Kohmann on Brink of Grabbing World Cup Ticket at 2024 Palm Beach Derby

Fri, 03/01/2024 - 16:52
2024 Palm Beach Derby
Kevin Kohmann and Dünensee at the 2024 Palm Beach Dressage Derby, riding for a ticket to Riyadh :: Photo © Astrid Appels

-- GDF press release by Alice Collins - Photos © Astrid Appels

Kevin Kohmann (USA) laid claim to the winner’s blanket in the Grand Prix for Freestyle CDI-W at the 2024 Palm Beach Derby in Wellington, Florida, on Thursday afternoon 29 February 2024.

On the bring of securing a ticket to the 2024 World Cup Finals in Riyadh (KSA), Kohmann won the Grand Prix riding Dünensee with 68.891%. Fellow American Susan Dutta finished just 0.152 percentage points behind with her long-time partner Don Design DC, a 14-year-old gelding by Der Designer.  Argentine rider Micaela Mabragaña, who was last to go in the class of nine, finished third. She and her Pan-Am Games partner, the Hanoverian stallion Bradley Cooper (by Bonifatius), scored 66.5%. 

Surpassing All Goals

Kohmann said, “Dünensee has already surpassed all the goals I had for him — even if we quit today, I’m just so grateful to the horse. Terri Kane, who is the owner — and my mother-in-law — is so generous and kind and supportive that even when things don’t work out so well, like today where I didn’t get enough points, it means it’s not stressful for me. Today in the zig-zag I gambled a bit and lost because I tried to show the judges a perfect zig-zag, and then there was a late change. But he and I have a relationship going here that is something special.”

Kohmann and Dünensee
Kohmann rode the Dancier son as a five-year-old and he then had a succession of riders as he was a little tricky. When Dünensee finally came back to Kohmann, it was a combination of his wife Devon Kane and his friend and trainer Christoph Koschel who urged him to compete the horse, even though Kohmann was unsure he could coax high quality performances from him in the ring. 

“They told me, ‘That’s your horse,’ and I said, ‘No, it’s not,’ and they were right,” admitted Kohmann. “So thanks to them for pushing me to do this. We built a relationship after that first show, and at this point we both love each other. I come in the barn and he yells for me.”

Target Riyadh and Beyond

Kohmann will head into Friday night’s World Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle in pole position, seeking a win and 20 ranking points that would see him earn a starting berth at the World Cup™ Final in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in April. 

“My personal goal is to ride once in a five-star — that would make me really happy,” added Kohmann, “And, if tomorrow works out, we’re going to the World Cup™ final. That’s a goal I didn’t think even existed for me, but now it’s very close.”

Susan Dutta on Don Design.
Kohmann plans to spend the summer competing in Europe, based with his coach Christoph Koschel at Hof Kasselmann. 

“I’d love to make it into the top eight to go to Europe, but either way we’ll stay in Europe because last year when we went it slingshotted us into the show ring so much better,” he concluded. “If we make it into the top eight, the U.S. will determine which shows we go to. If not, then we’re going to go for the prettiest castle I can ride in front of!”

Kohmann currently ranks third on the FEI North American League World Cup ranking with 54 points. 

Photos © Astrid Appels - NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED / NO SCREEN SHOTS for social media

If interested in photos, please send me an email. Florida rates apply for this horse show as our colleague Sue Stickle is the official photographer

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