Experience Versus Youth at CDI4* of the Barcelona Dressage Tour

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 23:15
2014 CDI Barcelona

Edward Gal’s Next One, Carl Hester's Dances with Wolves and Beatriz Ferrer-Salat’s Sir Radjah shone brightly in the CDI 4* Barcelona Dressage Tour, dominating the top three of the international Grand Prix class. At the second week of the Barcelona Dressage Tour during the CDI4* more top riders from northern Europe travelled to Spain.

Carl Hester, who was a return guest at the Sunshine Tour, showed up again at this first Dressage Tour. Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud competed for the first time ever on Spanish soil. And what a show! It was a wonderful Grand Prix again with the highest quality and very good up-coming horses.

Edward Gal showed us again that he is a master just like his 19-year-old Next One (by Jazz Le Mexico). At this CDI4* the experienced pair won the Grand Prix Banc Sabadell with 76,057%, all of the judges placed them unanimously as the winner. The world champion didn’t disappoint the expectant Spanish audience present. Although the horse is not the most extraordinary mover, Gal takes control of the energy and has such a sense of rhythm that it’s a pleasure for the eye to watch them.

British Olympic top rider Carl Hester came with one of his younger Grand Prix horses to Barcelona: Dances with Wolves (by Donnerschwee x Walldorf), who still has little experience in the competition arena. He is also extremely sensitive to the environment, which became evident in the first pirouette where he completely lost his focus. Carl, the expert, calmly started the exercise over again which enabled him to continue his test with the same harmony of his ride before the mistake. Although this incident did cost him valuable points, he finished in second place with 71,514%.

Beatriz Ferrer-Salat had a lovely debut with her new Grand Prix mount, Sir Radjah (by Sir Donnerhall) and finished third in the ranking with a score of 70,843%. The test was flawless and the son of Sir Donnerhall proved its quality for Grand Prix, especially for piaffe, passage and the pirouettes. After struggling with the health problems of Delgado, this result is good news for a possible national team. We welcome this new top couple. “I am very happy with this absolute debut, it was a pleasure to ride him in this test. He is a fighter and he has a big heart, just like Beauvalais. There are so many sensations that remind me of him. I enjoyed it very much. He is always willing, he is always with me and he learns so fast.”

Dutch rider Hans Peter Minderhoud finished fourth with Tango, a son of Jazz. They scored 69,829%. Tango is one of his three Grand Prix horses and the chestnut is 14 years old and in very good shape. However Hans Peter will have to choose, Romanov and lately Johnson are also doing very well as we saw at the s´Hertogenbosch World Cup competition last weekend.

The Spanish rider Lauro Aguiló with Hierro (by Ferro x Binguera) had a fantastic score (69,829%) finishing in fifth place. Definitely the former problems of submission have disappeared and now we can see the horse’s natural talent. Following in the ranking were Carmen Naesgaard and Ricardo (69,329%). The pair confirmed the high quality they showed last year in the Spanish Championships in their first competition season ever at this level. Carmen built this horse up with her trainer Isidro Maldonado. They bought him when he was 4 years old. Since then they have worked their way up to GP. We saw wonderful, expressive passage, nice changes, and although there were little mistakes throughout the test, this rider combination is lovely and it is a joy to see them work.

Joaquin Nuñez for Banc Sabadell was present at the prize giving ceremony, the sponsor of this class. The lucky winners of this class were delighted with several awards in kind. Edward Gal was very happy with his new Animo tailor made frac which he received from Clara Cerdans from Equippos. Kathy Roland for Audevard, “Veterinarian Expertise and Guarantee”, gave products to the first 8 clasified riders of the Grand Prix. All the awarded horse rider combination received a ceremony horse blanket of Barcelona Dressage Tour 2014 courtesy of Horseware Ireland.

Intermediate I - Albany Trustee Challenge

Anders Dahl and Selten (by Sandro Hit x Hohenstein) are names to keep in mind, they were the rising star of last week’s CDI3* and here again they didn't lower their level and showed another amazing performance. He was at the top of the podium with Selten again this week. Such a gifted horse with great ability to move with elasticity, they won with a stunning 77.289% this Inter I, after they had already clinched the Prix St. Georges with 75,526% leading the ranking. The class had great participation with thirty-two riders.

Flavio (by Florencio I x Glueckspilz) ridden by Henriette Andersen, finished in second position after placing third in the PSG (71,289%, Inter I 72,237 %), again this pair is high up in the ranking and even better maybe this second weekend after their absolute international debut ever. A mistake in their ride was expensive and they missed some valuable points, which might have brought them closer to the winner who remained also this week in a class of his own. The highlights of their test were the flying changes, straight, wide and easy - a real delight. The nine-years-old Baden-Würtenberger showed his spectacular extended trots, very light and ground covering movements; their canter work was also outstanding.

And once again on the podium we found Beatriz Ferrer-Salat with Du Pre (by Don Federico), Carolina Usandizaga´s up-coming Grand Prix horse. The pair is doing very well again in this second competition week and the 71,237% confirmed their quality. Carolina, Bea's long time friend and pupil, is expecting a baby and can't wait to be back riding, probably this fall. The judges where very impressed with their performance. Outstanding zigzags and flying changes weighed more than slight problems in the contact and a loss of balance in the extended canter. Already in the PSG they had a nice presentation finishing fourth with the Hannoverian.

Dutch rider Hans Peter Minderhoud and his Kwpn Zanardi (by Rubels x Avignon) came in second in the PSG 74,605 %. Zanardi is a son of Rubels, a stallion Minderhoud used to ride and with whom he became World Young Horse Champion for two years. Zanardi was very well presented by Hans Peter and the highlights of their test were their fluency and rhythm in the half passes and excellent both in the trot and canter.

The awards were delivered by international rider, Carl Hester and the representatives of Albany Trustee, an offshore Trust Company from Guernsey, a family affair passionate about horses. Carl Hester is member of the hall of fame in Guernsey, although he grew up on Sark.


Beautiful young horses competed in the final tests on Friday morning. The six-year-old class was sponsored by Weyler Jewelers, a jewelry chain from Mallorca. Annabelle Collins repeated a winning ride on her Dutch Warmblood Dimacho BCN (by Johnson x Saloniki) with a 79%. “He has such a great character, just like his father, he is a wonderful horse. I have high hopes with him to become a Grand Prix horse,” stated Annabelle. In second place we find the Russian rider Diana Al Shaer with Unazalee de Massa (b yCorinto X x Joyera XI) the French cross bred lusitano does have a nice sport attitude, she had a bright smile on her face when she told us “it was a very good ride today and I am proud of her, we scored over 77%.” Another Iberian combination came in third place, Nazareth Gallego with the PRE Acebuche XV (b yAndador X x Joyera XI) and a solid 75,200 %.

In the Final test of the five-year-old class, sponsored by Mondepra, the Dutch rider Wilma Wernsen repeated victory with the Kwpn Nice (by Ortega x Zita) with 80%. The second place went to Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, who finished again on the podium with Elegance (Prel. 77,800% / Final 79,600%). Her son of Negro, half brother to Valegro, is for sure a horse who honors his name. Claudio Castilla and a lovely PRE stallion called Ermitaño (74,200 %), showed three quality gaits and lots of potential for dressage in the 5-year-old finals. The bay is a son of the first and only PRE ELITE stallion ever Ermitaño III.

The Spanish rider Chloe Morris won the Clasica 1, Family Usandizaga Trophy.
The Clasica 1 and 2 was open to foreign riders, Chloe Morris riding Lord Wallonia (70.085 %),  by Lord Loxeley, a horse that she has high hopes for. Chloe is training her horses with Remy Bastings from The Netherlands, the winner of the Medium Tour, Inter A. Joyce Lenearts with Bink (69.902%) was at the lead of this class, followed by the Portuguese rider Maria Caetano who finished third with a score of 69.707% with the Lusitano Coroado, an offspring of Rubi, Gonzalo Carvalho´s lusitano Olympic mount, this combination had represented Portugal last year at the World Championships for Young Horses in Verden, the two make a promising couple. The next Spanish rider in the ranking was Juan Antonio Pérez from Barcelona Horses Team in sixth place riding Catwalk (by Negro x Florett As x Jazz) with 67.122%.


Laura Reija was the queen of the opening test in the Medium Tour this week. The Madrid based rider won the test with her 11-year-old Kwpn Wobelisk (by Obelisk) with an average of 68,889%. They showed lovely strong trot, canter and walks. The Passage and Piaffe are still not at their best but show the future potential of this horse. Then she competed with the PSL stallion Recuerdo (by Conspirado x Ervada). This pair reached a 66,19%, her Dutch Trainer, Sander Marijnissen, was on the spot. The Russian rider Elisaveta Orekhova and Golden Choice were the winner of the GP U25. Her score was a solid average above 65% in both tests.

Young Riders

Cristina Torrent Moll and De Vic (by Caagac x Espiga) rose up to the top once again with 66.886%, followed by Daniela Sánchez with the PRE Copo VIII (66.491%). Both riders looked nice and one of the strong points was their correct presentation. Genevieve Kirk with Moosebends Ricardos came in third in the clasification.

The young Russian lady, Ksenia Milyukova from St. Petersburg, was leading with Saturday Night (70,901%). Spanish rider Kevin Roegele and his mare Wieske, 69,955%, were breathing up the neck of the winning pair. The young British rider, Becky Edwards, followed them with the 12 year old lusitano mount Ufano II (68,694%), a stallion which is very easy to handle and an appropriate mount for this Young Rider, she has been riding him now for two years training with Carl Hester.

These were the first days of the CDI4* International Dressage competition at the Barcelona Tour 2014 sponsored by Banc Sabadell, Audi Superwagen and Mango, with up to 12 international 5 * judges and the same Judges Supervisory Panel as for the WEG 2014.

The Barcelona Dressage Tour also offered a trade fair with an interesting variety of horse products as well as some innovative stands such as Barcelona Apothecary and Barcelona Dogs, where Dressage enthusiasts could find all types of riding and equestrian fashion items. Serreton, Equifrei, Equiduus, Zona Equus, Piensos Jane, Tethys Horses, Barcelona Apothecary, Equippos, Classic Dressage, Central Hípica, Humet, Can Alzina Restaurant and Barcelona Dogs did not hesitate to go for the competition and saw it as a great opportunity to engage with national and international equestrian clientele.

Test by Katharina Braren of Top Iberian - Photos © Arnd Bronkhorst - Celeste Ribo

Related Links
Scores 2014 CDI Barcelona
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