It was an amazing day at the 2014 Barcelona Dressage Tour. There were many debuts celebrated at the first CDI ever at this new born dressage venue. it was also the first Grand Prix with many new exciting horse-rider combinations. Jen Goodmans' Super Nova (by De Niro x Weltmeyer) honored his name with this great winning debut in his first international Grand Prix with 70,729%.
Spanish José Antonio García Mena was breathing down his neck with Batuta (by Quixote), a wonderful lusitano mare, scoring 70,457%. Lauro Aguiló and his PRE cross breed Hierro achieved a personal best score with 69,100%. In the Intermediaire I Anders Dahl and Selten HW did it again, they won in a class of their own with an amazing 77,763%.
The Grand Prix was sponsored by Audi Superwagen Sabadell and not only in the highest class but also in the Inter I Albany Trustee Trophy, it was the day of newcomers with victories for the most inexperienced horses in their categories.
Spencer Wilton and Super Nova stayed in the lead and won the Grand Prix. It was only the third Grand Prix for this 11-year old son by De Niro and British rider Spencer Wilton. They were the shooting star at the British Dressage Championships in the Small Tour last autumn and here they came back in the highest category. It is the amazing balance, rhythm and elegance, plus a wonderful hind leg that shows Super Nova's outstanding quality.
Isobel Wessels, British 5* judge, of course knew the combination from former times. “Actually I discovered him as a foal. He was bred by a pupil of mine (editor's note: Super Nova was bred by Eva Kirby and sold to Wessels' student Melanie Philips as a foal)," Wessels said. Then he was owned by Carl Hester and at age 7, Spencer Wilton showed him to his actual owner Jen Goodman. Judges awarded him with a 70,729%. “He was so good at Small Tour level last year at the Nationals coming close already then to an average of 80%. He is an amazing horse and Spencer is a very good rider and we are optimistic,” said Isobel with a smile when we asked for possibilities on the British team for this combination.
Wessels also pointed out the super quality of another rising star, Spanish rider José Antonio García Mena and his lusitano mare Batuta. They placed second. José Antonio rides her now for over a year. The temperament of the luso lady made her canter right after the halt and salute, an expensive mistake, but her enormous quality and particular lovely trot movements, passage and piaffe lifted them still up to 70.47%.
The third position was for Lauro Aguiló with Hierro (by Ferro x Binguero) on a 69.100%. It's with such pleasure that the Spanish rider enjoys this success after trying times in past seasons. The Spanish cross breed presented a flawless test showing his full potential for passage and piaffe, nice changes and an important level of submission. "He has gone through his own particular therapy," Lauro told us. "Other horses suffer tendon injuries or other physical pain. In his case, it was all about his mind and attitude. But we figured out how to help him; a year ago he was finally gelded, he used to be afraid in the show arena, but now I feel him back and for the first time without fear in the arena. I am very very happy!"
Juan Matute"s former Grand Prix horse Wie Atlántico (69,014%) finished fourth with Anders Dahl. Another success for the Danish rider in the highest class. “Fiona is competing in Addington but I must say I am doing pretty well without her here,” Anders laughed very pleased with his two horses.
Back to the Grand Prix, we saw a very nice ride of the young Portuguese rider Maria Caetano on the Lusitano Xiripiti (by Qualificado). These two are working to get a spot on the Portuguese team and the prospective looks very good for them; they scored a 68,586%. Lovely trot movements and very good collected passage and piaffe are strong points of this combination. They are now in their third Grand Prix season and Maria has high hopes with him. "I feel him better than ever. He is listening much more and is more relaxed in the ring. I hope we can come on the team for Normandy."
Another two Spanish combinations started their Grand Prix career at the Barcelona Dressage Tour: Juan Antonio Jimenez and Sunny Boy (68,100%) This pair has only had one season competing together so far, very successful at Prix St. George level, they show potential in the passage and piaffe. Jordi Domingo and the KWPN mare Wonder did their first international Grand Prix scoring a 67,571%. Isobel Wessels liked the quality of the mare: "definitely a combination with potential and future," she said after seeing them.
The Barcelona Dressage Tour sponsored by Banc Sabadell, Mango and Audi Superwagen couldn't have had a more lovely beginning. We saw so many quality horses, not only in the Grand Prix but also in the Intermediaire I. This small tour class in which the Albany Trustee Company Trophy was contested featured more youngster on the way to Rio.
Danish rider Anders Dahl rode a breath taking test on his horse Selten HW (by Sandro Hit x Hohenstein) and did it again! All the judges were unanimous and saw them in first spot with 77,763%.. There was no doubt they deserved it. Selten's trot work was again incredible, very uphill, flowing through the arena, he showed wide crossing in the half passes and really nice changes.
High quality flying changes were shown by the next pair, the second place getters Henriette Andersen and Flavio (by Florencio x Glueckspilz), with a 71.658%. It was their first CDI together and Henriette was very happy with the result. “He is a wonderful horse,” smiled the blond Lady who's a longtime pupil and friend of Carl Hester. "Flavio is very hot but in a very good way. It was not easy and it took me a while to crack him. I bought him with 2 and a half years and I have always believed in him and I always thought he deserved a successful debut and here we are, I am glad I have waited this long. I didn´t even put the lightest bit of pressure on him in the test, this is just him natural. Now we need to get a little routine and we´ll see where we are heading." There were wonderful, strong trots and really good collected walk. Some lovely zigzag changes put the icing on the cake of their test. Another pair that can dream of Rio!
Wilton returned again with Dougie (71.079%). With a magnificent entree halt and salute and very active trot movements right from the first moment they gained points. Nice half passes and active changes were the highlight of their test. Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Du Pre came fourth with 68.526% followed by Tomas Caudet and Andes (68.526%) who are now training with Jordi Domingo.
Albany Trustee Company, a family business from Guernsey Island sponsored this Trophy. It wasn't by accident that they are on this very first Barcelona Dressage Tour, they are dear friends and unconditional horse lovers.
Promising youngsters celebrated the final test on Friday morning. Show host Annabelle Collins from Barcelona Horses was again in the lead with her KWPN bred Dimacho BCN (by Johnson x Sandro Hit). They were in a class of their own with 85,400%. This category was sponsored by Joyeria Weyler, a Mallorquin jewelry chain with a heart for horses. Collins achieved the qualification for the World Championships in Verden and Annabelle just twinkled an eye when we asked her if she might be heading there."I do love this horse, I bought him at the Limburg foal auction and he grew up with us and he has such a lovely character, but I am just working my way with him. Who knows," Annabelle stated. José Antonio García Mena presented another younger Portuguese bred horse Dragao Figueiras (83,000%). Spanish rider José Raga has a good taste for young horses. He placed third with both of his youngsters: Dark Jazz (by Jazz x Future) on 79,800% and Verena Müller's El Dorado (by Sir Donnerhall x Pion) with 72.400%.
This final five-year old class was sponsored by Mondepra, owned by the Moncayola family who are passionate about horses. Wilma Wernsen won the prize with her KWPN bred Estupendo (by Ziesto x Scandic) with 78,800%. Jordi Domingo and the PRE Intruso de Mile (73,400%) were second.
The Barcelona Dressage Tour has another week to go with a CDI4* next weekend from 25 - 30 March. This afternoon the Grand Prix Kür will be the highlight.
If you can't come to the venue you don't have to miss it. Click on www.topiberian.com for continuous live-broadcasting!
Speakers Bobby Fernández de Bobadilla, former head of Spanish Dressage at the national Federation and Francisco Cancella, international judge and trainer from Portugal, are commenting live.
More news at http://www.events-barcelonahorses.com
Text and Photos © Top Iberian
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