Patrik Kittel & Toy Story Win Gothenburg World Cup, Reign Supreme in Western European Standings

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Patrik Kittel on Toy Story celebrating Gothenburg World Cup victory. © 2012 Pelle Wedenmark for dressage-new.com
By LOUISE PARKES

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Feb 25–Patrick Kittel was the crowd-pleaser on home ground in the Scandinavium Arena at Gothenburg, Sweden Saturday night when steering Toy Story to victory in the last qualifying leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League series for 2011/2012. It was a nervous wait for the 35-year-old Swede, however, as the result was delayed due to an electrical fault that disrupted the scoring system.

In the absence of his marks, it was Great Britain’s Richard Davison and Hiscox Artemis who were heading the scoreboard in the closing stages, with Denmark’s Lone Joergensen and FBW de Vito close behind.  But these two were relegated when Kittel’s score of 78.525 per cent was eventually confirmed, leaving him well clear of all challengers.

Saturday’s success brought Kittel’s tally for the season to three, following previous wins at Stockholm in November and at Mechelen, Belgium in December. He has pipped Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg for the 2011/2012 league title–a first for Sweden according to the FEI’s Director of Dressage, Trond Asmyr.

“I’m really pleased about that, this has been a good day!” Kittel said tonight.

It was an excellent one for Joergensen, too, as the 39 year old Dane was lying just outside a qualifying spot for the Final which will take place at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands April 18-22.  Her third-place finish, however, moved her into ninth position on the league table from which the top-nine are automatically qualified. Once again, her 10-year-old gelding showed maturity beyond his years as he coped admirably with t charged atmosphere of the packed Scandinavium Arena which put paid to the ambitions of many who had gone before.

It was another Danish duo, Sidsel Johansen and the 13-year-old Schianto, who were leading the field at the half-way stage after posting a score of 70.825 per cent. They produced a lovely performance, filled with courage and flair–Schianto’s extravagant trot extensions and lightness off the ground, and his rider’s fearlessness when pushing for extended canter despite a glitch in the flying changes a moment beforehand, distinguished this partnership.

However they were demoted by the first pair in action after the break, as the evergreen 20-year-old Krawall belied his age when putting The Netherlands in front with a mark of 74.150 per cent following a happy and harmonious program. Lone Joergensen then re-jigged the leaderboard again two horses later, when FBW de Vito showed wonderful balance in extended trot, nice pirouette and piaffe. As the rider said afterwards, this is a horse who has three great gaits, and it seems only a matter of time before the relative novice becomes an even bigger threat to the biggest names in the sport.

With 74.875 per cent now the target score, they held the lead as the penultimate partnership of Patrik Kittel and Toy Story came into the ring, but it was clear the Swedish rider would surpass them as the home runners, performing to a new “Romeo and Juliet” themed musical score, produced the piaffe that Kittel has become famous for, along with the firmest of passage in a truly rhythmical test.

It was no easy job for the last-man-in, Richard Davison, as the crammed stadium of spectators were still roaring their approval for their own hero as Richard and Hiscox Artemis entered the ring. Gothenburg presents a particularly tough test, as the dressage arena just squeezes inside the confines of the oval-shaped ice-rink, with the four corners touching the surrounding walls.

Richard Davison and Hiscox Artemis at Gothenburg. © Pwllw Wedenmark for dressage-news.com
Richard had to call on all his reserves of experience to steer Hiscox Artemis through their floor-plan, but the 56-year-old rider knows all there is to know about ring-craft and when 75.850 per cent went up on the board he was well in the frame.  Patrik’s score, meanwhile, had been swallowed up by the electronic blackout, but it was eventually retrieved and the home crowd rose to their feet with delight during the prize-giving ceremony.

Patrik admitted that the excitement of the spectators had affected his own performance.

“Sometimes I didn’t have 100 percent control, and we made a little mistake in the two-tempis,” he said, but added, “tonight will stay in my memory for a very long time–the reception I got from the crowd was incredible!”

Rchard Davison said “I had a good time and a great ride” and that it would have been “nice to win in Patrik Kittel fan-land”, but, he joked, “did you notice I did a deliberate mistake for all of Sweden because I didn’t think I’d get out of there alive if I won, and anyway they didn’t want an old guy like me to come out on top!”

Lone Joergensen was delighted with her third placing and with having qualified for the Final.

“This was only his (FBW de Vito’s) third Freestyle so I had no great expectations,” she said. “I would have been happy if we had been fifth or sixth.” The Danish rider finished individually seventh at the Olympic Games in Sydney 12 years ago.

Patri Kittel and the Australian-owned Toy Story. © 2012 Pelle Wedenmark for dressage-news.com

Talking about the unusually serene character of her horse who has exceptional stage-presence, she said: “He was just born like that! I’ve had him since he was a foal, he was broken as a five-year-old and I often wondered if he would ever make it to the top so now, of course, I’m very happy with him!  I’ve had so many hot horses in my time so it’s a great pleasure to have one like this, especially at my age!  He is very gentle and affectionate. I think he might just be the best I’ve ever had…”

In addition Lone, Patrik Kittel and fellow-Swede Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén along with Richard Davison for Great Britain, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg, Isabell Werth and Nadine Capellmann, Italy’s Valentina Truppa and The Netherlands‘ Hans Peter Minderhoud will be at the Final

Wild cards may permit some of those further down the leaderboard to also make the cut, but the final line-up will not be decided until the North American and Eastern European League series are completed over the next few weeks, and all the qualification spots and wild-cards have been distributed.

Western European League Final Standings for 2011/2012
1.     Patrik Kittel SWE            –    73
2.    Helen Langehanenberg GER-    70
3.    Isabell Werth GER        –    66
3.    Valentina Truppa ITA        –    66
5.    Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven SWE-    62
6.    Hans Peter Minderhoud NED-    59
7.    Richard Davison GBR        –    55
8.    Nadine Capellmann GER    –    51
9.    Lone Joergensen DEN        –    48
10.    Jeroen Devroe BEL        –    43
11.    Mikaela Lindh FIN        –    41
12.    Jenny Schreven NED        –    39
13.    Siril Helljesen NOR        –    36
14.    Cathrine Rasmussen NOR    –    32
14.    Monica Theodorescu GER    –    32
16.    Dorothee Schneider GER    –    28
16.    Sidsel Johansen DEN        –    28
18.    Aat Van Essen NED        –    27
19.    Catherine Haddad USA    –    26
19.    Edward Gal NED            –    26

Complete results of FREESTYLE GRAND PRIX

Judge E : Annette Fransén-Iacobaeus (SWE)  Judge H : Leif Törnblad (DEN)  Judge C : Gary Rockwell (USA)
Judge M : Gustaf Svalling (SWE)  Judge B : Wim Ernes (NED)
RANK CNR HORSE – BREEDING
SEX\COLOUR\BORN\SIRE X SIRE DAM\
SEK JUDGE E JUDGE H JUDGE C JUDGE M JUDGE B PERCENTAGE
RIDER
OWNER
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
1 152 Toy Story – SWB
G \ Bay \ 2000 \ Come Back II x Concorde
SWE
136000 76.50 73.00 75.50 77.75 72.50 78.525
Patrik  Kittel
Patrik Kittel, Carol & Andrew Oately
84.00 78.00 84.00 83.00 81.00
2 140 Hiscox Artemis – WESTF
G \ Bay \ 1999 \ Florestan x Delphi
GBR
80000 74.00 74.00 72.50 74.00 71.00 75.850
Richard  Davison
The Countess of Derby, Jenny & Ellis & Gillian Davison
78.00 79.00 80.00 76.00 80.00
3 137 FBW De Vito – BAWUE
G \ Bay \ 2002 \ De Niro x Disco-Stern
DEN
60000 70.75 70.50 73.50 73.50 71.50 74.875
Lone  Joergensen
Monica Joergensen
77.00 73.00 80.00 79.00 80.00
4 144 Krawall – KWPN
G \ DarkBay \ 1992 \ Focus x Roemer
NED
40000 73.50 74.50 72.50 70.25 71.75 74.150
Jenny  Schreven
M.H. Schreven & J.H.F. Schreven-van Hoef
77.00 75.00 77.00 72.00 78.00
5 139 Skovlunds Más Guapo – DWB
G \ Black \ 1998 \ Master x Cannon Row xx
FIN
29000 73.25 68.00 71.50 73.75 69.00 73.450
Mikaela  Lindh
Dressurstald Solyst & Mikaela Lindh
78.00 73.00 78.00 73.00 77.00
6 147 Fernandez
G \ Chestnut \ 2000 \ Florestan x Weinburg
NOR
15000 73.25 72.25 70.00 72.25 68.00 73.075
Cathrine  Rasmussen
Cathrine Rasmussen, Christopher Bredstrup Rasmussen
78.00 74.00 74.00 74.00 75.00
7 154 Deinhardt – HANN
S \ Chestnut \ 2000 \ Donnerhall x Aarking xx
SWE
12000 72.75 68.25 70.25 70.00 68.75 72.200
Minna  Telde
Suzanne Brodin
78.00 71.00 76.00 72.00 75.00
8 136 Schianto – DWB
G \ DarkBay \ 1999 \ Gribaldi x Schwadroneur
DEN
9750 65.75 69.75 66.75 66.75 68.25 70.825
Sidsel  Johansen
Jorgen Rosbog
72.00 77.00 74.00 74.00 74.00
9 150 Ferdi – HANN
G \ Chestnut \ 1999 \ Federweisser x Charmeur
SWE
9750 70.75 68.00 64.50 70.00 65.75 70.500
Maria  von Essen
Alexander Bennergård
75.00 73.00 68.00 77.00 73.00
10 138 Jonstrupgårdens Raneur – DWB
G \ Bay \ 1999 \ Ragazzo x Schwadroneur
DEN
9750 70.50 70.00 70.50 68.75 66.00 70.275
Lisbeth  Seierskilde
Gert Pedersen
71.00 69.00 73.00 72.00 72.00
11 146 Pro – Set – KWPN
S \ Bay \ 1997 \ Jetset-D x Flemmingh
NOR
9750 68.25 66.25 67.25 67.00 65.75 69.750
Lillann  Jebsen
Elisif Sommechield, Gustav Jebsen
74.00 72.00 73.00 71.00 73.00
11 143 Macrider Premier – KWPN
G \ Chestnut \ 1997 \ Jazz x Ulft
NED
9750 68.00 69.00 70.50 67.00 65.00 69.750
Aat  van Essen
A. van Essen, A.M. van de Laar-van Essen
72.00 71.00 74.00 70.00 71.00
13 149 Lennox – WESTF
G \ DarkBay \ 1999 \ Laurentianer x Florestan I
SWE
9750 69.50 66.00 66.00 66.25 67.50 68.325
Cecilia  Andrén Dorselius
Svedala Ridcenter HB
71.00 64.00 70.00 70.00 73.00
14 148 World Performance Washington – HANN
S \ Bay \ 1999 \ Wolkenstein x Windhuk
POR
9750 67.00 67.25 65.50 62.00 67.25 68.200
Luis  Principe
Luis Principe
72.00 69.00 72.00 67.00 73.00
15 145 Dorina – DWB
M \ Bay \ 2002 \ Blue Hors Don Schufro x Ragtime
NOR
9750 69.50 65.75 67.45 65.75 68.00 67.145
Siril  Helljesen
Siril Helljesen, Geir & Astrid Helljesen
67.00 67.00 64.00 66.00 71.00