-- GDF press release by Alice Collins
Germany's Frederic Wandres made it two wins from two starts on the 9-year-old Fürstenball mare Floricella at the 2024 CDI-W Wellington on 8 - 11 February 2024, even though he has only just started riding her.
With her owner Alessa Marie Maass, Floricella was part of the gold medal winning German team at the 2022 European Championships for Children in Hungary. Under Wandres, she led Friday’s Prix St. Georges at her first senior CDI. On Saturday the pair topped Saturday’s Intermediaire I with 70.971% and were the judges’ unanimous choice from the 10 starters.
Two female athletes posted personal best scores at the level with their horses to slot in behind Wandres. Spanish rider Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt laid down 67.823% to fill second place with her own and Yeguada de Ymas’ Dhannie Ymas (Don Crusador). Australia’s Kate Kyros continued her bountiful season with a third place on her mother Heather Kyros’ Intro K, an 11-year-old Apache stallion (67.647%).
Wandres has only ridden Floricella a handful of times as she recently arrived from Europe and is in Florida to be sold.
“She’s a very lovely mare, so pretty and elegant,” said Wandres, who rides for Hof Kasselmann and is based in Wellington during season and Germany for the remainder of the year. “When she’s under saddle she really wants to present herself. She’s still a young small tour horse but she handled it pretty good.
“I had a little mistake in the three tempis, but it was just a green mistake. She has the ability to show all the exercises very nicely, so if she doesn’t sell I’m happy to develop this very good international small tour horse — I’m still defending my number one position in the FEI small tour rankings,” added the 36-year-old, who trains daily with his partner Lars Ligus, as well as online training sessions with the German team coach, Monica Theodorescu.
Wandres first came to GDF when Europe shut down for Covid, but he and his team saw such tremendous improvement in the horses that they decided Wellington should be a permanent fixture on their calendar.
“Where else in the world can you drive just nine minutes to a CDI every two weeks?” He reasoned. “And even if you don’t want to show international, you can always show national. Here you have so many options to develop your horses in a quiet way without stressing them through long drives — and the weather is beautiful. The atmosphere is big and there are a lot of spectators so they get used to everything. We get a lot of competition routine practice here, and then back in Europe we are really ready to show.”
Wandres also has his superstar grand prix horse Bluetooth with him in Florida. He plans to compete him at the CDI5* show during GDF 10 with an eye on potential selection for the German team for the Paris Olympics this summer.
-- Photos © Astrid Appels - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED / NO SCREEN SHOTS (NO SOCIAL MEDIA SHARES UNLESS YOU BUY !)
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