played twice for Fiona Bigwood in the Stadl Paura arena. With the Swedish bred Mr G de Lully, she dominated the kur tour, winning the Grand Prix with 70.125% and the freestyle to music with 74.600%.

"We had a really good show," Bigwood said. "He is much more controlled and calm now and we are improving so much." Fiona, who has a new kur to music based on Enya music, is gearing into action this 2007 show season, as she aims to represent Great Britain at the 2007 European Dressage Championships in Turin, Italy.

Bigwood's partner Anders Dahl placed second in the Grand Prix Kur to Music aboard his Danish bred gelding Afrikka. With a score of 71.750% the judges awarded his newly changed freestyle. "We redid the choreography to increase the technical difficulty of the test," Dahl explained. His efforts already paid off even though the kur is still not completely finished yet. Dahl was also proud of his small tour horse Bukowski (by Briar) who placed 18th in his first international Prix St Georges class.

Music Below Par

Though most riders praised the improved facilities at the CDI Stadl Paura, one major weak point became obvious on the two kur to music days. The music installation for the freestyle tests was below par. Russian rider Tatiana Miloserdova got eliminated because no music came out of the speakers at all. Some riders had their music cut out in the middle of the test and in general, the quality of the music coming out of the speakers was poor.

Dutch kur composer Cees Slings, who was present in Stadl Paura, lamented about the amateur music installation that was installed for the show. "Only three speakers were set up, who stood 10 meters high and 25 meters away from the ring. The volume of the music was ghettoblaster-quality with empty batteries and the music engineer worked with a laptop dated from the 1980. The mixing panel probably dated back to the stone age," Slings joked.

Now that the importance of the kur to music is rising in international dressage competitions, it is wise for organizers of CDI's to re-evaluate the importance of up-to-standard technical equipment which can provide the best quality. Now that riders are willing to spend much money on a professionally composed freestyle, it is time that show organizers invest in equipment that can live up to the quality of the kur.

Photo courtesy: CDI Stadl Paura

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Scores 2007 CDI Stadl Paura 
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