On the closing day of competition at the 2021 CDI Ludwigsburg on Sunday 26 September 2021, Olympic and European Team Champion Dorothee Schneider won the Grand Prix Special, sponsored by the City of Ludwigsburg & Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim GmbH.
This class was the crowning finale of the first International Ludwigsburg Dressage Festival in front of Monrepos Palace. Aboard the eleven-year-old Baden-Württemberg gelding First Romance, Schneider rode to a winning score of 72.404%
"With First Romance I competed nationally this year because of the Olympics, European Championships and Aachen 14 days ago and then he went the first Grand Prix Special in his life and now the first international Special," said Dorothee Schneider, "I am very proud and very very happy to be here."
The riding champion is familiar with the Ludwigsburg dressage competitions of the RV Ludwigsburg-Monrepos and clearly emphasises how much she likes the international upgrade: "Really great show, thank you very much for this event. It can hardly be compared to anything else with the atmosphere in front of the castle. Riding in front of this backdrop with the great crowd, which fortunately came here - we are all happy to be able to inspire people for the sport again."
Both the Olympic rider and her fellow competitors succeeded in doing so. Jasmin Schaudt rode the 11-year-old Fano to second place - much to the delight of the home crowd. PSI Auction price highlight Dante took third place with Nicole Wego-Engelmeyer from Hagen a.T.W.. The rider from Hof Kasselmann completed an extremely successful weekend, which also saw her qualify for the Nurnberger Burgpokal Final with Citation.
Beyond all expectations
Dorothee Schneider's praise for the CDI4* in Ludwigsburg must have pleased both the Lord Mayor of the City of Ludwigsburg, Dr. Matthias Knecht, and Christian Schneider, Member of the Management Board of Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg and Kornwestheim, as both emphasised the appeal of an international event for the region.
Promoting sport, culture and art is one of the city's tasks, he said. "And that is even requested and expected," said Schneider. Having good partners in the region is also of central importance for event director Ullrich Kasselmann (Hagen a.T.W.). "It is very important to find a symbiosis with the clubs, with politics and with the sponsors, and here something has been created that I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams," Kasselmann explained.
Visitors, families and onlookers wandered in large numbers through the park, which is always open to the public, and filled the spectator terraces and in front of the castle to watch dressage or to look around the exhibition in between. Dr. Werner Hildenbrandt, Chairman of RV Ludwigsburg-Monrepos: "Maybe something has been created here for dressage sport that has not existed in this form before."
Approximately 1500 visitors came on Saturday alone and lingered in front of the impressive backdrop.
Return in September 2022 planned
The international equestrian calendar - somewhat disrupted by the Corona pandemic - is to include the International Ludwigsburg Dressage Festival again next year.
"We have now seen that the date works out well and we will plan it that way again," said Ullrich Kasselmann. After all, there have already been phone calls from competitors who have said that they would also like to take part next year.
This is also an exciting setting for the junior series that stopped off in Ludwigsburg this year. Both the Nurnberger Burg Cup for juniors and the final of the Pony Dressage Master were part of the international event.
Photos © Thomas Hellmann
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