In the conclusion of an exciting week of dressage at Hickstead, Dutch rider Edward Gal and nine year old stallion Moorland’s Totilas delivered the goods and set a world record score of 89.40% for first in the Freestyle at Hickstead World Dressage Masters.
Edward Gal commented on the win, “Totilas gave me a wonderful feeling. Wow—what a horse! Only in the one tempi changes a mistake occurred. This happened to us in our first international contest CHIO Rotterdam as well, in which I tried to correct it. This time I thought I’d just leave it, so I did.”
Chairman of the Judges Stephen Clarke said he had never seen a test like this before. And for the nine year old stallion, it seems certain there is still more to come.
Adelinde Cornelissen on Parzival finished second.
Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris took third place in the Grand Prix on 76.26% and continued her good form riding her brand new Freestyle created by Cees Slings for third with 81.80%.
The stakes were high at Hickstead. It was the last Dutch selection trial for riders to obtain a berth on the Dutch team. Imke Schellekens finished fourth in the kur with 78.950%
While British international dressage events have struggled in the past to encourage big names to cross the channel to compete, due to the attractive prize money of 100,000 € the highest ever for dressage in the UK, more riders than ever took the challenge to compete.
Even Canadian Ashley Holzer arrived. “If it was not for the highly dotated and well organised WDM, we certainly would not have made the trip”, Ashley Holzer complimented the WDM crew. She became fifth in the Freestyle and turned the Freestyle into sort of an Olympic list.
American Leslie Morse took the win in the Grand Prix Special, a test that had the attractive purse of 30,000 euro.
Hans Peter Minderhoud and Escapado finished second in the Grand Prix Special
All Photos copyrighted: Caroline Finch
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