Werth and Quantaz Win in Empty Arena at 2021 CDI-W Salzburg

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:21
2021 CDI-W Salburg
Isabell Werth and Quantaz win the Grand Prix for Special at the 2021 CDI-W Salzburg :: Photo © Lukasz Kowalski

World number one dressage rider Isabell Werth won the first class of the first CDI in Europe of 2021. Aboard Sissy Max-Theurer's Quantaz she won the Grand Prix for Special at the 2021 CDI-W Salzburg in Austria.

Corona Postponement

The 2021 CDI-W Salzburg kicked off the competition calendar year after corona turned 2020 upside down. Salzburg takes place on 21 - 24 January and is a postponement of its original December date. Despite empty seats for a corona proof environment riders are thrilled to get back to action.

The opening dressage class was the Grand Prix for Special, judged by Salzgburg return judges Raphael Saleh, Thomas Lang, and Katrina Wust, and assisted by Claudia Thaler and Gabriela Valerianova. 

Nine combinations competed in the class.

Werth and Quantaz Make it 10/10

Isabell Werth and the 11-year old Brandenburger stallion Quantaz (by Quaterback x Hohenstein) easily topped the board in their 10th straight victory as a pair in 9 months time. 

Werth and Quantaz
The combination produced very nice trot extensions with good lengthening of stride and frame and nice half passes. There could have been more diagonal pairing in the rein back. The passage was off the ground, although sometimes the hindlegs were a bit more pushing than carrying. The piaffe was well on the spot and with promise. While the extended walk was good, the collected became lateral and rigid in the back (score 6 to 7.5!). Werth is a master at getting the best out of horse that it has to offer at that moment in time. It is clear that Quantaz is still work in progress and overall there needed to be a bit more lightness in the contact as there was quite some steering going on in front, but Werth had it all under control. The two tempi's were good, the ones correct but lacking ground cover. Overall the canter work was overcollected, but it kept her horse rideable and steerable. The extended canter had good power but was croup high, and the zig zag was well ridden even though one change was in two phases. The pirouettes were small and at the end of the ride there was still lots of bounce and energy left for the final centerline. 

Werth scored a winning total of 78.630% with 76.522% as low score and 79.783% as high score. 

Waldmann Precise

Lena Waldmann and Fiderdance
Second place went to air stewardess gone professional dressage rider, Lena Waldmann, on Gestut Bonhomme's 12-year old Oldenburg stallion Fiderdance (by Fidertanz x Don Schufro). 

Waldmann rode with a lot of precision and control. The extended trots were relaxed, in piaffe the horse gets a bit wide behind and the transitions out of piaffe could be more carried but it all looked quite polished. Overall the horse could be a bit more elastic  over the back and swinging in the topline. Waldmann rode a strong canter tour with very nice, straight two tempi changes, a good zig zag, small pirouettes. The ones needed to be more uphill oriented 

They scored a plentiful 74.065%. 

Merrald Premiers Orthilia

Danish Nanna Skodborg Merrald made her international show debut aboard Agnete Kirk Thinggaard's 16-year old Oldenburg mare Atterupgaards Orthilia (by Gribaldi x Donnerschlag). Under Fiona Bigwood, the Danish bred mare was on the silver medal winning British team at the 2016 Rio Olympics after which she sold to Thinggaard. Recurrent injuries prevented the new duo from making a splash and Agnete has now offered Nanna the ride on her mare. 

Nanna Merrald and Atterupgaards Orthilia
Merrald is coached by her long-time trainer Michael Sogaard instead of Blue Hors trainer Lars Petersen, who resides in the U.S.A. and has not travelled to Europe since the summer. Sogaard witnessed ringside how Merrald steered Orthilia to a third place in Salzburg. 

Despite some massive shoulder freedom, the trot extensions did not have sufficient overtrack but visually they were pretty. The passage has a lovely spring to it, the piaffes were safe and sweet. The extended walk was good, the tempi changes were nice and straight and especially the ones stood out. The left pirouette was a bit big. Merrald steered the mare with plenty of skill through her first test. The bridle contact was not ideal though, with the mare fidgety in the contact and the right curb rein too long. 

They scored 73.413% for third place with 71.957% as low score and 75.543% as high score. 

Zap Zap, One to Watch

Astrid Neumayer and Zap Zap
One of the most exciting horses in the class was Ingrid Pretsch's 13-year old Danish warmblood gelding Zap Zap (by Zack x Leonardo). Trained to GP level by Franz Trischberger and now piloted by Austrian Astrid Neumayer, the more old fashioned looking but well composed gelding landed fourth place. 

ZapZap is a big, powerful horse. He showed the nicest rein back of the day. Overall he could more up in the poll. He showed a nice piaffe with potential for more as he is still a bit back-stepping with the left hind. He has nice big canter strides, executed a good zig zag, and small pirouettes. The combination shows much balance, calmness and collectedness. There was good overtrack in the extensions in trot and canter. In passage, he ran a bit out of steam behind on the final centerline and got narrow behind in the piaffe at X, swaying a bit in the hindquarters. 

They scored 71.239% with 69.891% as low score and 74.457% as high score.  

Quick Notes

German Jessica Süss finished fifth aboard Carolin Fehlings' 12-year old Hanoverian Duisenberg (by Desperados x Weltmeyer). The big chunky chestnut and his petite rider make a lovely duo. The rein back and the trot extensions were very good, the passage was not entirely even behind with the left hind lagging a bit. In piaffe he needs to sit more behind, bending the hocks, but he was nice and quiet in the rhythm. The extended walk had good relaxation, the tempi changes were straight, although not sure she performed enough one tempi changes.. The judges weren't sure either as their scores went from 4 to 7.5. They finished on 71.174%. 

Jessica Süss on Duisenberg
Jessica van Bredow-Werndl made her international Grand prix debut aboard Beatrice Burchler-Keller's 12-year old Hanoverian gelding Ferdinand BB (by Florencio x Lanciano). There was quite a bit of tension at the start, but the horse improved along the way. The passage was lovely, elegant, and had much airtime, but in the piaffe he stays croup high with the hindlegs not enough sliding under the body. They showed nice, small, balanced pirouettes. It certainly was a pleasant to watch test that earned them 69.957%.

Austrian Timna Zach and road her own and René Hagemeier's 11-year old Dutch warmblood Farant (by Spielberg x Negro) to a 7th place with 68.478%. The black gelding is a powerful and impressive mover with much scope and energy, but it all looked rough around the edges, with the horse getting a sour expression when asked to collect and exert himself. The zig zag was really nice, but then Farant threw in some extra changes, the tempi changes have much scope in front but are still croup high. 

Text by Astrid Appels - Photos © Lukasz Kowalski

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