Edward Gal and Voice Victorious in 2011 CDI Zwolle Prix St Georges

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 12:00
2011 CDI Zwolle

At their first international show as a combination Edward Gal and the Dutch warmblood licensed stallion Voice (by De Niro x Rohdiamant x Doruto) were victorious in the Prix St Georges at the 2011 CDI Zwolle on Thursday afternoon 7 January 2011. The halo effect surrounding Gal in the wake of his legendary performances on Totilas certainly worked its magic in de IJssenhallen in Zwolle when Gal scored 72.894% to finish at the top.

The black stallion Voice resembles Totilas in many ways : he's compact, muscled, black, chunky, beautiful and fantastic mover. Owned by Mrs van Gisbergen-Sponselee, Voice was trained to FEI level by Imke Schellekens-Bartels but suddenly moved to Edward Gal's stable in the summer of 2010. Gal and Voice were first shown to the public in a clinic at the 2010 CDI Oslo and the show in Zwolle was scheduled as competition debut.

Gal rode Voice with much impulsion and expression in trot. The half pass left was great, but the haunches trailed in the one to the right. The trot extensions were ground covering but the transitions to collection missed fine-tuning and the half halts were quite visible. The extended walk had plenty of overstep but the horse could haven swung a bit more over the back. The pirouette showed great potential but the flying change at C lacked forwardness and so did the four tempi's. Gal and Voice are a promising pair for the future and the stallion showed tremendous potential to take the weight on the hindquarters.

The combination that outclassed all competition in the Prix St Georges was the second placed pair: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. The 25-year old Dujardin is head rider at Carl Hester's yard in Hartpury, England, and has been working for Carl since February 2007. Aboard Carl and Rowena Luard's 8-year old Dutch warmblood Valegro (by Negro x Gershwin) Charlotte truly shone with a flawless, high quality Prix St Georges test.

The dark bay gelding, who turned almost charcoal in his clipped coat, danced through arena with so much power, spring and bounce. The second trot extension was worth a 10. The collected walk was good in rhythm, but the extended walk could have been more over the back. There was a slight moment of tension in the canter half pass to the left as Valegro seemed to spook and take off for a split second, but Dujardin had him cool, collected and on the aids again in a second. The tempi changes posed no problems to this super talented dressage horse. The pair scored 72.236% placing first with judge Sanders-van Gansewinkel (NED) and second with the four other panelists: Wessels (GBR), Baarup (DEN), Engel (GER), and de Wolff van Westerrode (NED).

When asked why Carl had given the ride on maybe the best horse in his barn to his student and employee, the amiable Hester replied: "Had Doctor B (Bechtolsheimer) not given me the opportunity to compete myself, I would never have been where I am now. So now it's my turn to give something back to Charlotte. She has worked so hard and I want to give her the opportunity to compete. We'll see how it goes."

The 29-year old Lynne Maas is one of the unbeatable pairs in the small tour on the Dutch show scene and the petite Schiedam based rider made her international show debut in Zwolle on Thursday. Aboard her 11-year old Dutch warmblood gelding Salo (by Ferro x Havel), Maas finished third with 69.315%.

Her black suffered from stage fever and was extremely tense throughout the test. The collected trot work was far too passagy and the horse showed little bend in the voltes, but the extensions were fantastic. The gelding often became too tight in the neck and with a little bit more opening in the throat latch the canter work would have looked even better. The pirouettes were beautiful with much sit but the four tempi's missed impulsion. In general the flying changes were too much up in the air instead of forwards. Nevertheless, Salo has three outstanding basic gaits and will make a stunning Grand Prix horse in the future!

Dutch Young Rider Angela Krooswijk and her second small tour horse, the 10-year old liver chestnut Flash (by Fidermark), slotted in fourth. Her beautiful horse has an extremely crooked left front leg which gives the trot movement an atypical look to it, but contrarily in the flying changes the horse has nice lift in the fore legs and performs large uphill changes. Flash became a lightning flash in the extended canter when he spooked and took off briefly, otherwise their score would have been higher than 67.263%

Robin Beekink and her 13-year old thoroughbred lookalike Pablo (by Drossan x Sandro) showed quite some body tension and could have swung more over the back from behind, but he was very lightfooted, especially in trot. In walk he became tense and started pacing in the collection. The canter work was solid and their ride earned them a 66.131% score.

Text and Photos © Astrid Appels/Eurodressage - No Reproduction Allowed

Related Links
Coverage of the 2011 CDI Zwolle
Scores 2011 CDI Zwolle