Day One at Falsterbo: A Day of Coincidence and a Pale Anything but Pale

Mon, 07/12/2010 - 14:15
2010 CDI Falsterbo

Swedish photographer and dressage enthusiast David Svensson reports on the first class hosted on the first day of competition at the 2010 CDI Falsterbo:

The first rider of the day in the Falsterbo dressage arena was Andreas Helgstrand (Denmark) with the magnificent pale grey 5 y.o. mare Törveslettens Stamina (by Stedinger). The Danish duo opened the "Folksam Scandinavian Open Dressyr" class for 5 year olds (and 6 yo mares with foals)

I looked at the horse coming into the dressage arena, and saw the gaits, and considered that many had the thought that this horse would win, even before the ride had started. This horse is indeed anything but pale in its expression.

The Swedish "Lätt A" dressage program for 5-year-olds is not as entertaining as the Grand Prix or Specual, but it is very effective at demonstrating the elasticity and general rideability of the horses, and of course showing off the gaits and basic traversal movements.

Speaking of traversals, the shoulder in of Stamina was pure music. Stamina is the right name for this mare. She looked so at ease, supple and a happy horse, with a decided "I´m floating on a cushion of air" quality of gaits. No asymmetry at all, at least none that I could spot.

This was one of those great times where the judges, me, and as measured by the intensity of the applause also the audience were in complete agreement. The judges (Magnus Ringmark, Bo Jenå, Susanne Baarup) gave a well earned 78.148, 78.889 75.185 each, averaging 77.407.

More important than the numbers was that all judges placed Helgstrand first. Unanimous judges, photographers and audience: all were in agreement. Dressage sport at its very best!

Today was all Denmark´s day

John Hvalsö Saul (Denmark) - Aston Martin
(by Monteverdi)
74.074 2nd 72.593 4th 74.815 2nd: avg 73.827 2nd place

Marianne Helgstrand (Denmark) - Sitana (by Sir Donnerhall)
71.481 (6) 74.074 (3) 73.333 (3): avg 72.963 (3rd place)

Best Swedish rider was Minna Telde (Sweden) - Isac (after Hip Hop -
Master) 73.333 (3) 72.593 (4) 71.111 (7): avg 72.346 (4th place)

Now for the coincidences:

  • The winner was winner by each of the judges.
  • The first place started as 1st rider
  • The second place John Hvalsö Saul started as 2nd rider right after Helgstrand
  • The third place Marianne Helgstrand is the wife of Andreas
  • All three of them ride for Denmark

And the best thing, this was just the semi-final with 35 horses. There will be more of the top 12 of these interesting 5-year olds on Sunday in the finals.

So how did the judges do? In my humble opinion they did an absolutely excellent job today, especially Magnus Ringmark seems to have the exact same taste in dressage horses as I do. I salute him for accurately reading my mind when ordering the top riders today.

Photo © David Svensson

Related Link: Scores 2010 CDI Falsterbo