Fry and Glamourdale Win 2023 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch Grand Prix, Omaha No Certainty

Thu, 03/09/2023 - 22:57
2023 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch
Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale at the 2023 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch :: Photos © Dirk Caremans

Reigning world champions Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale won the Grand Prix at the 2023 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch on Thursday evening 9 March 2023.

Heading to Omaha?

Fry is the favourite for freestyle victory on Saturday and riding in it would make her eligible for the 2023 World Cup Finals in Omaha. However, the long awaited duel between world champion Glamourdale and Olympic champion Dalera BB is unsure.

Fry told Eurodressage she has not made her mind up about competing in Omaha, despite press whipping up a storm for what they hoped to be the battle of the bulge in Nebraska. 

"Honestly we haven’t planned anything after Den Bosch yet, so still don’t know about the final," Fry told Eurodressage.

Smooth Sailing

Fry and Gert-Jan van Olst's 12-year old KWPN stallion Glamourdale (by Lord Leatherdale x Negro) smoothly sailed through the programme in Den Bosch.  The pair won the London world cup qualifier where they first rode the short Grand Prix, so Den Bosch was their first time back into a classic GP test since Herning.

Fry and Glamourdale
With each test the pair seemed to find a better form, looking more comfortable in the work. However today there were a few technical bobbles, which affected the score, but did not take away from the overall splendid performance. They produced big, sweeping half passes with lots of leg crossing. At times the trot work became a bit passagey, especially on the short side. The passage work itself was crisp, with the first piaffe nicely on the spot but a bit swinging left-right. In the extended walk there was 1 to 2 hooves overstep but the tempi was rather quick and Glamourdale pulled on the rein when he needed to collect the walk. The second passage began a bit hesitant and the second piaffe had a bit of backwards tendency, but Glamourdale was always quick and nimble on his feet. The two tempi changes and extended canter were highlights, but there was a bobble in the flying change. The pair made the zig zag look easy, there was a mistake in the one tempi changes with one change not being through behind. The left pirouette was slightly big, the right one tidy. There was plenty of overtrack in the last extended trot, but one wants to see a bit more lengthening in the frame with the nose coming out. The final centerline was energetic with the piaffe at X having a better rhythm and being more on the spot, even though he still leaned a bit on the shoulders. 

Judges by Maarten Van der Heijden (NED), Francis Verbeek-van Rooy (NED), Andrew Gardner (GBR),  Lars Andersson (SWE) and Henning Lehrmann (GER) unanimously agreed on her first place performance and rewarded the test with 79.826%. The low score was a realistic 78.804%, the high score an enthusiastic 81.848%.

Titanium Trumps Hermes Again

Already in the December world cup qualifier in Mechelen (BEL), Dutch Marieke van der Putten and the Lemmens couple's 11-year old Danish bred Torveslettens Titanium (by Totilas out of Andreas Helgstrand's former international FEI horse Torveslettens Stamina (by Stedinger)) showed that they are climbing the ladder and producing bigger scores with each ride. They won the Mechelen Grand Prix and relegated World Championship bronze medal winner Hermes to a third place (but Hermes went on to win the freestyle).

Marieke van der Putten and Torveslettens Titanium
Today in Den Bosch, a similar scenario happened where not bronze medal duo Dinja van Liere and Hermes were the ones in Glamourdale's wake, but Van der Putten and Titanium.  The dark bay gelding and the petite Van der Putten are a cute pair that really seem in tune with one another. The horse is consistent and steady in the contact and makes the Grand Prix work look rather easy. Overall the horse is a bit stiff in the trot extensions, with a flying front leg and a hind that doesn't track up, but when a famous rider sits on top, we all know that scores a 7.0 nonetheless. The right half pass lacked bending, but the left one was nice.  The horse showed very sweet first piaffe-passage work even though Titanium never truly engages the hindlegs under the body. Still he is steady and regular in the rhythm in piaffe and judges apparently appreciate rhythm over collection in this movement. The extended walk had plenty of overstep but the clarity in rhythm was not ideal. The collected walk was better.  The zig zag was very smoothly ridden, the two were good, the ones secure but short. They rode nice pirouettes. On the final centerline Titanium became a bit snatchy behind (up instead of under) but Van der Putten maintained a quiet seat and composure as she piloted her horse into the final halt. 

They posted 76.761% for a second place with four judges on 76% and on 78.4% 

Tense Hermes

Dinja van Liere and Joop van Uytert and Jan Anker's 11-uear old KWPN-Trakehner cross bred Hermes (by Easy Game x Flemmingh) landed third place as the stallion dealt with a lot tension. 

Dinja van Liere on Hermes
There was a little bobble in the first trot extension and a spook in the corner at K before the half pass right (scores between 5.0 - 8.0!). The left half pass was well ridden. The horse dragged his feet a bit in the rein back. The first passage was very nice with a good piaffe on the spot although tension showed in the swooshing tail.  The extended walk had good overstep and stretch of the neck, but there was a small jog in the collected walk (5.0 - 7.5) as he anticipated the passage and then almost cantered into the passage. Hermes had a tense tail and tight back in the second pi-passage even though the horse remained quick on his feet and expressive. The pair showed very secure two tempi changes. The extended canter started well but the horse got distracted at the end of the diagonal and Van Liere needed all her tools from the toolbox to keep him with her. This affected the start of the zig zag (4.0 - 6.0). The extended canter was powerful, the right pirouette was the better one. On the final centerline Hermes had plenty of energy but in the piaffe at X he became a bit croup high instead of really sitting. 

The pair still left the arena with a generous 75.369%. The low score was 74.130%, the high score 77.283%

It seems to become a trend with Hermes to be spooky/electrified in the Grand Prix, giving his rider a work-out, and then in the freestyle he is back on the job. Van Liere secured two world cup wins so far, in Mechelen and Amsterdam, so let's hope that she has her heart horse back on call this Saturday. 

Germans Follow

The German delegation of two followed in fourth and fifth place to complete the top five in Den Bosch. 

Benjamin Werndl and Flora Keller's 14-year old Oldenburg Famoso (by Farewell III x Welt Hit II) lacked a bit of precision today to really surpass that 75% barrier. They began with a nice entry with the nose slightly in front of the vertical but the halt was not entirely square.  Famoso does not have the quickest hindleg and tends to toe-drag in the extended trots but they are so correct, balanced, and with a proper lengthening of stride and frame. There was a very nice halt for rein-back but then the gelding dragged his feet.  Today the passage was not very even, often irregular in the hindlegs or double beating. The first piaffe was a bit hesitant, the second more confident and the third was delightful.  There was good activity in the extended walk, but the collected walk was just short and slow (6.5 - 7).  There were good two tempi changes, correct ones but they could have been more ground covering, there was a mistake in the zigzag, and the left pirouette the better one of the two. At all time the silhouette was soft and sympathetic. They were fourth with 75.043%. Four judges had him at 75%, one at 73%.

Werth with Emilio at the horse inspection on Wednesday
Isabell Werth and Madeleine Winter-Schulze's 17-year old Westfalian Emilio (by Ehrenpreis x Cacir AA) placed fifth with 74.348%. After her final salute disappointment was plastered all over her face. The most decorated rider of all times wears her heart on her sleeve and immediately gives you an idea of what she thought of the test.  There were many beautiful parts to appreciate, but also a couple of issues.  They began with a good extended trot, and a very good control of tempo in the half passes, in which Werth allowed her horse to stay in balance while traversing the arena. The rein-back was not very convincing and the second extension could have had more overtrack. In passage one would like to see the hindlegs more tucked under the body, but overall he was quite regular. The extended walk has massive overtrack even though there wasn't much V-moment in the rhythm (6.0 - 7.5). The collected walk was just short and slow and not really taking the contact (5.0 - 7.0). Werth rode the second piaffe-passage very carefully but the canter strike off was staccato (6.5 - 8.0). There was a mistake in the two's andEmilio made an unscripted change in the extended canter. The zig zag was faultfree but not very ground covering, same for the ones. The pirouettes were lovely as well as the final centerline.

Her score was 74.348% with marks going from 71.630 (Anderson) to 78.478 (Gardner). QED?

The die will be cast on Saturday when the Western European World Cup League comes to a close with the freestyle. 

- Text  © Eurodressage (this article expresses Eurodressage's' eye-witness account of the competition).

- Photos © Dirk Caremans - complete photo gallery from Den Bosch here

Related Links
Scores: 2023 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers and Finals