Move Over Cosmo, Fendi is in Town - Rothenberger Back in Business

Fri, 04/22/2022 - 23:43
2022 CDI Hagen
Sönke Rothenberger and Fendi win the warm-up test of the Louisdor Cup qualifier in Hagen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Those who have been waiting since the autumn of 2019 for a come back of Cosmo, can be consoled by this news: Sönke Rothenberger is back in business, but with a new young Grand Prix star, (Kjaerholms) Fendi!

Where's Cosmo?

The Bad Homburg based rider has not competed his highly beloved KWPN gelding Cosmo since the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam. The gelding (by Van Gogh x Landjonker) sustained an injury and has not (yet) been able to come back to full fitness to be a German team player and international competition rival. 

Rothenberger is famously tight-lipped about the health status of the now 15-year old Cosmo and hardly ever shares under saddle footage of him riding Cosmo on his 56,000 followers counting Instagram account. Cosmo's last ridden appearance on Instagram was 55 weeks ago.

In March 2022 Sönke told Eurodressage that "I'm riding him at home, but nothing is definitely planned (about returning with Cosmo to competition). I'm planning a come back but he's not yet at 100%. I have a lot of pleasure in the daily work with Cosmo and enjoy every day with him. When I return to the arena with him, I need to have the feeling that he can give me a 100%."

Fendi is in Town

Today, however, Rothenberger fans got a massive consolation when they witnessed young Sönke enter the arena at Hof Kasselmann in Hagen with a a new star, the 8-year old Danish warmblood Kjaerholm's Fendi (by Franklin x Diamond).  

Sönke and Fendi were entered to compete in the warm-up test of the national Louisdor Cup qualifier, a German show circuit for developing Grand Prix horses. The pair came, saw, and conquered! 

Sönke Rothenberger and Fendi
The bay gelding looked incredibly mature in the Grand Prix work for his young age (8). They rode lovely trot half passes with a lot of self carriage, in the passage the horse had a wonderful silhouette and much airtime,  in the piaffe he really showcased the ability to sit and climb in front with the poll as highest point. The extended walk had sufficient overtrack. In canter, like quite a few Franklins, the horse struggled to keep a crisp clear 3-beat rhythm, but nonetheless Fendi was balanced and strong in his striding. The pirouettes were small with a lot of weight taken on the hindquarters. The changes were uphill, although the horse could still swing more in the back. The ones were straight, but can be even more ground covering. It was a wonderful test in which especially the elasticity in the back in the canter work still needs to improve but all the ingredients were there for a world class horse!

The judges (Susanne Baarup, Henning Lehrmann, Ralph Schmidt, Evi Eisenhardt, and Isobel Wessels) rewarded the test with a winning 77.079% although individual marks went from 73.816% (Eisenhardt) to 79.474 (Schmidt). 

Kjaerholms Fendi

The horse is not a total newcomer in Rothenberger's barn. He was bought in Denmark in June 2019 as a 5-year old and produced to Grand Prix level by Sönke himself. They decided to drop the breeder's part of his name, Kjaerholm, when they registered the horse for sport in Germany. As a result he became Fendi 48 (the 48 meaning that there are 48 horses registered with the German NF with the name Fendi!).

The Hagen showground reflected in a helmet
The pair is also not new to the show ring, though lightly competed with three shows before their Louisdor Cup appearance. Just one month after acquiring him, they competed in the 5-year old tests at the CDI Wiesbaden. A year later they did an M-level test in Darmstadt and in February 2021 they did their first S-test at the same venue. A year ago in Hagen, the combination showed in the Nurnberger Burgpokal qualifier in Hagen. 

The order of go officially lists the company "Danish Derby Horse Shows Aps" as breeder of the horse, which points at the family of the managing director of the Danish warmblood society, Casper Cassoe. However the Kjaerholm brood farm is owned by Erik Rasmussen, who also bred Grand Prix horse Abutsiaq. Fendi's dam is Kjaerholm's Dublet (by Diamond x Landau x Racot x Asferg Cyclo). Fendi was reared by Cassoe, who sold him as a 2-year old to Louise Dall. She prepared him for the stallion licensing but ended up selling him to Helgstrand, who resold the horse to Rothenberger.

Talented Horses to the Fore

Frederic Wandres on Harrods
While Fendi certainly had tails wagging in Hagen with the German team trainers Monica Theodorescu and Jonny Hilberath following the bay's every step, the Louisdor Cup class was filled with fantastic young Grand Prix horses. 

Frederic Wandres certainly benefit from homeside advantage as he placed second on Hof Kasselmann's beautiful 9-year old Hanoverian gelding Harrods (by Hochadel x Rotpson). The liver chestnut has all the qualities and potential to become a wonderful Grand Prix horse but today he was rushed through the test, which led to him grinding his teeth. The trot half passes were hurried, and in piaffe and passage the horse was not yet able to take the weight on the hindquarters. The extended walk had sufficient overstep, but was not the greatest clarity in rhythm. Wandres could have ridden more medium canter before the flying change at X but played it strategically safe. The rider was swinging in the saddle in the tempi changes to help the horse but it resulted in a lack of polish. Harrods most definitely got all the qualities to develop into a wonderful Grand Prix horse but needs a bit more time. The fact that he was able to sit and take the weight on the hindquarters in the pirouettes proved that future is certainly bright for him. The judges, who clearly went up with their points towards the end of the class, rewarded the test with 74.553%. The marks went from 72.500 (Eisenhardt) to 76.842 (Schmidt). 

Marcus Hermes on Facilone
Juliane Brunkhorst presented the 9-year old Oldenburg stallion Furst Enno (by Furst Romancier x Sir Donnerhall) also towards the end of the test and took advantage of that favourable position. She was generously rewarded with 72.105% for a third place. The chestnut still leaned heavily on the shoulders in the piaffe and relied much on the experience of his rider to carry him through the test. Definitely a nice, promising horse, but we preferred the fourth and fifth placed today.

Marcus Hermes and Nicola Ahorner's 10-year old Hanoverian gelding Facilone (by Furstenball x De Niro) painted a different picture: one of lightness and ease even thought the bright bay was still green at Grand Prix. Hermes is actually too tall a rider for this elegant ladies' horse, but he did a lovely job presenting the gelding in a light frame, easy going and pleasant to watch. The trot half passes were too passagey, but Facilone showed he is supple and elastic. The extended walk had huge overtrack but was a bit too prancey in the rhythm, not truly striding through the back The canter was uphill with a superb flying change in the medium canter. Mistakes in the one tempi changes reduced the score to 71.684% and a fourth place.

The horse with the most fabulous, established piaffe-passage of the day was without a doubt Svenja Kämper-Meyer's 9-year old Hanoverian mare Amanyara M (by Ampere x Davignon), bred by Hans-Jürgen Meyer. The breeder was standing next to me during the test and couldn't contain his excitement, mumbling non-stop while Amanyara was doing her test. The mare was presented in a fabulous connection with the bridle, had superb rhythm in piaffe and passage, but issues in the two-tempi changes affected the result. They were fifth with 71.342% 

Text and Photos © Astrid Appels  - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED - If you are interested in using our photos, email us FIRST

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