Katharina Haas Wins the 2024 Hamburg Dressage Derby

Mon, 05/13/2024 - 08:14
2024 CDI Hamburg
Katharina Haas and Let it Be NRW win the 2024 Hamburg Dressage Derby

For the first time in its 64-year history, the Hamburg Dressage Derby has been won by an Austrian: 30-year old Katharina Haas won the Derby Final with horse change and edged out Germans Maik Kohlschmidt and Sarah Waldsperger.

Olympic Chances Over the Derby

Traditionally the three riders invited for the Hamburg Dressage Derby Final are the top three ranked riders in the CDI Grand Prix. However, as of this year Hamburg amended its rules and riders who are squad listed with their Grand Prix horses can decline the invitation to ride the final in order to spare this horse. 

This meant that this year's Derby final was ridden by Grand Prix sixth place Katharina Hass, 8th place Sarah Waldsperger from Wentorf near Hamburg and 9th placed Maik Kohlschmidt who lives in Denmark.

Haas Achieves Career Highlight Victory

The 30-year old Haas truly had to fight for her title as she did not achieve the highest points on her own Westfalian mare Let It Be (by Lisarro van de Helle - 67.500% but in fact earned more points on Kohlschmidt's Pasadena (69.033%) and Waldsperger's Royal Dream (69.067%). Haas totalled 205,600 points which made her the winner of the prestigious Derby title.

Kathi Haas Wins the Derby
Haas competed at the 2012 European Junior Riders Championship and 2019 European Under 25 Championships, but winning the Derby is her first major career highlight as a senior Grand Prix rider. 

"It was pretty exhausting,” Haas admitted to EQWO after three rides. “But all the horses were really fair and good to ride. Most of the mistakes actually happened to me with my own horse, I don't really know why?" When asked what the secret to her success was, she said that "it was my bonus" as she rides around ten horses a day in everyday life.

Second place-getter Maik Kohlschmidt had the highest score on his own,  Danish warmblood mare Pasadena (by Tailormade Lancelot), i.e. 68,500%, while he earned 66.967% on Waldsperger's Royal Dream (by Royal Classic) and  66.733% on Let It Be. He totalled 202,200%

Sarah Waldsperger, who is better known under her maiden name Sarah Garayhi, had bigger problems with the other two horses. The 53-year-old initially managed a 68.067% ride on her own horse, but with Let It Be (65,933%) and Pasadena (61,500%), mistakes and inconsistencies crept in. In total, Waldsperger achieved 190.5 points.

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