Wandres and Lyle Bring Five-Star Dressage to Wellington Show Jumping Grounds

Sat, 02/26/2022 - 10:11
2022 CDI Wellington - Global Dressage Festival / Week 7
Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD at the 2022 CDI Wellington :: Photo © Sue Stickle

German rider Frederic Wandres capitalized on his already lucrative season, winning the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5* on Bluetooth OLD with 81.165% in the highlight class of Week 7 at the 2022 Global Dressage Festival on Friday 25 February 2022. 

Week seven’s “Friday Night Lights” showcase at the 2022 Global Dressage Festival (GDF) in Wellington, FL, was hosted in the spectacular International Show Jumping Arena at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), home to the Winter Equestrian Festival. 

After winning the Grand Prix 5*, Hof Kasselmann's head rider Frederic Wandres also bagged the 5* Kur to Music. Belgium's Laurence Vanommeslaghe filled second with an energetic performance on Edison (79.430%) and Spain’s Juan Matute Guimón finished third on Quantico (78.925%).

Better and Better

“Bluetooth is getting better and better,” said Wandres of the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Bordeaux. “I get more and more the feeling that I can ride during the test, and he offers me a very good feeling. I’m super happy about his development here in the Wellington season. For him the season is finished now, and he has a few more weeks here to rest a little bit and enjoy the Florida sun before he goes home. Then we are looking forward and trying to take these things which we achieved and developed here together with us to Europe.

“This is an incredible feeling,” he continued. “As a rider you know that it must have been not bad when the crowd is already clapping on the last centerline, and it always also pushes the horse a little bit more to shine. Bluetooth is a very elegant and completely happy horse. When I started to ride him one year ago, he was a very shy horse and was not able to bring what I had in the warmup into the arena. It’s something that we have created better now.”

Vanommeslaghe Crowd Favourite

Laurence Vanommeslaghe on Edison
Second-placed Vanommeslaghe was pleased with her conclusion to the five-star week with Edison, the 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Johnson that she rode to a freestyle victory during week 5. She was the only pair that really stole the hearts of the crowds and had them clapping and stomping their feet with her Led Zeppelin freestyle. 

“Several things that were a weakness in the grand prix, I tried to correct tonight,” she explained. “I’m really happy that it ended better than it began. The feeling was really lovely with a better frame. I’m very proud, because the riders were very competitive. Almost all of them are in the top 50 best riders in the world, and I’m a nobody — an amateur rider.”

Third-placed Matute Guimón relished the opportunity to ride in the atmospheric jumping arena with Quantico, his 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games mount, as well as in the class with his sister Paula.

“My experience was phenomenal,” he enthused. “I really enjoyed riding at WEF — that is something that I always dreamed of. Quantico is getting better and better, and he is allowing me to enjoy every step. There were no big mistakes, and I was really pleased with his attitude, with the frame; everything was pretty good. I’m very proud.”

GDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur said: “I always wanted to have a change of venue so that the horses see something different, so I’m really happy. I say a big thank you to Andreas Helgstrand who made it finally happen, and also to David Burton, who runs the jumping operation here. Also thank you to Anthony D’Ambrosio who is the course designer this week. They were extremely helpful and made this happen for us.”

Lyle Claims 5* Grand Prix Special

Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Salvino made it two wins from two starts in AGDF 7 when claiming the Grand Prix Special CDI5*, presented by Havensafe Farm. The 15-year-old stallion by Sandro Hit — part of the silver medal-winning USA team at the Tokyo Olympics — posted 79.511%, with a high score of 81.489% from judge Monique Peutz-Vegter.

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino
Lyle finished 10 percentage points clear of second-placed Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén (SWE) who scored 69.617% with Devanto. Germany’s Christoph Koschel rounded out the international podium, claiming third, just a whisker behind Vilhelmson Silfvén, on 69.511% with the Lusitano gelding Favorito 11.

“I’m incredibly thrilled with him,” said Lyle of her horse that is owned by Betsy Juliano of Havensafe Farm. “I think both our Grand Prix and the Special were possibly some of the best feelings I’ve had in the ring. He feels so strong, so solid in his work, and he’s always such an incredible competitor. He didn’t put a foot wrong both tests. I don’t know what more I could ask for him. He’s just absolutely amazing.

“He’s got very powerful extensions and then an incredible ability for the collected piaffe/passage work, so I think this test really highlights that I can step on the gas where I need to,” she continued. “Coming down that last centerline is always so incredible on him, because most horses when you get to the end they’re a little bit tired, and him, you turn onto the last centerline and you can take a breath and be like, ‘Take it home, baby, you got it.’ He loves it.”

Class sponsor and winning owner Betsy Juliano noted, “It’s fantastic to have all of us here competing [at PBIEC]. I also think that it’s particularly special to have riders from different countries, like Frederic, Laurence, Juan, and others who really enhance the sport and make everybody better. I think that for me personally to sponsor the Special, to have Adrienne in the Special, and then to have such a result is very touching and extremely meaningful to me.”

- Text GDF press release - A Eurodressage report with our impression of the Week 7 competition will follow later this week
Photos © Astrid Appels - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED

Related Link
Scores: 2022 CDI Wellington
Wandres and Lyle Take First Five-Star Wins at 2022 CDI Wellington
Schopf and Bateson-Chandler Book Momentous Wins at 2022 CDI Wellington