Valegro Wins Aachen CDIO5* Freestyle, Damon Hill 2nd, Bella Rose 3rd

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Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro to victory in the CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro to victory in the CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

AACHEN, Germany, July 20, 2014–Valegro ridden by Charlotte Dujardin won the CDIO5* Freestyle at the World Equestrian Festival Sunday, but the abence of Totilas brought a sharp rebuke from the organizers of the premier horse show and an apology to spectators.

Charlotte, the double Olympic gold medalist from Great Britain, made up for “mistake after mistake” in the Grand Prix three days ago that she said “shocked everytbody” with a score of 87.900 per cent in the Freestyle.

Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW was second 86.025 per cent and Isabell Werth on Bella Rose was third on 85.150 per cent for the first freestyle for the 10-year-old mare that Isabell said she was working out the floor plan as late as Saturday night.

The performance by Germany’s most decorated dressage rider brought the crowd to its feet in applause and Isabell to tears as she left the Deutsche Bank stadium that hosted its first dressage competition since an €8 million (US$10.8 million) expansion and was a sellout for five of the six days.

An emotional Isabell Werth on Bella Rose after the Grand Prix Freestyle in which the pair placed third. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressge-news.com
An emotional Isabell Werth on Bella Rose after the Grand Prix Freestyle in which the pair placed third. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressge-news.com

Charlotte and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding had mistakes in the tempi changes as did the other two top placed combinations.

However, she was happy overall with the ride after the mistake-filled Grand Prix that “I think I made the sport very interesting” and provided her with a wakeup call in preparing for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France in five weeks.

“Every time I made a mistake,” she said, “I heard the crowd say, ‘ooh.’ It was really hard to pick myself up. It got to me and it think it got to Valegro.

“I was a little bit disappointed. I’m not a perfect person. I’m human. I make mistakes.”

She was not as confident going into the Grand Prix Special and probably rode too carefully to avoid mistakes.

“I know it can be a lot better,” she said. “We came as prepaation for the WEG. We didn’t get him to full fitness as we want him to peak there. It gave me a big wakeup call, definitely made me realize I’ve got to have him a lot fitter.”

Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Helen Langehanenberg said the extraordinary heat wave that hit Aachen this week had no effect on Damon Hill and he was fresh for the Freestyle.

Isabell said had not practised the Freestyle because she had focused on the Grand Prix and Special and “didn’t want to confuse Bella with learning too many new things.

“I was so impressed with her great concentration,” she said. “I was always hoping but couldn’t expect her to be as consistent and so strong as she was in the three competitions. She never saw such a big arena with so many spectators. The first day she was impressed but she settled down.”

Isabell Werth riding Bella Rose in her first Freestyle. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Isabell Werth riding Bella Rose in her first Freestyle. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Isabell said she will take time for Bella Rose to develop more power.

“One of the biggest mistakes,” she said, “would be to try to make better” some of the horse’s strengths such s the piaffe and passage.

“We will keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Isabell said of the horse she has been bringing long from a youngster.

Laura Graves, the 26-year-old American (she will be 27 on Tuesday), on Verdades tied with team mate Adrienne Lyle on Wizard for 10th place with a score of 76.900 per cent.

The result was a personal best for Laura of Geneva, Florida, who has caused a sensation here as a fresh talent.

Laura Graves on Verdades in the CDIO5* Freestyle. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves on Verdades in the CDIO5* Freestyle. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The absence of Totilas, the black stallion that returned to the competition arena in May after a two-year absence due to injury to the horse and illness of the rider, Matthias Aexander Rath, was explained as giving the horse a break from the intense competition as one of the four Gation.

Frank Kemperman, the Aachen show director, said that in his 20 years running the event he “never thought that one horse that had won the Grand Prix Special the day before would not compete in the Freestyle.

“For us,” he said, “it was very disappointing” and the organizers apologized to the public.

The results:

CDIO Grand Prix Freestyle

Judge E: Susan Hoevenaars (AUS) Judge H: Stephen Clarke (GBR) Judge C: Dietrich Plewa (GER)

Judge M: Francis Verbeek-van Rooy (NED) Judge B: Isabelle Judet (FRA)
Rank HORSE – Breeding
sex\color\born\sire x siredam\
Judge E Judge H Judge C Judge M Judge B Total
RIDER
owner
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
1 Valegro – KWPN
G \ Bay \ 2002 \ Negro x Gerschwin
GBR
43000 85.75 85.00 80.75 86.00 86.50 87.900
Charlotte  Dujardin
Mrs R Luard Mr C Hester
89.00 89.00 88.00 95.00 94.00
2 Damon Hill NRW – WESTF
S \ DarkChestnut \ 2000 \ Donnerhall x Rubinstein I
GER
26000 82.75 82.50 82.00 82.75 85.25 86.025
Helen  Langehanenberg
Christian Becks
88.00 89.00 87.00 93.00 88.00
3 Bella Rose 2 – WESTF
M \ Chestnut \ 2004 \ Belissimo M x Cacir AA
GER
20000 81.75 80.50 81.00 82.50 81.75 85.150
Isabell  Werth
Madeleine Winter-Schulze
89.00 87.00 88.00 92.00 88.00
4 Desperados FRH – HANN
S \ Black \ 2001 \ De Niro x Wolkenstein II
GER
13000 77.00 82.00 79.00 81.50 82.00 83.150
Kristina  Sprehe
Paul & Albert Gestüt Sprehe GmbH; Sprehe
83.00 88.00 84.00 91.00 84.00
5 Donnperignon – FWB
G \ DarkChestnut \ 1999 \ Donnerhall x Mozart II79
DEN
7000 76.50 78.00 78.00 78.00 79.75 82.125
Anna  Kasprzak
Kasprzak Family
84.00 87.00 85.00 88.00 87.00
6 Jerich Parzival N.O.P. – KWPN
G \ Chestnut \ 1997 \ Jazz x Ulft
NED
5000 80.50 80.25 79.00 81.50 76.25 81.950
Adelinde  Cornelissen
W.P.J. Cornelissen / M.A. Cornelissen
86.00 83.00 82.00 89.00 82.00
7 Don Auriello – HANN
G \ Bay \ 2002 \ Don Davidoff x White Star
SWE
3500 75.00 79.75 77.25 78.00 80.50 81.850
Tinne  Vilhelmson Silfvén
Lövsta Stuteri / Antonia Ax:son Johnson
85.00 87.00 84.00 87.00 85.00
8 Half Moon Delphi – HANN
M \ Grey \ 2002 \ Dimaggio x West Wall
GBR
2000 78.75 77.25 77.00 78.25 77.50 80.475
Michael  Eilberg
Mr Jon And Mrs Julie Deverill
83.00 82.00 81.00 86.00 84.00
9 Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno
G \ Bay \ 2001 \ Rohdiamant x Weltmeyer
ITA
1500 76.75 73.75 75.75 75.75 75.75 78.575
Valentina  Truppa
A.S.D. Centro Equestre Monferrato
79.00 81.00 81.00 83.00 84.00
10 Wizard – OLDBG
G \ Bay \ 1999 \ Weltmeyer x Classiker
USA
1500 75.50 76.00 73.50 72.25 73.75 76.900
Adrienne  Lyle
Peggy Thomas
81.00 80.00 75.00 79.00 83.00
10 Verdades – KWPN
G \ Bay \ 2002 \ Florett As x Goya
USA
1500 72.50 75.25 70.75 74.75 77.75 76.900
Laura  Graves
Laura Graves
78.00 80.00 75.00 82.00 83.00
12 Grandioso
S \ Bay \ 1999 \ Adelante x Sevillano IX
ESP
1500 72.75 74.75 74.00 75.50 75.00 76.900
Jose Daniel  Martin Dockx
Jose Daniel Martin Dockx
79.00 78.00 77.00 83.00 80.00
13 Glock´s Flirt – CH
G \ Chestnut \ 2001 \ Florestan x Gauguin de Lully
NED
1500 77.75 76.00 71.75 76.00 75.00 76.850
Hans Peter  Minderhoud
Ing. Gaston Glock
79.00 79.00 75.00 80.00 79.00
14 Smeyers Molberg – DWB
G \ Bay \ 2001 \ Michellino x Rambo
SUI
1500 72.75 71.75 74.50 72.00 71.25 75.425
Marcela  Krinke Susmelj
Meyer Irene + Krinke Susmelj Marcela
77.00 79.00 79.00 79.00 78.00
15 Painted Black – KWPN
S \ Black \ 1997 \ Gribaldi x Ferro
ESP
1500 75.75 70.50 71.25 72.50 73.25 75.425
Morgan  Barbançon
Morgan Barbancon Mestre
81.00 79.00 75.00 78.00 78.00