Belgian Sensation Continued: De Deken Stays Ahead in Aachen Under 25 Competition

Sun, 07/18/2010 - 21:50
2010 CDIO Aachen

Julie de Deken from Belgium aboard Fazzino kept ahead in the Under 25 Competition in Aachen which took place for the first time this year. On Saturday the pair mastered the second part of the competition, a Grand Prix, in a superb way.

 The elastic gaits of Fazzino and the smooth transitions made the ride appear like a dance. It was a pleasure to watch the duo. “During the competition I had a very good feeling,” said Julie. “Fazzino got a little bit hot before but as soon as we entered the arena he would cooperate very well.”

At the beginning the gelding, a descendant of Florestan, showed a light-footed trot with an energetic active hindleg, the traversal movements were lovely moving well out of the shoulder, the pirouettes in canter had a clear rhythm and the flying changes were uphill though the horse might have shown slightly more forward movement. Whereas the first piaffe looked somewhat cautious, the following ones gave a more energetic impression. The pair finished the competition with a score of 69,39%, ranking clearly ahead of the second rider.

“Generally the new competition was a very valuable experience for me”, Julie de Deken summed up the recent days. “It is definitely a step forward in my riding career. In the near future I want to concentrate on making progress in the senior Grand Prix segment in Belgium.”

The Norwegian rider Lillann Jebsen and Pro-Set ranked second in the Grand Prix. The duo finished the competition with a score of 67,67 percent. The stallion which was bred in the Netherlands showed the same energetic performance as on Wednesday. Though Pro-Set stepped slightly backwards during the halt at the beginning he showed a ground covering extended trot with a nicely extended frame on the first diagonal. The following zigzag was well-balanced. But the piaffe still lacked uphill movement and the rhythm went lost now and then.

Third ranked Diederik van Silfhout aboard the chestnut Luxform’s Popeye. Compared to the Intermediaire on Wednesday the pair seemed to be more at ease and their cooperation looked much better. This time transitions were smooth, the extended walk was relaxed and ground-covering. Particularly the traversal movements looked lightfooted and elegant. Flying changes were a bit short and during piaffe there was too much forward movement. The duo scored 67,51 percent.

The second Dutch rider Lorraine van den Brink followed closely scoring 67 percent. “Today Murdock was much more relaxed than on Wednesday,” she said after the ride. “He was not spooky which improved his rideability.” The muscled gelding excelled in the extended trot. The zigzag looked good whereas the flying changes would have needed more forward movement and the canter pirouettes to the right and the left were not focused enough.

“These were very beautiful days,” Lorraine van den Brink commented on the newly created competition for riders under 25. “I enjoyed staying on the scene and I learnt a lot competing with international riders of my age and class. It was a great experience for me.”

The sole German participant Kirsten Sieber and Charly ranked only fifth in the Grand Prix whereas she finished second in the Intermediaire. The young rider did not hide her disappointment: “I guess I wanted too much”, she said. “May be I was too tense.” Charly was not well concentrated during the ride. At the beginning he stepped moved during the halt, during the one-tempi flying changes mistakes happened and the piaffe lacked rhythm and was somewhat lacklustre.”

All the same Kirsten does not want to miss the experience: “It is a great idea to internationalise the Piaff Forderprize. This widens the scope of young riders considerably because you meet completely different competitors. When I participated in transnational events so far, I was mainly confronted with young riders of the corresponding country. Here you had a mixture of the top European riders of my age.”

Swedish Juliette Ramel aboard the gelding Ten Points as well as the second Belgian rider Fanny Verliefden partnered with Rubel were neither able to defend the ranks they had reached on Wednesday. Juliette ended up sixth with a score of 65,32 percent followed by Mrs. Verliefden (65,07%).

The Danish rider Lisbet Seierskilde had bad luck in the Grand Prix. “Raneur spooked during the competition. Though I had a good feeling before we entered the arena he spotted some plastic object before we started and then it was difficult for me to get through.” The entire ride was not smooth and the horse did not present the three elastic gaits he had shown on Wednesday. “Well, this is the risk when you partner with a horse,” said Lisbet who finished the competition with a score of 60,41 percent ranking tenth. “But all the same the days here in Aachen were fantastic. Meeting all these prominent riders and watch how they train and prepare for competitions – I learnt a lot.”

Her teammate Annemette Mortensen who ranked ninth (61,55%) agreed: “I had to find out that Mitchell had difficulties to adapt to this scenery as he is not used to it. But that’s something you cannot train at home. Therefore it was really worth it to participate.”

There was only one slightly critical remark about the new competition: The idea that the first part, the Intermediaire II is meant to be a nations’ cup class should have been communicated clearer. Besides national teams should be allowed to nominate a third rider who steps in especially in case one of the scheduled team members is all of a sudden not able to compete.

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By Irmgard Peterek for
Photos © Astrid Appels

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