Benjamin Werndl has ridden his last competition round aboard Flora Keller's Daily Mirror. The 19-year old did his final test at the 2023 CDI-W Basel on Sunday morning 15 January 2023 and will be retired from sport.
Daily Mirror is a Westfalian gelding by Damon Hill out of Fiedergirl II (by Florestan x Werther x Einblick). He is bred by Kellermann and Platte.
Daily Mirror first came into the spotlight as a 2.5 year old presented and accepted at the 2006 Westfalian Stallion Licensing. However, a career in breeding was never pursued and the horse did not do a performance test. He was gelded to be focused on sport.
He was first competed as a 3-year old by Berit Schunk in 2007. In 2008 Nicole Onken competed him briefly.
Daily Mirror then disappeared from the show scene to resurface in 2013 under German based Austrian Saskia Lieben-Seutter, who rode him to a 12th place in the 2013 Nurnberger Burgpokal Finals in Frankfurt.
In 2014 Holga Finken climbed aboard and presented the horse in his first Grand Prix tests through 2015.
Werndl's Career Maker
In 2017 Daily Mirror returned to the arena after a two-year show break under Benjamin Werndl.
Their first show as a pair was in Ebreichsdorf, Austria, in February 2017. Their first international was at the 2017 CDI Lamprechtshausen in Austria.
Daily Mirror became Benjamin's senior Grand Prix career making dressage horse. With him he was submitted to the German A-squad, achieved his first 80% freestyle score in November 2018, and rode his first World Cup Finals in 2019 in Gothenburg, where they finished 12th in the Kur.
In 2021 the pair were appointed to the second reserve place for the German Olympic team in Tokyo, but they did not go into quarantine due to fever.
From 2017 till 2023 they competed at a string of high profile CDI's including Aachen, Neumunster, Den Bosch, Hagen, Munich, Stuttgart, amongst others.
At the German Dressage Championships they were 5th and 6th in 2018, 9th and 6th in 2019, and 5th and 6th in 2021.
At the World Cup qualifier in Basel, Switzerland, Daily Mirror competed in his last show. He concluded his sport career with a 83.995 % freestyle score.
"Even though it is difficult for us, we have made the decision because we think he deserves it," Werndl said about Daily Mirror's retirement from sport.
The choice for Basel as the retirement show was an easy one. "To say goodbye while he is topfit and in a world class field and in a grandiose atmosphere on Swiss soil, as his owner Flora is Swiss," Benjamin stated.
Photos © Astrid Appels - Barbara Schnell
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