German Olympic Team of Top Three Finishers at Aachen CDIO Freestyle

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German dressage team Anabel Balkenhol, Kristina Sprehe, coach Jonny Hilberath, Dorothee Schneider and Helen Langehanenberg

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

AACHEN, Germany, July 8–The three top finishers in the CDIO Grand Prix Freestyle–Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW, Kristina Sprehe and Desperados and Dorothee Schneider and Diva Royal–were named to the German Olympic team Sunday, with Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino chosen as the individual.

Although none of the combinations have previously competed in an Olympics, Helen noted how young the squad is with her 30 years old, Kristina, 26, Dorothee, 43, and Anabel, 40, and said “we have nothing to lose. We will go to London to do our best and definitely have fun and see how it goes.”

Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Addressing questions about Totilas whose bombshell withdrawal because the rider, Matthias Alexander Rath, has mononucleosis, Helen said, “of course it will be different, but how it would be with Totilas I cannot predict.”

Both Desperados and Diva Royal posted personal best scores of 84.700 per cent and 81.100 per cent, respectively, in the freestyle Sunday while Damon’s winning score of 85.150 per cent was 0.064 per cent below her previous best earned as the reserve champion at the World Cup Final in April.

Meantime, Patrick van der Meer, who finished 10th on Uzzo with a score of 73.175 per cent was selected as the individual for the Netherlands Olympic squad. The team of Anky van Grunsven and Salinero, Edward Gal and Undercover and Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival.

Helen and Damon Hill, a 12-year-old Westfalen stallion (Donnerhall x Romanze x Rubinstein I), had finished second to Desperados, an 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion (De Niro x Wie Musik x Wolkenstein II) in the Nations Cup Grand Prix and the Olympic Grand Prix Special.

The pint-sized Helen is hugely popular throughout Europe and fans who packed the 5,000-seat dressage stadium gave her a standing ovation.

Kristina Sprehe and Desperados. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

At this World Equestrian Festival, which drew 366,600 paid spectators for 10 days of dressage, driving, eventing, jumping and vaulting, Kristina Sprehe competed in the Under-25 division a year ago.

She described her performances here as a “perfect weekend.”

Dorothee said that the news of going to London “still hasn’t sunk in yet.”

But the Olympics will end her ride on Diva Royal as the 10-year-old black mare (Don Frederico x Weronika x Warkant) will go to the owner as her personal mount.

Anabel Balkenhol is the daughter of Klaus Balkenhol, who was on the German gold medal teams in 1992 and 1996 and coached the United States from 2000 to 2008.

Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Twelve of the 14 combinations that started in the €130,000 (US$160,000) freestyle are going to the Olympics, including the entire German and Danish teams.

Germany will be looking to maintain their unprecedented record of having won dressage team gold for all eight Olympics from the 1984 Los Angeles Games, but are expected to face their biggest challenge this year from the home side of Great Britain.

Dressage at Aachen has become so popular–the final Sunday freestyle competition in 2013 is already sold out–that the show organizers have announced plans to expand the permanent stadium by up to another 1,200 seats for a total of more than 6,000 seats.

Prize money for the CDIO, CDI4* and Under-25 Division held from Wednesday through Sunday totaled €330,000 (US$414,400), by far the largest overall dressage purse in the world.

Hayley Beresford and Belissimo NRW at Aachen. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Turmoil over Hayley Beresford who competed here this week on the Australian team continuted.

Hayley filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, complaining of “bias” in favor of wealthier and better connected riders that led to her being passed over by selectors for the Olympic team.

She lost the appeal, but has spoken out against the selection process.

In the Nations Cup Grand Prix and the Olympic Grand Prix Special she outscored her two other team mates, cousins Lyndal and Kristy Oatley.

Lyndal on her Sandro Boy was the highest finishing Australian in both Australian selection events in Europe, but Kristy and Clive rode in only one of the shows when the pair were excused from the first event because the horse was ill.

The dispute has received news coverage around the world as have complaints from some riders over the Australian selection procedures for eventing,  one of the other two Olympic disciplines.

Hayley’s reported remarks prompted the Australian national federation to issue a statement. Paul Cargill, chairman of Equestrian Australia, said the federation rejects “the false and unfounded allegations” made by Hayley.

“The dismissal of both of Beresford’s appeals necessarily confirmed that the original selections stood and recent performances outcomes are simply not able to be taken into account,” he said. “EA fully supports its dressage team, its selectors and its team officials and stands right behind them.

“We dismiss all allegations made, especially those that are unsourced and are not accompanied by anything other than a personal view of what should have been.

“Ms Beresford has had the opportunity to put her case before two appellate bodies and she has not succeeded with either.

“It is now time for our selected athletes to get on with their job and do their talking where it counts, at Greenwich Park.”

Grand Prix Freestyle results:

Judge E : Maribel Alonso (MEX) – Judge H : Gary Rockwell (USA) – Judge C : Evi Eisenhardt (GER)
Judge M : Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA) – Judge B : Leif Törnblad (DEN)

 

RANK HORSE – BREEDING
SEX\COLOUR\BORN\SIRE X SIRE DAM\
JUDGE E JUDGE H JUDGE C JUDGE M JUDGE B %
RIDER
OWNER
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
TECHNICAL
ARTISTIC
1 Damon Hill NRW – WESTF
S \ DarkChestnut \ 2000 \ Donnerhall x Rubinstein I
GER
43000 84.25 80.75 83.75 82.25 83.50 85.150
Helen  Langehanenberg
Christian Becks
89.00 85.00 92.00 86.00 85.00
2 Desperados 11 – HANN
S \ Black \ 2001 \ De Niro x Wolkenstein II
GER
26000 83.75 80.00 83.50 82.50 79.25 84.700
Kristina  Sprehe
Gestüt Sprehe GmbH
90.00 87.00 91.00 88.00 82.00
3 Diva Royal – HANN
M \ DarkBay \ 2002 \ Don Frederico Warkant
GER
20000 78.00 75.75 79.75 78.00 75.50 81.100
Dorothee  Schneider
Katharina Roth
88.00 83.00 90.00 83.00 80.00
4 Augustin OLD – OLDBG
S \ Bay \ 2000 \ August der Starke x Rohdiamant
AUT
13000 77.50 77.00 78.00 76.75 77.50 80.975
Victoria  Max-Theurer
Elisabeth Max-Theurer, Schloss Achleiten
86.00 85.00 89.00 81.00 82.00
5 Digby – DWB
G \ DarkBay \ 1997 \ Donnerhall x Sandro
DEN
7000 78.00 75.50 76.25 78.00 73.75 79.750
Nathalie zu  Sayn-Wittgenstein
Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, Dr. Michael Siebert, R. White
87.00 82.00 83.00 83.00 81.00
6 Eremo del Castegno – SI
G \ Bay \ 2001 \ Rohdiamant x Weltmeyer
ITA
5000 78.00 74.50 77.00 75.50 71.00 78.500
Valentina  Truppa
Centro Equestre Monferrato
85.00 81.00 83.00 80.00 80.00
7 Donnperignon – FWB
G \ DarkChestnut \ 1999 \ Donnerhall x Mozart II79
DEN
3500 75.50 73.00 77.00 74.50 75.25 77.425
Anna  Kasprzak
Kasprzak Family
81.00 77.00 84.00 78.00 79.00
8 Exquis Clearwater – DWB
G \ Bay \ 1998 \ Carpaccio x Limebrand
DEN
2000 71.50 71.00 73.00 72.75 70.75 74.400
Anne  van Olst
Anne van Olst, Team Exquis
79.00 75.00 76.00 77.00 78.00
9 Toy Story – SWB
G \ Bay \ 2000 \ Come Back II x Concorde
SWE
1750 69.25 70.50 73.25 70.25 72.50 73.275
Patrik  Kittel
Patrik Kittel, Carol & Andrew Oately
74.00 77.00 77.00 74.00 75.00
10 Uzzo – KWPN
G \ Bay \ 2001 \ Lancet x Indoctro
NED
1750 71.75 71.50 72.00 72.25 72.25 73.175
Patrick  van der Meer
Trainingsstal De hoeve
74.00 74.00 74.00 75.00 75.00
11 Coryolano – BAY
G \ Bay \ 1996 \ Coriolan x Gajus
IRL
1750 71.25 70.00 72.25 69.25 69.00 72.575
Anna  Merveldt
Anna Merveldt, Christine Breitinger
77.00 74.00 79.00 71.00 73.00
12 BMC Miciano – WESTF
G \ Chestnut \ 2001 \ Medici x Dialekt
NED
1750 72.00 69.75 72.50 72.00 70.25 72.350
Marlies  van Baalen
J.M.J. van Baalen-Dorresteyn, J. Hinneman
74.00 72.00 75.00 74.00 72.00
13 Fabriano 58 – WESTF
S \ Bay \ 1999 \ Florestan I x Angelo XX
AUT
1750 70.75 68.75 70.75 68.00 69.25 71.850
Renate  Voglsang
Renate Voglsang
75.00 74.00 75.00 73.00 74.00
14 Smeyers Molberg – DWB
G \ Bay \ 2001 \ Michellino x Rambo
SUI
1750 63.50 62.00 63.50 63.25 62.25 66.150
Marcela  Krinke Susmelj
Irene Meyer, Marcela Krinke Susmelj
71.00 68.00 67.00 69.00 72.00
15 Hunter Douglas Toots – KWPN
G \ Dark Bay \ 2000 \ Jazz x Havidoff
NED
0.000
Imke  Schellekens-Bartels
T. Bartels, J. Schellekens