Swedish Malin Wahlkamp-Nilsson and the Japense owned Eddieni won the 3* Grand Prix on the opening day of competition at the 2019 CDIO Compiègne in France on 17 May 2019.
A chilly but dry morning on was ideal weather for top level competition. The 3* Grand Prix was only the precursor to the highlight class of the show weekend, the 5* Nations' Cup Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, but with a field of 32 international starters the first test of the day in the Stade Equestre de Compiègne was already a big hit. Several renowned professional dressage riders presented new horses or familiar faces back in the show ring at one of the first outdoor competitions of the 2019 FEI calendar year.
German based Wahlkamp-Nilsson and Masahiro Kosaka's 10-year old Dutch warmblood gelding Eddieni (by Johnson x Negro) already whetted their appetite for victory at the 2019 CDI Nieuw en St. Joosland at the beginning of April and they continued their string of success in France. The uber sympathetic Eddieni is a pleasure to the eye. The gelding truly struts his stuff with his uphill canter and flashy knee action, ears pricked forward most of the time, but today he was a little less content in the contact and ground his teeth. While Eddieni has no trouble with the collection work (small pirouettes, snazzy passage and good piaffe) it is the lengthening of the frame that he finds hard in the extensions of all three basic gaits. A few bobbles in the test, such as a mistake in the one tempi's, a big right pirouette and a break in the rhythm in the final piaffe, pushed the score down to 71.565%, which sufficed for the victory. The judges' panel for the 3* Grand Prix included Trimborn (FRA), Alonso (MEX), Ringmark (SWE), Wust (GER) and Colliander (FIN).
"Still a lot to improve with more routine but this horse makes me smile every single day," Nilsson took to Facebook. "He is just amazing."
British Olympian Emma Hindle has been actively campaigning her 13-year old Westfalian mare Romy del Sol (by Romanov) this 2019 show season, putting mileage on the highly sensitive mare at CDI's in Amsterdam, Lier, Keysoe, Nieuw en St. Joosland, Hagen and now Compiègne. Today's second place and 70.457% was their highest Grand Prix score so far this year. The bay mare is razor sharp to the aids and needs a rider who can give her confidence and relaxation. Today Hindle succeeded in presenting her in a more swinging form. Romy del Sol has tremendous leg flash in front with massive shoulder freedom, but her stand-out movement today was the very rhythmical second piaffe. Also the passage has good suspension but the hindlegs could reach a bit more under.
Irish Heike Holstein is another rider who has been going from strength to strength this 2019 show season aboard her 10-year old home bred and trained mare Sambuca (by San Amour). She got higher scores and placings show after show in a string of CDI's in Lier, Dortmund, Keysoe and Windsor and today Compiègne was on her agenda. Holstein presented her sharp mare in a light, unforced contact with the horse eager to please. Although the transitions into piaffe are still hard, the mare finds the rhythm quickly. Overall she could drop the haunches a bit more. In the tempi changes she achieves nice uphill tendency but could cover more ground. They scored 70.435% for third place.
Charlotte Fry, who is the reigning European Under 25 Champion, has been dipping her toes in the senior division. In Compiegne she rode Gertjan van Olst's 10-year old KWPN licensed stallion Everdale (by Lord Leatherdale x Negro) in the senior Grand Prix for the first time and stood her ground. The black stallion is a very powerful horse with strong hindquarters. The piaffe and passage have much cadence but in the piaffe the horse needs to lower the croup more. Fry's hand was often working backwards and it would be nice to see the horse lengthen the neck a bit more. A few niggly bits in the pirouette and transitions meddled with a higher score. They finished fourth with 70.413%.
The highest scoring French pair was Nicole Favereau on the 13-year old Belgian warmblood bred Ginsengue (by Welt Hit II x Livingstone). They slotted in fifth on 69.370%. The chestnut mare is a talented dressage horse with straight uphill tempi changes but a mistake in the one tempi's kept them from cracking 70%.
Text and Photos © Astrid Appels - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED
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Scores: 2019 CDIO Compiegne