Bechtolsheimer Returns to Triumph at 2010 CDI Lingen

Fri, 06/11/2010 - 20:26
2010 CDI Lingen

Laura Bechtolsheimer returned to triumph acing the Grand Prix for Special at the 2010 CDI Lingen in Germany, 5 June 2010. Aboard her 15-year old Danish warmblood Mistral Hojris (by Michellino) the European team silver and individual bronze medallist scored 76.894% and beat an on-form Isabell Werth with Satchmo.

Show organizer Mr Kampmann was fortunate with the sunny weather. It was hot with 27° C of stinging sunshine. Though his show is probably one of the least pretty venues in Germany with a white tent camp enclosing the ring and totally uglifying the scenery, the event has a major VIP atmosphere to it with a fancy Audi car sale booth at the entrance and most of the seating designated for people who bought tables. Furthermore he has a high class field of competitors which makes his show uncircumventive for the devoted dressage fan and competitor.

Lingen was a first both for the winning rider and horse. It was Laura B's first outing since she underwent surgery at the beginning of April and for Mistral it was his first show appearance since January 2010. Bechtolsheimer started her test with strong trot extensions and fluent half passes. The first piaffe and passage were excellent in rhythm, energy and bounce, though in piaffe the massive chestnut became a bit deep. What is so unique about this pair is that Mistral's tail is at all times totally quiet and the horse is always over the back. The two tempi's could have been a bit straighter but the pirouettes were superb. In general it is the power combined with relaxation and expression that makes Mistral Hojris one of the best dressage horses in the world!

Isabell Werth's Satchmo scores with his elegance in the movements. The 16-year old bay Hanoverian gelding looked much better than he has done at previous shows (and especially during the indoor season). He executed super trot extensions, super half passes. In passage he continues to lack power and engagement from behind but he still gets high points for his regularity. In piaffe he becomes extremely narrow at the base and the piaffe just never looks comfortable even though Satchmo can do them without losing the rhythm. The canter work was solid, though there was a small mistake in the tempi changes. The duo scored 75.830% to finish second.

While the Dutch are blowing their horn that they are unbeatable at the moment, one can not deny that Germany has a wide(r) base of upcoming Grand Prix combinations that are able to score in the seventies. In the Grand Prix for Special eight Germans scored above 70%, in the Kur tour there were two more. So ten German horses with over 70% at a big international (!!) competition and 2009 German team riders Matthias Rath nor Susanne Lebek weren't even there. A quick look at the Grand Prix test of the 2010 Dutch Championships (Totilas, Parzival, Sunrise and Salinero not competing) and we see that only three more horses are able to score 70+. That makes a total of seven horses. Let's just say the die has not been cast for future. (By the way, at the Medien Cup in Isernhagen today, the German show circuit for upcoming Grand Prix horses, six German owned horses were scoring in the seventies as well).

While talking about the Medien Cup, let's take a look at the winner of the 2009 circuit: Dablino. This impressive liver chestnut gelding by De Niro is now doing the big tour and finished third in the Grand Prix in Lingen with 73.489%. Dablino was the last horse to go in that class and he was the cherry on the cake. The extended trot and passage were wonderful but in the piaffe he went too much forward despite much lift and cadence. The walk was ok, not brilliant, but definitely not bad either. Dablino has an amazingly ground covering canter and he needed the diagonal from letter to letter to fit all two tempi's. There was much sit in the pirouette, the zig zag was well regulated. The contact with the bit was at all times light which made the pair a graceful one to watch.

Another shining star at the German firmament is the gorgeous Finnish bred 11-year old gelding Donnperignon (by Donnerhall x Mozart II). Trained and presented by Christoph Koschel, this muscled gelding impresses with his bounce in the passage. Unfortunately the rider can not sit still in the saddle in the piaffe and is annoyingly pushing his crotch into the pommel to keep the rhythm of the delightful piaffe going . Lots of power and ground cover in the canter work pulled his score up to 73.447%.

Hubertus Schmidt and the bright chestnut Donnelly, a Westfalian gelding by Donnerruf x Athletico, finished fifth with 73.064%. There was a slight mistake in the rhythm in the second extended trot and in the piaffe the rider was too active with his hands, which made the horse open his mouth. Schmidt struggled a bit with the impulsion and lost the rhythm in the second piaffe. Consequently the passage became slightly uneven. The canter was solid with nice pirouettes and good flying changes.

German European Championship team rider Monica Theodorescu slotted in sixth with Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff's bronze team medal winning horse Whisper (by Welt Hit O). The absolute highlight of the test were the half passes: so much crossing of the leg without losing expression and clarity in the rhythm. In the passage he was more active with his left hind leg and in piaffe Whisper struggled a bit to find the rhythm. He became wide behind. The combination still scored a well earned 72.553%

Nadine Capellmann and her 14-year old Hanoverian Elvis VA (by Espri x Garibaldi II) ranked seventh with 70.936%. The chestnut's trot extensions are out of this world and the half passes were very good as well. The first passage was nice but in piaffe he opened his mouth and could have been more rhythmical. In the canter he made an unscripted flying change in the extension and the one tempi's were very stressful. The zig zag, which used to be a point of difficulty for this combination, improved tremendously and looked well balanced and controlled.

More photos and commentary in the gallery below (20 photos uploaded, you can scroll the gallery at the bottom, where you see 1 of 4).

Related Links
Scores 2010 CDI Lingen
Bechtolsheimer and Holzer Take the Trophies at the 2010 CDI Lingen