German Olympian Ulla Salzgeber and her young, developing Grand Prix horse Sir Simon captured their first international big tour victories at the 2016 CDI Mariakalnok in Hungary on 29 April - 1 May 2016. The CDI Mariakalnok returned on the FEI calendar this year after a six-year break from hosting an international dressage show.
With Hungarian Grand Prix rider Robert Acs being appointed head trainer there, the owners of the venue (the Braun family) were reinspired to run the show. The Hungarian CDI was run with German precision and riders, trainers and spectators praised the event for its great organization, people and atmosphere.
Salzgeber steered her young 8-year old Westfalian gelding Sir Simon (by Saramarant x Florestan x Damenstolz) to victory in the Grand Prix with 69.320% and in the Special with 69.647%.
"Simon is a powerball. He is a simply a fun, fun horse," Salzgeber stated. "After a 7-hour drive we came home tired but overjoyed. Simon will now get a break. He'll be hacked, turned out in the paddock and get lots of pats."
Salzgeber began competing Sir Simon internationally at small tour level in February 2015 and after showing in Neumunster, Munich, Fritzens and Fot, they made the transition to Grand Prix level at the CDI Caselle di Sommacampagna in March 2016. Mariakalnok was the 8-year old's second CDI at Grand Prix level. The chestnut was originally started as a youngster in 2011 by Ken Juel Andreassen and Ulla's assistant trainer showed the horse a few times in 2013 at regional L-level, before Ulla took the horse to M-level in 2014.
Photos © Lukasz Kowalski