2024 CPEDI Mannheim: The Heat Was on in Grade III to V

Sun, 05/26/2024 - 17:03
2024 CPEDI Mannheim
Italian Francesca Salvade pats Escari (by Escolar) at the end of their test at the 2024 CPEDI Mannheim :: Photo © Silke Rottermann

-- Text and photos by Silke Rottermann for Eurodressage

This article is part 2 of 2024 CPEDI Mannheim: A Multitude of Winners in Grade I and II

Grade III:  Van der Horst and Hart

Many might well remember Rixt van der Horst’s tears of joy when the Dutch won the individual Paralympic bronze medal riding her long-time partner Findsley. With the highly elegant and athletic 9-year-old stallion Fonq the 32-year-old has another horse in the stable which promises much for the (perhaps Paralympic?) future. In the Grand Prix A the Westfalian chestnut by Fürst Fohlenhof x Lissaro van de Helle showed his potential and won with 75.389% just ahead of the USA’s routined Rebecca Hart on one of her two horses in the field, the 16-year-old Oldenburger mare Floratina (by Fidertanz x Rubin Royal). The four times Paralympian also came 4th with her last Paralympic partner,  the Dutch bred El Corona Texel (by Wynton x Goodtimes).

Rixt van der Horst on Fonq
Between Hart’s two horses Francesca Salvade, now competing in the iconic blue uniform of the Italian police, joined the virtual podium in third place. Riding the still only 7-year-old Escolar-son Escari the Italian confirmed the positive impression of the European Championships in Riesenbeck a year before. Defying his inexperience, the brown Hanoverian not only scored 72.611%, while always appearing to be content in his work.

Germany’s leading Grade III rider and last year European medallist Melanie Wienand and her self-trained Hanoverian Lemony’s Loverboy (by Lemony’s Nicket) finished in 5th place ahead of her compatriot, Paralympic veteran Steffen Zeibig and his 11-year-old black Trakehner gelding Patamon (by Windsor x Enim Pascha). Zeibig also had a second ride in the class, the only 6-year-old German Riding pony Galileo Z (9th). Remarkably Zeibig rode both horses in the flattest possible dressage model with no knee roles and no deep seat, despite him lacking limbs by birth. He was giving the proof that balance is key. 

After Rixt van der Horst did not start in the Grand Prix B, Rebecca Hart confirmed her mare Floratina’s good form to win the Grand Prix B ahead of Francesca Salavade and Escari. Melanie Wienand and Steffen Zeibig moved up the ranks to be third and fourth, but staying well behind Salvade.

Angelika Trabert on Furst Faberge
In the freestyle on the final day of competition in Mannheim the Italian came very close to the Rebecca Hart who won on Floratina with a respectable score of 78.944%, whereas Francesca Salvade and Escari received 78.878%.

Germany’s Melanie Wienand entered the podium with 74.778% on her very rideable Lemony’s Loverboy, again ahead of Steffen Zeibig with Patamon and Austrian Thomas Haller in fifth place with the classically bred Westfalian Haller’s Espalion (by Ehrentusch x Ferragamo).

Germany’s para-pioneer and 2010 freestyle World champion Angelika Trabert came 6th with her new hope, the just 6-year-old Oldenburger gelding Fürst Faberge (by Fürstenball x Fahrenheit) who is a very promising horse.

Grade IV: Shoemaker and Niehues In Front

Ten riders from five different nations contested in Grade IV, among them the American bred Hanoverian mare Vianne (by Vitalis-Ramiro’s Bube) who is bred and owned by US Grand Prix rider Catherine Haddad - Staller  and had been 10th in last year’s final of the World championships for 7-year-olds in Ermelo with Haddad-Staller’s Australian student Hope Beerling.

Anna-Lena Niehues on Quimbaya
For the Paralympic season the gorgeous grey mare partners with the experienced US Paralympian and 2022 World championships freestyle medalist Kate Shoemaker. The new pair seemed to have immediately clicked with three wins in February at Doha, followed by teo wins at the CPEDI Fontainebleau right before Mannheim.

In Mannheim the new match continued their winning streak in the Grand Prix A ahead of German Anna-Lena Niehues with the dark bay Westfalian mare Quimbaya (by Quartertime x Samarant), followed by Austrian Valentina Strobl who now starts in this grade with her 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding Bequia Simba (by Bequia x Sandro).

German Noah Kuhlmann and the 14-year-old stallion-look-alike Staatslegende, an expressive Rhinelander gelding by Statesman came 4th ahead of the sole Danish representative in Mannheim, Pia Wulff Jelstrup with the DWB mare Zafia (by Blue Horse Zee Me Blue x Carentino).

Saskia Deutz on Festina Dream
In the Grand Prix B Kate Shoemaker enlarged the distance to the second played Niehues and Quimbaya, while former Austrian junior rider Valentina Strobl again came 3rd. 2021 Paralympian Saskia Deutz from Germany is back with another dark brown mare, the elegant Festina Dream (by Festus Gmo x White Star) and placed 4th, whereas Noah Kuhlmann took 5th place with Staatslegende.

In the freestyle on Tuesday Anna-Lena Niehues broke Vianne’s winning streak to take the victory with remarkable 78.683% ahead of last year’s freestyle winner Noah Kuhlmann with Staatslegende who got 75.233%.

Shoemaker and Vianne settled for third place with 73.892% ahead of Saskia Deutz and Festina Dream and Valentina Strobl and Bequia Simba.

Grade V: Regine Reigns

Of all five grades in Mannheim Grade V had the smallest field with just 7 riders of 4 nations presenting 10 horses in the Grand Prix A on Sunday morning. German Regine Mispelkamp, Japanese Toshifumi Jo and the sole Swiss at the CPEDI, Nicole Geiger, had two horses each.

Just like the year before, Regine Mispelkamp reigned supreme in the Grand Prix A by taking the first two places, this time her top horse Highlander Delight’s scored 74.573% and stayed a bit more than 2% ahead of her new ride, the bay mare  Bayala (by Barroso x Self Made) owned by the DOKR, Gestüt Pramwaldhof, and Ingrid Pretsch.

While the striking liver-chestnut Dutch bred gelding Highlander Delight’s (by Florencio x Jazz) still has the look of a stallion and is a dynamic powerhouse, Pramwaldhof’s Bayala is a more light-footed type and at just 9 years of age already shows a lot of potential.

The 53-year-old Mispelkamp who runs her own training stables has become one of Germany’s most consistent para riders ever since she embarked on the international scene exactly at the same place at the CPEDI Mannheim 2018, the same year she immediately took individual bronze at the WEG in Tryon.

Isabell Nowak on Siracusa
Also running her own training stables is German Isabell Nowak who came third (71.154%) with the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding Siracusa (by Sir Donnerhall-Don Schufro), a horse that expresses a lot of harmony with his rider.

The Japanese team could be delighted with the fourth place of Toshifumi Jo with his Tango-offspring Elmero, ahead of Nicole Geiger from Switzerland whose 19-year-old Amigo (by United x Flemmingh) was the oldest horse in the class.

In the Grand Prix B test Mispelkamp could repeat her double victory, with Bayala chasing her own stable-mate by staying just a little bit than 1% behind him. Isabell Nowak again came 3rd on Siracusa, whereas Nicole Geiger moved up a rank to 4th, with another German, Elke Klein, being 5th on the harmonious black Hanoverian gelding D’Noir (by de Niro-Rubin Royal).

In the freestyle Mispelkamp easily made it a triple, riding her Tokyo bronze and Riesenbeck multi medalist Highlander Delight’s to an impressive 78.792%. Isabell Nowak’s sympathetic Siracusa achieved 75.500% ahead of Toshifumi Jo from Japan whose Elmero got 73.750%. Nicole Geiger and Amigo and German Sonja Hasselberg with the Westfalian von Dutch Db (by Vitalis) followed in the rankings.

Closer to the Goal

Valentina Strobl and Bequia Simba
Certainly Mannheim brought some riders closer to their goal of riding in front of the iconic Versailles Castle with its magnificent park at the backdrop which should be the experience of a lifetime in itself already. More so, Mannheim again has showed good para sport with the pictures dressage sport is in urgent need of. 

It is a special show in that not only it brings together the CSI with the CDI and CPEDI, but also makes top sport accessible to the laymen who just pass by and sit down to take a breather from visiting the busy Maimarkt Fair nearby. The more important it is that they get the right impression of horses and riders cooperating in the best sense.

-- Text and photos by Silke Rottermann for Eurodressage - No reproduction without permission
This article expresses Silke Rottermann’s eye-witness account and opinion about the competition.

Related Links
Scores: 2024 CPEDI Mannheim
Photo Report: A Sunny Training and Jog Day at the 2024 CPEDI Mannheim