Gone With the Wind, the other 6-year old finallists

Mon, 08/04/2008 - 00:00
2008 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses

Belgian Vicky Smits-Vanderhasselt returned to Verden with the Belgian warmblood mare Chinatown's Dream to show off their improved training level. The black is a very sensitive ride, but she has three outstanding basic gaits.

The trot is light footed, engaged, elegant, the walk ground covering, the canter uphill and active. The best of gaits that offer the world and earned her 8.8 for trot, 8.5 for walk and 8.0 for canter. The flying changes were a bit of an issue, but were jumped. The contact with the bit is probably too light with this horse as the mare has all the freedom to play with her bit and she regularly sticks out her tongue in front. They scored 8.26 overall, a fantastic sixth place.

Wolfram Wittig warned everyone, "the weather will decide the winner" and that's what it did. Two of the most prominent candidates for a medal in the 6-year old Finals dropped down in the ranking to due to tension and spooks because the wind made the spectators' tents rattle.

Brigitte Wittig's Bertoli W (by Breitling x Diego xx - pictured below left) finished seventh with 8.22. The pair showed lovely half passes but the horse was tense in trot and grinded his teeth. The walk is quite limited and in the collection looses a bit of its clarity. The canter is fantastic: so uphill and engaged which leads to world class flying changes, though Wittig had her hands full riding them. The second and third change were a major problem with the horse spooking and dropping into trot. The fourth was extraordinary.

Last year's 5-year old World Champion Cayenne W (by Carabas x Bismarck - pictured right) entered the ring scared. Bred out of Wolfram Wittig's mare line, Cayenne spooked after the first halt and broke into canter. She then got scared from the wind and blew up her walk. Despite these test-killing factors, Cayenne nevertheless demonstrated her high quality gaits and training. The trot and canter were fantastic with superb flying changes, verifying the thorough, classical training of Cayenne, who is owned by the Japanese Akemi Tanaka, who bought her off a video tape. The pair scored 7.56 and finished 13th.

Yellow riding pants and uncleaned boots, you don't get to see this low level of outfit preparation very often at a World Championships. But what does it matter if you are able to present your horse is such a delightful way? Mareike Mondrowski picked her happy Hanoverian mare Waioni from the field to compete her in the World Championship qualifier in Warendorf and Finals in Verden! The horse could show more self carriage in trot, but the walk has good overtrack. The canter is a bit stiff as the back needs to swing more, and the gait could be more uphill, but the quality is good enough to score above 8.0 in all three movements.

Mondrowski was the only amateur dressage rider in the 6-year old division of the World Championships and is by profession a school teacher of sport, German, Dutch, and geography. The young Mareike was only allowed to ride horses during the school holidays. "And then I rode and worked at a stable every single day," she said. She did her first show at age 19. The now 38-year old Mondrowski trains at the Abecks Hof in Hünxe, Germany, and owns Waioni together with her partner Peter Coenen and has received several offers for her mare but turned them all day. "She's not for sale," Mondrowski urged.

Swedish Erna Axelsson took over the ride on the black licensed Swedish warmblood stallion Impuls from Anne Svanberg who is highly pregnant and could not compete the horse. Impuls is bred by the successful breeders' couple Ann and Thorsten Pehrsson, who have now presented their third breeding product at a World Young Horse Championships (the other two are Hermes and Gicea). The stallion is by Master out of a Chapman dam and has three outstanding gaits, with especially an engaged trot. He scored 8,7 for trot, 7,4 fpr walk, 8,5 for canter, 8,0 for submission and 8,2 for general impression. Total score 8.06 and 8th place.

They were fantastic in the fist round but a few glitches in the final made them drop to a 10th place with a 7.94 score. Australian Maree Tomkinson and the Oldenburg mare Diamantina (by Diamond Hit x Campari M) were a wonderful pair to watch. The trot was active but the mare was hurried into the extensions. In walk, she got bit tense and lost the clarity of rhythm. The canter is always fantastically uphill and energetic. The flying changes were super, but Diamantina was rushed into the final extended trot. She scored a low 7.6 for trot, an 8.0 for walk, an 8.5 for canter, 7.4 for submission and 8.0 for general impression.

Laura Dallara's Oldenburg mare Noble Dream (by Caprimond x Donnerhall) finished 15th with a 7.12 score. The mare, who won the bronze medal last year as a 5-year old, got tense because of the wind and spooked at C. She did show off several of her good quality, including her rhythmical, elegant trot. In walk, the mare got hot and scared and did not show a good collected walk, nor decent pirouettes. The canter is very good, but the changes were against the hand. Noble Dream is a very light footed mare but she tends to stiffen her back which prevents her from swinging through the body. She scored 7.0 for trot, 6.9 for walk and 7.4 for canter.

Text and Photos copyrighted Astrid Appels/Eurodressage - No reproduction allowed without permission

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