-- FEI press release, edited by Eurodressage
Germany entered the FEI Dressage Nations Cup of Hungary with a bit of added pressure. Prepared to start with a full team of riders, the squad was left short-handed following the late scratch of Lisa-Maria Klössinger.
But no drop score would be needed, as Team Germany, with just three riders, recorded a comfortable victory under the tutelage of Chef d'Equipe Götz Brinkmann at the 2023 CDIO Pilisjaszfalu on 8 - 9 June 2023
The trio of Rudolf Widmann (Ferrari OLD), Franziska Stieglmair (Samurai 504) and Lisa Müller (D'avie FRH) finished on a total score of 416.873%, more than 10 points ahead of runners-up, Hungary (405.301%).
Team Poland stood second after the Grand Prix, but pulled out two of its riders (Zaneta Skowronska-Kozubik and Magdalena Jura) from the Grand Prix Special and thereby dropped out of the Nations' Cup race after securing an Olympic team slot in the Group C qualifier.
"There was a lot of pressure. Of course you can make mistakes, but if that happens [with three riders], you're out of the running...I was pretty proud of all of them, that they were able to handle that pressure and solve all the problems," said Chef d'Equipe Götz Brinkmann (GER) who is Lisa Müller's home coach.
Stieglmaier and Müller Over 70
Stieglmaier and Müller were the only riders to score above 70 percent across the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, with Stieglmaier firmly asserting a German victory with an individual win in the Special aboard her longtime mount, Samurai 504. She and the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding received a winning score of 71.234%—a personal best for the pair.
"It's a really special partnership. I bought him as a 2-year-old. When he was young, he was a little scared of everything, but now he's my partner in crime. If I don't make a mistake, he also won't," said Franziska Spieglmaier (GER)
Anchor pair Müller and D'avie FRH set the team ahead from the onset, winning the Grand Prix (72.543%) and finishing second in the Special (70.000%). Collectively, the squad did not finish worse than seventh in a single test.
"It was really fun to ride with our team," Spieglmaier said. "There was really good team spirit, and we helped each other really well. This win is very good for all of us."
Germany maintains its lead in the 2023 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ series standings. Sweden sits second, followed by Denmark.
"We have many strong riders [in Germany]. It's not only riding in a foreign country and riding for Germany, but many others also could have ridden, and [German National Coach Monica Theodorescu] chose us," Brinkmann said. "That makes us really, really happy."