Dinja van Liere and Vita di Lusso Win Prix St Georges at 2022 CDI-W Mechelen

Wed, 12/28/2022 - 21:10
2022 CDI-W Mechelen
Dinja van Liere on Vita di Lusso at the 2022 CDI-W Mechelen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

The last international dressage competition on the 2022 calendar year kicked off in Mechelen, Belgium, on 28 December 2022. The morning class was the Prix St Georges and it was won by Dutch Dinja van Liere on her new rising star, Vita di Lusso. 

Dinja and the 7-year old Hanoverian Vita di Lusso (by Vitalis x Weltano) posted the high score of the class, 71.647%, for the victory. Her marks ranged from 69.706% to 74.265%. Both the high and low score came from the long side. 

Vita di Lusso is bred by Javier Bacariza and Cristina Danguillecourt of Yeguada de Ymas in Spain and was originally named Lemarc de Ymas.  In February 2018 he sold as a 3-year old to Alfonso Ramirez, who won silver with the 4-year old at the 2019 Spanish Young Horse Championships. In November 2019 he sold to Eugene Reesink in The Netherlands and Dinja got the ride.

She made her CDI debut on him at the 2022 CDI Leeuwarden in October and Mechelen was their second CDI. The pocket bay appeared slightly tense in the trot work, for which he is talented, and had Dinja almost standing in her stirrups at times. Dinja remained calm and collected, also in the tense walk in which the clarity of rhythm got lost, but in canter she had him going smoothly and the tempi changes were lovely

Surviving the Bustle of Mechelen

Joyce Heuitink on Gaudi Vita
The judges' panel consisted of routiniers Smeets (BEL), Colliander (FIN), Baarup (DEN), Leyman (BEL), and Saleh (FRA). Despite their years of experience the panel today wrestled to find unity in their assessment, especially of the big name riders, who presented new or unfamiliar horses.  Some judges rewarded the big names with generous scores while other judges stood their ground and seemingly judged what they saw, and not who they saw. 

The Mechelen indoor arena is very well known for being challenging for high strung horses. The crowds are close to the ring, and there is always more commotion and hustle and bustle than usual at other indoors. Today there were even annoyingly loud bangs of staff unpacking heavy boxes or dropping boards on the ground during the competition.

Horses have to have nerves of steel to survive Mechelen, but it's a great learning experience for sound desensitization. 

Dutch Affair

Renate van Uytert on In Style
The Prix St Georges became a Dutch affair with the top four places going to Dutch riders and Isabel Cool being the highest placed Belgian in fifth place. 

Joyce Heuitink and the 11-year old KWPN gelding Gaudi Vita (by Apache x Welt Hit II) landed second place with 70.176%. The pair has already competed at national Grand Prix level but internationally he has stayed in the small tour, even after a three year absence from the CDI arena due to Joyce's baby break. The black is muscled and strong, but his trot often got too passage and overall he needed to stay more up in the poll throughout the test. The extended walk had a clear rhythm but was limited in overtrack. The absolute highlight of the test were the expressive, ground covering tempi changes and the good collection shown in the half pirouettes. The bridle contact could be lighter. Her scores went from 66.176% to 72.941%.

Renate van Uytert and the 9-year old KWPN stallion In Style (by Eye Catcher x Lorentin) landed third place with 69.529%. The bay is a very modern and athletic sport horse with lots of elasticity. He could have been a bit more consistent in the length of his neck. Their marks ranged from 67.647% to  71.618%.

Emmelie Scholtens on Ibiza
Dutch team rider Emmelie Scholtens made her international debut on the highly popular breeding stallion Ibiza, a 9-year old Desperado x Jazz offspring. The stallion has been with her before as a youngster but then he commuted between Holland and Germany for several years. Now back in her barn since September, Ibiza did his first international at Prix St Georges level and only his second CDI show in his career, so far. The pair showed plenty of promise in Mechelen, with expressive trot work and ground covering half passes, but in walk he lost the rhythm and in canter had difficulties with the tempi changes, getting short and croup high behind. The horse just needs more time. They scored 69.147% with 65.735% as low score and 71.471% as high score. 

 - Text and Photos © Eurodressage (this article expresses Eurodressage's eye-witness account and opinion about the competition).

Photos © Astrid Appels  - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED (NO SCREEN SHOTS!) Eurodressage photographed all dressage riders competing at the 2022 CDI-W Mechelen. If you are want to use our photos for social media or prints, email us first.

Related Links
Scores: 2022 CDI-W Mechelen
Dinja van Liere Brings Hermes and New Horse, Vita di Lusso, to 2022 CDI-W Mechelen
Ibiza Boomerangs Back to Holland, Third Time with Emmelie Scholtens