National competitions on the Wellington show grounds take place throughout the year, but this weekend in December (9 - 11 December) in particular the venue is action packed because of an international World Cup qualifier CDI-W alongside the national show.
While the VIP tent is still empty and awaiting its set-up for the start of the 2023 Global Dressage Festival the first weekend of January, the entry field for the CDI and CDN test is packed .
Eurodressage picked up a few results that captured our interest:
Katherine Bateson and Haute Couture
Katherine Bateson-Chandler and the 10-year old KWPN mare Haute Couture (by Connaisseur x Krack C) are finding their groove and posted a 74.891% in the Grand Prix on Friday 9 December to finish second behind Kevin Kohmann on Rachael Franks' 11-year old Westfalian bred Inshallah (by Imperio x Farewell III).
Haute Couture was Dinja van Liere's 2021 European Championship Dutch team ride, placing 10th in the Kur to Music Finals. The mare sold to Jennifer Huber as a World Championship hopeful for Katherine Bateson, but the duo needed more time to gel than anticipated. The pair did one show in the spring, straight away a CDI in March, but there was too much tension and the scores stayed low. Bateson took Haute Couture to Europe for the summer to work on their partnership with her long-time trainer Carl Hester, and she also called in the help of previous rider Dinja van Liere. The effort paid off.
Trained in Florida by Ashley Holzer, Bateson re-introduced the mare to the show ground at the Gold Coast Fall Fling on 12 November, where they scored 68.913%. This weekend she cracked the seventy marker.
In Friday's Prix St Georges class, Katherine also steered Tina Rading's 11-year old KWPN gelding Grand Charmeur (by Apache x Cocktail) to a second place with 72.647%. The bay gelding was competed at international junior riders' level by Dutch Micky Schelstraete in 2019 and 2020 before the horse sold to Florida.
Bateson had Kristin Stein on her heels aboard Sally Alksnis' grey KWPN gelding Elbrasco L (by Ampere x Aktion), a former Belgian Young Riders Team horse under Beaudine Pieters. They competed at the 2020 European Young Riders Championships in Pilisjaszfalu (HUN) after which the horse sold to the U.S.A.
The class was won by Chase Shipka aboard her own Hanoverian gelding Dolani (by Don Frederic x Rotspon). Dolani was first owned by Bernhard Schaerffer, followed by Horst Collin, father of German young rider team member Luca Collin. He was a stallion at the time, but Collin sent the horse to Patrik Kittel's yard to be sold when they purchased Bonamour.
Meagan Davis and Toronto Lightfoot
In the Prix St Georges on Saturday 10 December 2022, Meagan Davis finished third with the Danish warmblood Toronto Lightfoot (by Totilas x Onassis) on a score of 73.823%.
Toronto Lightfoot is bred by Lyngs & Damsbo in Denmark. In 2019 and 2020 he was competed by Tom Goode in the U.K. before returning to Denmark to be sold by Helgstrand Dressage. He sold to Canadian Grand Prix rider Camille Carier Bergeron, who according the Danish newspaper Nordjyske returned the horse after a few months for health issues. The gelding sold again to Scott Durkin, CEO of Douglas Elliman real estate, who put him in training with Meagan Davis.
Toronto was the subject of one of the first articles Nordjyske published in a series featuring breeders and horse owners alleging fraud and scamming by horse dealer Andreas Helgstrand through his "co-ownership" system. Nordjyske wrote that in the Toronto case three different sales prices circulated: 200,000 - 350,000 and 315,000 euro, but co-owner Louise Lynge felt cheated as she only received 75,000 for her half share. Complete details here.
Davis is based in Loxahatchee, Florida, and competed at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships five years in a row from 2006 till 2010 on Cachet (by Carbid x Salem) and Bentley (by Sarel x Saskibard). She represented the U.S.A at the Young Riders World Cup Final in Frankfurt. Five years later Davis returned to the CDI ring in 2015 with Royale (by Routinier x Ironman). Her most recent international partner is her own 12-year old Oldenburg Damocles HLF (by Diamond Stud x Conneticut).
The Prix St Georges in which Deaves premiered Toronto Lightfoot was won by Jan Ebeling on Sarah Pierce's 9-year old Oldenburg Zitat (by Zaladin MI x Don Romantic) with 74.264%. Charlotte Jorst premiered her new buy from Helgstrand, the 8-year old Federle (by Furstenball x Farewell III) and placed second with 74.264%. Federle is a half sister to Kevin Kohmann's Inshallah. Both are bred by Walter Droege out of dam Fantastic Girl.
American young rider Christian Simonson made his Under 25 debut on the 14-year old KWPN gelding Harmony's Duval (by Rousseau x Riverman) in Friday's Test of Choice class. He rode the Intermediaire II and scored 73.382%. The pair trains with Adrienne Lyle, Duval's previous rider.
In Saturday's open Grand Prix, Australian Kelly Layne rode the 10-year old Hanoverian gelding Fernando (by Foundation x Sandro Hit) to 71.956%. The gelding was competed in the developing Grand Prix horse classes this year and before arriving in the U.SA. he was previously shown by Andrea Engeler in Germany until 2017. Fernando is now owned by Ellen Trouille. Layne's number one Grand Prix horse Samhitas (by Sir Donnerhall x Abanos) returned to competition after a one-year break back in September. Samhitas competed on the Australian team at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo and wasn't shown since then until 16 September when he returned at the WEC September Dressage and scored 69.348% to win a national Grand Prix
Dutch born American Eliane Cordia van Reesema rode the 8-year old Hanoverian bred and licensed stallion Deparon US (by Devereaux x Londonderry x Rotspon) in an M** level test in the Test of Choice class and scored 69.210%.
Canadian Shannon Dueck has taken over the ride on Justin Ridgewell's 11-year old Oldenburg mare Jolene (by Jazz x Fidertanz). Owned by Braeburn Farms, the Oldenburg elite mare was first shown in Holland by Nars Gottmer before Ridgewell took over the ride. This weekend Dueck competed the mare in a TOC Prix St Georges test and scored 71.764%
Photos © Astrid Appels - private - Sue Stickle
Haute Couture Sold to U.S.A. as 2022 WEG Team Hopeful for Katherine Bateson-Chandler
Schelstraete's Junior Ride Grand-Charmeur Sold to Florida
Charlotte Jorst Buys Federle
Deparon US Sold to Eliane Cordia-van Reesema
Christian Simonson Takes Over Ride on Harmony's Duval