What a Show, What a Night! 2014 Barcelona Dressage Tour a Real Boost for Spanish Dressage

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 17:46
2014 CDI Barcelona

The 2014 Barcelona Dressage Tour with its two CDI’s ended with a huge success on Sunday 30 March 2014 after two weeks of intense competition. The show put dressage in Spain in the spotlight, but also internationally. It was not only about who was there, it was not only for the exciting new performances we saw, it was a family affair, the warmth of the people, the friendly atmosphere, together with professionalism, the willpower and a lot of hard work put into this venue, which made it quite special. There has been no comparison in Spain before.

Federico Padrón, show director, C.E.O of Topiberian, and co-organizer together with the families Collins-Agusti, stated, “the stakes were high but we are more than satisfied with this year's outcome. It has been a success and we would like to thank many people for coming and believing in us! The riders and trainers for competing again on Spanish soil, judges and secretaries for collaborating and giving their valuable input, the FEI for their trust and last but not least the National Spanish Federation, RFHE, and the FCH, the Catalan Federation, and everybody else who helped us to live up to this standard.”

Federico spoke in the name of all parties involved at BCN Dressage Tour “of course sponsors have been of great importance at this show but we are still ready to get better and better. Saturday night did show the potential attraction of Dressage. Many fans of our sport came to watch some of the international top stars competing live, but also the general audience of horse lovers really enjoyed what they saw.”

“Timing has been right for this venue. Everything has improved so much the last few years in Spain, the riding, the teaching, and the breeding and of course also the shows had to raise their standard. When I first spoke to Annabelle, Agusti, Lucas and Nuria I knew they had everything clear from the riders' side, because they are professionals and we made it come true. Their needs are taken into consideration and we have a fast response time. There were no problems but only solutions.”

On the welcome dinner evening at the CDI4* Jan Bemelmans, Spain’s former National Dressage Trainer, brought it to the point “it is not usual to see so many medalists in one room enjoying a dinner and a relaxed evening on the showgrounds, but it is even much less usual to find them on the very first venue ever organized at a new location.“

Who is who?

The Collins are in the horse business for many years. Annabelle, daughter, sister, wife, sister in law of horse enthusiasts, whether it is in Wellington, in The Netherlands or in Spain, with astonishing facilities they are present in the jumping world and in dressage. The Collins do have the initiative it takes to set up a show like this. Rozalind Collins is a horse lover and mother, from the Bermuda Islands and she has been on the spot helping to make this a success. Father Michael flew in from Wellington for the Saturday night party. The FTY Winter competition season still hadn't finished.

How the Collinses met the Eliases: two brothers Agusti and Lucas Elias and a father Querce were for many years in the horse business in Spain, with the lovely restaurant Can Alzina. For them a dream came true. The cuisine and the art of living turned this event beside the competition into a lifestyle momentum.

And then there is Nuria, Beatrice Ferrer-Salat's long time pupil. She is a rider, a teacher, a hard worker and a woman of her time. “Competing, coaching, organizing this show was not easy but we made it and I couldn´t dream of anything more satisfying," she said.

Big Sponsors for Barcelona Dressage Tour

Sponsors have come on board this time. For example ,Banc Sabadell likes success not only in the financial area. Pleased with their bet on Dressage they join Mango with Nahmann Andic and Audi Superwagen, brands of which the dressage world didn't even dare to dream until now. But also smaller businesses and families have been generous and put effort into this venue, the Weylers, the Moncayolas, the Uzandangarin, the Ferrer Salat, and the Barbançons. The “Guernsey connection” was also important at this show, not only for the Albany Trust, an offshore company, or the Farnons, or the Fearis sponsoring week after week, but for the people from this island and neighbor islands, big time equestrian supporters.

At the BCN Dressage Tour we saw that Russian Dressage is moving forward once again, Diana Al Shaer, Irina Zakharbekova, young riders like Elisaveta Orekhova or Timofei Rusakov, 12 combinations came to compete in Barcelona. Over the 2 weeks there were 17 nationalities on the spot, too many to mention each and every one of them. But we all enjoyed the Irish Night Parties with a live band and irish beer in the Holding box. Dane Rawlins, show director from Hickstead, riding for Ireland, joined us in Barcelona with clients and horses. He was very happy with the show, a big compliment coming from an experienced organizer, for the last 23 years he has been running the Dressage in Hickstead, Great Britain.

Big Names, Great Horses

What else could be said about this show? We said hello to new horses and good-bye to glories. There were lots of promising combinations. Some amazing couples debuted in Grand Prix, Super Nova and Spencer Wilton, who is back on the scene after 7 years without competing. Spanish Carmen Naesgaard and Ricardo delighted the audience with their beautiful Kür at their debut in international Grand Prix the same as Beatriz Ferrer Salat who showed us her latest rising star Sir Radjah.

A special mention goes to Anders Dahl who did it again also in this second week of competition, with his horse Selten he took the lead in the Small Tour. They were unbeatable.

It was the Kür Grand Prix Banc Sabadell, the test that brought the big crowd to the show. The seats and the stands around the arena were full and under the floodlight Saturday evening. There was no other combination to come even close to these two, Next One and Edward Gal won the Kür, with beautiful music from Edgar Gutierrez Dressage & Music. What a performance, it was the absolute control of the energy, absolute control of the exercises, which made these two rise up to almost 80%. Edward told us about his 19-year old  after the test “his willingness, his generosity and his capacity to concentrate – he is always with me – are the characteristics that make him an outstanding horse for me.”

Behind them on the second spot we find Hans Peter Minderhoud and Tango (74,339%). The Jazz son is now with 14 years at the top of his career, their presentation was harmonious showing much quality in the collected gaits.

Speaking about beautiful passage and piaff, Spanish rider Carmen Naesgaard presented Ricardo (73,839%) a son of Rosentau. The crowd loved this couple and their performance; at their first international Grand Prix Kür ever they became third, with less than a point of distance to the Dutch couple. Their changes were wide and came of the ground, but little mistakes were expensive. But what a promising and charismatic combination!

Grand Prix Special

Spencer Wilton and Super Nova II (by  Niro x Weltmeyer) or as friends call him Nevel, won once more on Sunday morning with an average of 70,938%. Spencer was riding more conservative and he didn´t risk it all in the Special. We´ll meet them again in Saumur, if everything goes well, Spencer says.

Carl Hester and Dances with Wolves (70,784%), the Donnerschwee x Waldfee x Walldorf offspring were breathing down the neck of the winner and became second. Carl told us after the test “it was a special day, very emotional for some of us, as it was the anniversary of the death of Jane Gregory our friend and Dances with Wolves former rider and owner who sadly passed away so early.”

The presentation was more energetic and less tense although the big liver chestnut horse was on guard; only Carl's experienced riding kept him under control. “He is probably the biggest horse I have ever ridden, if I can make him relax, it'll be all fine. Now we will first take a couple of home shows.“

Concerning the winner he joked “entirely produced at my stable, what else could I desire.. well the watch and the win,” Carl laughed.  Hester promised to come back. “It is a super show, I do love Spain and I have my friends here. The facility is perfect for the horses, what else could we ask for. It has been great fun. I'll be back to start the next season here!”

Beatriz Ferrer Salat and Sir Radjah (by Sir Donnerhall) finished third in this Special, the first of their career. Beatriz got him when he was 3 years old “he is my horse, he never holds back, he wants to give it all.” We had just said good bye to Beauvalais the night before and here we say hello to this young new horse she is presenting now at GP level. But Beauvalais "Good bye ceremony" is worth another story.

Horseware Ireland sponsored all the beautiful blankets for the BCN Dressage Tour, all the winners received this elegant and useful gift. There were 5 riders, 3 in the Kür Grand Prix, 1 in the Special and one for the winner of the 6 year old which received a generous gift from the Barbançon family, beautiful watches from Cartier and van der Baudewede.

JSP members David Hunt, Ghislain Fouarge, Dieter Schüle

These three gentlemen will be the JSP of the upcoming WEG in Normandy. They had a serious job at the BCN Dressage Tour, they did not rest much during the days of the Grand Prix tests in the CDI4*. Their evaluation is very positive for these first CDI’s ever in Barcelona. “We like the initiative of the organizer to invite us. The panel is now working for 5 years and we have not had the chance to work like this at a show together. Here we were able to work a lot with the judges and it was a very productive exchange every day after the tests. It is an opportunity for us to pass our knowledge,” was the statement of the three.

Medium Tour

Remy Bastings from The Netherlands won both the Intermediate A and B with 9 year old Zecchino, a son of Krack C. A Spanish bred PSL named Alcaide presented by Claudio Castilla, from La Perla a lusitano stud farm in Segovia, showed high quality in the canter, day after day. Spain's Olympic rider Jordi Domingo with Prestige’s full brother Hecom´s Ventoux came in third at the Intermediate A.

Intermediaire I

We saw a class, which showed a lot of quality. Again Hans Peter Minderhoud clinched the gold with Zanardi (76,225%), a Kwpn son of Rubels, his former World Young Horse Championship winner. Joyce Lenaert's Show Boy (73,325%) confirmed his good potential and became second in front of Winston Bond (71,775%) the British Prix St Georges Champion under Paul Friday.

U25 Villa Equus

Beatriz Ferrer Salat sponsored this class with her company Villa Equus. This week’s young rider in the lead was the Russian lady from St Petersburg, Elizaveta Orekhova and her Golden Choice, the two made it to the top with 65,884%. Spanish Laura Reija could maintain the quality of her performances with PSL mount Recuerdo (64,349%). Estefanía Rios from BCN Horses became third with Casparo. Her trainer Nuria Vila stated “we are happy, she debuted here in the class and it looked very promising, we got really good feed back from the judges.”


The winner of this class was Alice Campanella and Flamenco Star. The young Italian rider is a promising talent. She is heading to the European Championshipsajust like Spanish Sofia Argelich with Desparo, from the CAVA riding center in Gerona who were on Campanella's heels day after day. Sofia is now 15 years old and in her last year with Desperado in the pony class. Since 2008 we have seen her on the podium at National Spanish Championships.

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

Related Links
Scores 2014 CDI Barcelona
Experience Versus Youth at CDI4* of the Barcelona Dressage Tour
Michel and Garcia Mena Clinch Kur and Special at 2014 CDI3* Barcelona Dressage Tour
Youngsters on the Road to Rio: Super Nova and Batuta Shine in CDI3* Grand Prix at Barcelona Dressage Tour 2014
Victory for Anders Dahl in Albany Trustee Prix St. Georges Kicks Off CDI3* BCN Dressage Tour 2014
Barcelona Horses Opens 2014 CDI Season in Spain with Barcelona Dressage Tour