What's Happening: November 2007 - Part 2

Fri, 11/30/2007 - 00:00
What's Happening in the Dressage World?
Isabell Werth and For Joy at the 2005 Bundeschampionate :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Isabell Werth's small tour horse For Joy has been sold to Belgium. Junior rider Julie Mommen sold her horse Nero de la Fazenda to Japan in September 2007 and has now purchased Werth's liver chestnut Fidermark x Inselfurst offspring. Werth competed For Joy at the 2005 Bundeschampionate but has not really competed him in high profile shows since then. Mommen tried out For Joy two times and decided to buy him. With her Belgian trainer Philippe Jorissen, she will prepare the horse for the international junior riders' tour.

Emile Welling has resigned as veterinarian of the Dutch dressage team. Welling only recently succeeded Hans van Schie but has been unable to fulfil his duties properly as dressage team vet due to a shortage in time. Welling is also the official team vet of the Dutch eventing team and was recently appointed head of Group Medicine Horse ("Groep Geneeskunde Paard "). "I have been appointed chairman of GGP and received a bunch of extra work through it. Also, eventing and dressage shows happen at the same time and always at different locations. I can't be at the same place at the same time," Welling told De Hoefslag. The Dutch Equestrian Federation is now looking for a substitute.

Musical celebrities have caught on to the dressage kur to music. Following in the footsteps of Dutch pianist Wibi Soerjadi, who composed a kur for Imke Schellekens and is now working on one for Anky van Grunsven, renowned violinist Andre Rieu will be partnering with Dutch rider Stephanie Peters for a new freestyle to music. "Mr Rieu was very enthusiastic, he didn't need a moment to think about it," Peters told the Dutch newspaper De Limburger."Last week I had a first appointment with him. We agreed to team up again in January, when he has returned from his concert tour in the States and Canada, and go from there." Dutch kur composer Cees Slings is currently working on two new freestyles for Coby van Baalen and Victoria Max-Theurer.

On November 14, 2007, the Astley Academy and the French Equestrian Federation brought together the leading figures of Dressage in the French Senate to give awards to those French riders who made an outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of equestrian culture through their achievements. Recipients this year were French champion Julia Chevanne, French team riderHubert Perring and junior rider Pauline Leclerq. Photos below from left to right:

1. Julia Chevanne, Nadine Cochenet (president of the French dressage commission) and Pénélope Fillon (wife of the French prime minister)
2. Hubert Perring receives his award
3. Julia Chevanne, Pauline Leclerq and Jean Arthuis (President of the French Finance Commission)

Anky van Grunsven's first Grand Prix horse Prisco has been put down on Monday November 26, 2007. He was 34 years old. Although clear in his mind, Prisco's legs were deteriorating and he collapsed in his stable last Wednesday. Anky waited until her return from Maastricht to put him down as she wanted to be with her horse when he passed away. Anky trained the bay gelding from novice level to Grand Prix. She competed him in training level tests as 12-year old. Prisco was a very tricky, hot horse who taught Anky to be patient. "I wasn't allowed to ride him when my father was not there. If he wasn't there, I had to lunge Prisco, which was even more dangerous than riding him as he stormed right at you," Van Grunsven reminisced. Also under saddle, the horse was nerve wrecking to ride. "My father always said, "dismount and walk three rounds round the stable. Only then I was allowed to get back on him. I did a lot of walking back then." As a 20-year old Anky was selected for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and before the Games, the were quarantained in Nijmeghen. "All the other team horses were wearing stable bandages. I had never seen them before. Priso escaped from his stall and we lost him in the Nijmeghen park." Prisco was retired at age 24 and spent the last ten years of his life as a happy 'pensioner' in the field.

Former Dutch team rider Arjen Teeuwissen and his life partner Frank Garritsen got married last month. They celebrated this with an enormous, stylish party and then left for their honeymoon to Thailand. Arjen and Frank live in Vlimmeren, Belgium, where they run a dressage stable.