Marieke van der Putten Knows How to Win with Titanium at 2022 CDI-W Mechelen

Thu, 12/29/2022 - 20:18
2022 CDI-W Mechelen
Marieke van der Putten and Torveslettens Titanium win the Grand Prix at the 2022 CDI-W Mechelen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Dutch team rider Marieke van der Putten knows how to win aboard Torveslettens Titanium. In the 2022 CDI-W Mechelen Grand Prix class on Wednesday 28 December 2022 the pair collected its sixth international Grand Prix level victory as partnership and they did so in an impressive way, referring World Champion Charlotte Fry to second place and World Championship bronze medal winner Dinja van Liere to third. 

Holiday Spirit

A field of 16 international competitors gathered in Mechelen, Belgium, for the final World Cup qualifier and final CDI of 2022. A large group of Dutch riders faced their Belgian rivals as well as riders from France, Denmark, Finland and Great Britain.

The Grand Prix was judged by an experienced panel of 5* and 4* judges, including Baarup (DEN), Leyman (BEL), Colliander (FIN), Saleh (FRA), and Van Daele (BEL). While overall the ranking was good to follow, the individual marks between judges went more up and down than a roller coaster at Six Flags (beyond the acceptable standard deviation of 3-4%). 

Winter wonderland in Mechelen
"Jumping Mechelen," just like the December shows in Frankfurt and London, celebrate the holiday spirit and there are Christmas lights and trees everywhere. Using the official colour of title sponsor KBC (blue), Mechelen bathed in blue, making a real winter wonderland happen. 

Eurodressage was on the scene to photograph the Prix St Georges and Grand Prix and here are our impressions from the class. 

Sixth Win for Van der Putten and Titanium

Dinja van Liere and Hermes travelled to Mechelen as the huge favourites for the victory after double bronze at the 2022 World Championships in Herning this summer. Also Charlotte Fry and her second Grand Prix horse - her 2021 Olympic team horse Everdale - were expected to be the second place-getters, but it was Marieke van der Putten who moved to the fore and edged out both aboard Saskia and Jacques Lemmens' 10-year old Danish bred Tørveslettens Titanium (by Totilas x Stedinger). 

Marieke and Titanium
The pair began their Grand Prix test with a few fumbles. The halt at entry was not polished with the horse unsteady in the contact and dropping in the poll in the halt, but Van der Putten kept her cool and steered the horse through some good half passes and then presented a much more consistent picture in the first piaffe-passage which was steady and rhythmical. The second piaffe had a steady rhythm, but the hocks were moving out instead of under towards the point of gravity. The tempi changes were straight, the zig zag easy going and the final centerline was very nicely ridden and elegant looking. Unfortunately in the end halt, the horse again curled himself in the neck, but overall it was a very pleasant test to watch with many beautiful moments. 

The judges rewarded the test with 75.978% which ended up being the winning scores. The individual marks went from 73.152% up to 78.152%.

Everdale and Hermes Follow

Charlotte Fry on Everdale
Charlotte Fry last competed the 13-year old Everdale (by Lord Leatherdale x Negro) in the CDI classes at the 2022 World Young Horse Championshipsi in Ermelo, where they booked a double victory. Three months later in Mechelen they landed second place.

The black stallion looked quite awake in the Mechelen arena and was running a bit in the first trot extension, but the half passes were lovely. The first piaffe he presented was a big improvement from the piaffe work he has shown before, with the hindlegs taking more weight. The extended walk had plenty of overtrack but there was very little V-moment in the rhythm and he got tense before passage. The breeding stallion appeared strong in the contact but Fry piloted him through the movements without mistakes. The pirouettes were ok but not really sitting. The pair lost the win in the big bobble at X where she lost the passage right before the transition into piaffe.

Fry scored 75.783% but one judge had them at 73.478% and another had the World Champion at 79.130%!

Dinja van Liere on Hermes
Dinja van Liere entered the arena with Joop van Uytert and Jan Anker's 10-year old Hermes (by Easy Game x Flemmingh) on fire. The stallion was a distracted at the start of the test There was a break in the rhythm in the first extended trot and there were two spooks in the half passes. The first passage was not entirely even, but the second piaffe-passage was outstanding. The stallion appeared a bit frozen in the contact but Dinja never lost her focus and did her best to get the most out of this round. The two tempi changes were a bit flat, but there were no major mistakes. The final passage on the centerline was very good with tons of energy for a springy piaffe at X, although the balance was not optimal there.

They posted 75.152% with scores from 73.696% to 77.500%

Men in Black

Two black stallions completed the top five in the Mechelen Grand Prix: Blue Hors St. Schufro and Desperado.

Nanna Merrald on Blue Hors St. Schufro
For the 11-year old Hanoverian stallion Blue Hors St. Schufro (by St Moritz junior x Don Schufro), Mechelen was only his third international Grand Prix competition of 2022 and his fifth CDI with Danish Nanna Skodborg Merrald. At the World Cup qualifier in Vilhelmsborg two months ago they were second twice, in Mechelen they finished fourth in the Grand Prix. St. Schufro is a very elegant and light-footed mover in trot. In the first piaffe there was some backwards tendency and in the second he wasn't truly sitting. The stallion is still young at Grand Prix, which shows in the self-carriage still in full development. The canter work was lovely though with a smooth zigzag and very nice extended canter and pirouettes. The one tempi changes need to cover more ground. They scored 74.869% (72.717 - 76.087%). 

Emmelie Scholtens and Ad Valk's 14-year old KWPN stallion Desperado (by Vivaldi x Havidoff) are in their second CDI since the stallion got sidelined due to an injury. The pair was member of Dutch team at the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam, but since then Indian Rock has been slowly taking over the number one spot in the barn. In Mechelen, Desperado appeared a bit hectic in the trot work, but the half pass to the left was gorgeous. The passage was good, the first piaffe lacked some balance. A fumble in the canter strike-off affected the score. They rode a good zig zag, but in canter Scholtens had to work hard to get the horse mistake free through the test and in the one tempi he wans't properly changing behind. They ended up with 74.326% for fifth place (71.522% - 76.304%!)

The Dressage Word Cup qualifier in Mechelen comes to a conclusion on Thursday 29 December with the kur to music. A new day, new opportunities for all combinations. 

- 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
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2022-2023 World Cup Season
Dinja van Liere and Vita di Lusso Win Prix St Georges at 2022 CDI-W Mechelen