Home hero Frederic Wandres and Swedish Patrik Kittel picked up the blue winner's ribbon in the Grand Prix for Freestyle tour at the 2023 CDI Hagen - The Autumn Edition - on 21 - 23 September 2023.
From Ludwigsburg to Hagen
Hof Kasselmann has hosted no less than four CDI's on home soil this year: in the spring the traditional Horses & Dreams 4* (April) and in June the youth Nations' Cup "Future Champions" CDIO-PYR show as well as the Aachen Dressage Days.
Kasselmann's sister company - PSI Events - is also involved in the show management of several other competitions, such as the CDI-W Neumunster, CDI Redefin, CDI Neustadt/Dosse, and CDI Ludwigsburg. The latter event traditionally takes place on this weekend in September but due to circumstances the 2023 could not take place in front of the Ludwigsburg "Mon Repos" castle and the show relocated home to Hagen.
The Hagen venue always bring high quality standards with it and to no surprise the starters' field for the international small and big tour and Under 25, as well as some national classes, were packed.
Wandres Wins Grand Prix
Hof Kasselmann's head rider Frederic Wandres, member of the German team at the 2022 World Championships and 2023 European Championships, collected the trophy in the Grand Prix aboard his 2022 World Championship ride Duke of Britain. The 16-year old Hanoverian has moved into second place in the barn in 2023 with the younger Bluetooth taking over the baton. In Hagen the pair rode another very consistent round, with highlights in the piaffe, but the chestnut Dimaggio x Rubinstein looked weary and ran out of steam on the final centerline.
The judges' panel, consisting of Magnus Ringmark, Hans Voser, Henning Lehrmann, William Warren, Katrina Wüst, posted the same scores as ever - 77.522% - for the victory and only the visiting American judge, William Warren, did not follow the European trend and was at 75.652%.
"Everything really worked out well again," Wandres commented after the test. "Duke is simply an absolute guarantee - I don't know which horse has delivered more consistently than him in the last few years."
Frederic withdrew Duke of Britain from Saturday night's freestyle.
Kittel Wins the Kur
Swedish Patrik Kittel and his own and Arlette Jasper-Kohl's 11-year old Westfalian mare Forever Young HRH (by Furst Fugger x Don Bosco) landed second place in the Grand Prix with 75.087% but also had the experienced panel of judges a bit rattled as marks ranged between 73.261% (Swiss judgeà and 77.500% (Swedish judge).
In the Kur to Music Kittel had free rein to move into the winner's circle, riding the dark bay mare to very catchy music. As sole rider to crack the 80s marker, Kittel won the class with 81.665%
Ones to Watch
Although I normally take a break from horse show coverage after the summer championships, the starters' field in Hagen was just too interesting not to miss and I drove over there to photograph Friday's Grand Prix classes and on Saturday morning the Intermediaire I.
The Brazilian Renderson Oliveira rode Fogoso Campline (by Rico x Raja) for the first time in front of a top ground jury and in a highly competitive field. The Lusitano stallion, who was such a sensation with Portuguese Rodrigo Torres in Tokyo, is now on a mission to secure Brazil an Olympic team spot at the Pan American Games at the end of October. The pair scored 69.413% in the Grand Prix.
Singaporean Caroline Chew rode her first international on European soil with the 14-year old Blue Hors Zatchmo (by Zack). She took over the ride from Nanna Skodborg Merrald and has competed in two CDI's in Wellington, Florida, but Hagen was their Euro debut. They got 69.326%
Portuguese team member Joao Moreira debuted his rising Grand Prix horse Escobello (by Escolar x Belissimo M) in Hagen and posted 68.283%.
It was nice to see Minna Telde's former international Grand Prix horse back in the arena, now as a schoolmaster for Marie-Sophie Ehlen. The 18-year old Swedish warmblood Isac (by Hip Hop x Master) sold to Ehlen in 2019 and they have mainly shown nationally, but in 2023 they debuted in Redefin and have done the Aachen Dressage Days, Falsterbo and Neustadt/Dosse since.
- Text © Eurodressage (this article expresses Eurodressage's' eye-witness account and opinion about the competition)
- Photos © Astrid Appels
Eurodressage took photos of all Grand Prix and Inter I competitors. If you are interested in photos for social media use or print, send us an email and you can BUY our photos. No reproduction allowed!
Scores: 2023 CDI Hagen