With their third and final team selection qualifier scheduled at the 2019 CDI Leudelange on 1 - 3 July 2019, the creme de la creme of German pony dressage sport travelled to Luxembourg and dominated the FEI pony division on the three first days of competition at this 4* event.
German pony team trainer Connie Endres brought seven pony-and-rider combinations to Leudelange which she considered the best in Germany of the moment and that were up for team selection. At the second trial at the CDIO-PJYR Hagen "Future Champions" at Hof Kasselmann in June, the Germans were beaten by a stronger Danish pony team which - if they all perform up to par - seems in better shape with better ponies this year!
In Leudelange the German pony girls put in strong showing with a lot of promise, but the quality was not always as brilliant as expected from the leading pony breeding and dressage nation in the world. One pony was unlevel in trot, another did not have that biggest movement potential, two easily become wide behind in trot. Nontheless the Germans are always in for fine riding and meticulous execution of a test, which makes them an ever-present force to be reckoned with.
The team test was supremely won by Johanna Kullmann on the experienced 15-year old Rhinelander gelding Champ of Clas (by Champion de Luxe x Dornik B). The combination put in a wonderful test: very rhythmical and balanced in trot, super smooth through the canter movements. The ease and control of tempo were exemplary. They scored 75.000% for the victory. Unfortunately an old edema on the left flank of the pony flared up again, which resulted in Kullmann withdrawing from the rest of the show.
Shona Banner and the 9-year old Oldenburg gelding Der Kleine Sunnyboy (by Der Feine Lord x Valentino) were accurate and solid in the team test and finished second with 74.619%. They went on to land third place in the individual (74.144%) and fourth in the Kur (74.710%).
Lana-Pinou Baumgurtel and the former European pony champion Massimiliano (by Monsun N x Cap Cennedy N) had much to prove in Leudelange after they took an iffy start in the team test at the 2019 CDIO-PJYR Hagen. The team test counts for the team medals and also sets the bar and gives an impression to the judges' panel for the rest of the competition. Being able to hold one's nerves in the team test is essential for Championships competition. In Leudelange Baumgurtel and her 14-year old buckskin gelding were back on the same wavelength and placed third in the team test (74.571%), they won the individual (75.180%) and withdrew from the Kur to spare the pony.
The 11-year old Rose Oatley is the shooting pony star in Germany and has the best pony to ride of all team candidates. Her 9-year old Rhinelander palomino Daddy Moon (by Daddy Col x Capri Moon) is a former Bundeschampion and despite both of their young age, they are pleasure to watch. Young Rose is not yet as consistent in her performances and nerves tend to creep in. In the Hagen team test it all became a little bit too much for her and mistakes were made. In Leudelange the daughter of Australian Olympian Kristy Oatley was focused and sharp and improved throughout the event. They were fifth in the team test with 72.571%, second in the individual (74.955%) and they won the Kur to Music with 78.650%.
Text and Photos © Astrid Appels - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED
Eurodressage was on the scene photographing all rider in Leudelange that competed there on Tuesday. If you are interested in photos for print or social media, send us an email.