Andreas Helgstrand Riding Stallion Revolution Wins 2018 Longines World Breeding Dressage Championships 5-Year-Old Preliminary Test

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By ILSE SCHWARZ

ERMELO, Netherlands, Aug. 2, 2018–The Westfalen stallion Revolution (Rocky Lee x Rouletto) lived up to all the hype that has been surrounding him since he burst onto the scene at the Hanoverian licensing in Verden, Germany in the fall of 2015. At that time he was purchased by Helgstrand Dressage for €1.2 million (US$1.39 million). The horse is simply stunning. He oozes quality and that special presence that cannot be trained. I am pretty sure that Andreas has been his main rider from the beginning, and you really can see their partnership. He is a big horse (listed at 176cm/17.3hh) and really fills the arena without having any of the loss of balance you may expect from one so big at such a young age.

As he trotted into the arena, we could see this stallion is all loose moving parts, that move in total harmony with controlled power. The spectator stands had filled up before his ride, as so many people, just like myself, wanted to see if he lived up to his hype. We were not disappointed.

Revolution ridden by Andreas Helgstrand to win preliminary test for five-year-old horses at World Championships. © 2018 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

He started with an extraordinary trot, expressive and expansive, adjustable and active behind. Uphill in his carriage every step. The walk was loose and through his body with good reach from behind and use of his neck in the loose rein walk. As Andreas went to ride him into the medium canter, Revolution had a screaming stallion moment–he had to tell the world that he was at Ermelo. It made the transition into the extension a bit muddled but the quality of the rest of the work was without question. He was the first horse of the day where the crowd kept clapping as he walked out. They really appreciated what they saw. He received 9.5 for trot, 8.8 for walk, 9.0 for canter, 8.5 for submission (this was also affected by a less than perfect rein back) and 9.5 for perspective with the final score 9.06.

Those of you who have read previous years’ reports of mine will know that I generally have an angle in mind when I report on any competition. The “big story” that catches my attention and makes my coverage about more than just results. This year it seems there are several vying for importance.

Before I even got on the plane to Amsterdam I knew that there were two young “popular” stallions competing, Revolution and Asgard’s Ibiza. I have been well aware of both since their licencing as three year olds. I try to make it a policy, when covering this particular show to NOT watch a lot of video of the competitors, as I always want a first impression. I already knew that I loved Revolution on video and was hoping I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t much like Ibiza on video, and was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. On both accounts I wasn’t disappointed. However, this is why I like to see these young competitors only on paper, to know them only by their sire and dam sire. It is hard to ignore your pre-conceived ideas, as we see in dressage competitions, at all levels, the world over.

I also thought that the heat may end up being a significant factor. Those who don’t know, much of Europe is in the grip of a drought. Not an Australian, or American Midwest drought, but no significant rain since April and daytime temperatures routinely over 30C (85F) for the past four weeks. This is highly unusual and although, living in South Florida, I totally laugh at the idea of this being considered a heatwave, we are set up for it. Our facilities are built to manage the temperatures for both us and our horses. It is not the case over here. The show has done a brilliant job at providing comfort for the horses in the stables and misting fans near the warm ups. I did not see one horse today that looked to be affected in any negative manner. I DID see a lot of sunburned Dutch skin by 4pm though. Not me…I am always prepared for the sun, long sleeves, sunscreen and my trusty floppy hat. I may have got some looks…but I won’t be applying aloe to my sunburned shoulders tonight!

The unusual dust shows the impact of the lack of rain on the Dutch countryside. © Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

This class was huge, starting at 10am and finishing just before 6pm. There were four groups and, I am sad to say, that this year I really do believe that most horses suffered being in the first group. The judges seemed tentative to reward and somewhat confused about exactly what they were looking for. I believe it improved over the course of the day, but even by the final group there were a couple of horses that left me scratching my head… both at the generosity or the overly harsh scoring. I finally concluded that for the trot, the judges wanted a gait that looked easy to ride, elastic and not overly managed, even if it wasn’t huge. The steadiness of the frame and connection, the rein back and transitions played the largest role in the submission scores, as best as I can tell. These are all great requirements for these horses… it just seemed to take too many rides for the judges to make these parameters what they were looking for. I am still not 100 per cent sure what they want in the walk. I actually don’t think we saw a bad walk all day, but some were rewarded, or not rewarded, in ways that I found hard to find a consistency in scoring. To be fair, I couldn’t see side-on views of both the medium and the long rein. I could only see the long rein walk. I felt a little the same about the canter scoring too, and for that I could see everything. This will make the finals all the more interesting when the judges have to vocalize their rationale behind their scores for all to hear.

By the end of the day there were 13 horses going directly to the final. Normally it would only be 12, but Destacado, a Hannoverian stallion by Desperados x Londonderry ridden for Germany by Mathias Alexander Rath  and Zucchero, an Oldenburg stallion by Zonik x Prince Thatch xx ridden also for Germany by Frederic Wandres were tied for second place on 9.04 points. It was decided to send the top 12 scores, therefore 13 horses,  directly through to the final. Both Destacado and Zucchero were in the last group.

Destacado with Matthias Alexander Rath. © 2018 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

Destacado is a super attractive stallion. Another horse with a really easy and pleasing way of covering the ground. Elastic and cadenced without losing his true trot or activity, 9.1. The walk was a clear highlight. He walked with his whole body… from the tip of his tail to the tip of his nose. No question on the correct footfall and beautiful overtrack; 9.8 seemed about right to me. The canter scored 9.0 and was one of the ones that I thought would score higher. The perspective of 9.4 made perfect sense, he is absolutely a horse to go on in the sport. The submission score was low, 7.9, and I am not sure why. I missed the rein back… it could have been a dog’s breakfast, or maybe he was busy in the mouth and I didn’t see. In any case, if he can lift that score for the final, he will be a real contender for the top position.

Germany’s Frederic Wandres riding Zucchero. © 2018 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

Zucchero was the third horse by Zonik to go today. It is a testament to the stallion that his progeny finished in 2nd, 4th and 14th place. The stallion Zonik himself just won the Dutch championships on the weekend with rider Edward Gal. Zucchero was the last horse to go and another complete package with a huge expressive trot (9.0) and a wonderful expansive, reaching walk. For now it really deserves the score of 9.7, but it is a walk I would term “dangerous” for the future. It will take some skilled training to keep that pure. This stallion is tremendously well developed for a five-year-old and was ridden beautifully. His simple change could not have been better executed, he literally melted seemlessly from balanced canter to walk, canter score 8.7, submission 8.7, perspective 9.1, overall 9.04.

Andreas Helgstrand, again, this time on Zhaplin Langholt. © 2018 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

In fourth place was the Danish gelding Zhaplin Langholt (Zonik x Stedinger) ridden by Andreas Helgstrand. Many of you would have seen this young horse in the open training days that Andreas held at his facility in Wellington, Florida over the winter. At that stage he was ridden by Australian Simone Pearce. Unfortunately for her, she broke her arm a few months ago and Andreas took over the ride and, not surprisingly, didn’t give it back. I would keep the ride on him, too, if I got it! Simone is here on another horse for Helgstrand, so she wasn’t completely left out. Zhaplin wowed us in Wellington and he wowed the judges here too. He is another horse whose trot exhausts your repertoire of superlatives…they all apply: Expansive, elastic, loose with cadence, active, adjustable…you get the picture. 9.8 is no surprise. The walk needs more overtrack and the judges actually agree, too, 8.0. The canter basically has all the qualities of the trot, 9.7. He really walked into the halts on the centerline and the first was barely maintained. The rein back was without balance and the submission score suffered because of it. Perspective 9.5 and overall 9.0. Andreas will be working to beat himself on both of his horses in the final. They are both spectacular.

Indian Rock competed by the Netherlands Emmelie Scholtens. © 2018 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

Indian Rock, a stallion by Apache x Vivaldi, ridden for the Netherlands by Emmelie Scholtens was the first to go today and ultimately finished in 5th place. He gave us a very impressive first impression. He had regular cadenced trot…perhaps a little too close to passage but it was maintained consistently through all of the trot work and looked easy. He had absolutely uphill carriage every stride and maintained consistent balance through the turns, score 8.8. The walk was relaxed and swinging and correct, score 8.3. The canter had uphill jump, again seemingly easily maintained, good elastic reach from behind and balanced transitions. It was definitely a high point, 9.5. His transitions in and out of the halts were through a significant amount of walk and the rein back was OK for a five-year-old. Submission 8.9, perspective 9.2, overall score 8.94. This sounds like a really high score but I am sure this would have scored higher if she had been later in the class.

The correct and elegant Eva Möller riding Candy. © 2018 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

In 6th was the totally delightful Oldenburg mare Candy (Sir Donnerhall x Fürst Heinrich). She is light footed, elegant and very uphill. She is ridden by Eva Möller who is such a correct and elegant rider herself, that the pair starts already with a high note. They were an absolute delight to watch throughout. The crowd was in total agreement with me, so much so that they started applauding with enthusiasm long before the final halt was established, with the result that the mare spooked and spun and ran. Eva smiled and got her back together and the judges did not penalize on the submission score (8.5). However her scores inspired booing from the spectators, and I am in total agreement with them. Trot 8.8, walk 8.8, canter 8.6, perspective 9.0, overall 8.74. This one really left me puzzled. We will see how it goes in the final.

The next 10 placed horses all had scores starting at 8.70 down to 8.30. Quite honestly, their order could have been pulled out of a hat. All beautiful animals, well ridden, each with just enough mistakes to stop the score being higher. I am certainly not giving a play by play on all of them, just some favorites.

Imagine ridden by Bart Veeze. © 2018 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

In 8th place was the KWPN mare Imagine (Dream Boy x Jackson) ridden by Bart Veeze. She is the one I want to take home. I was interested to see her as I had ridden a five-year-old by Dream Boy on Tuesday, and I wanted to steal her and take her back to Florida. This one left me feeling the same. She had an overall score of 8.62. There was some loss of steady contact early in the trot work but the trot itself was everything you would look for in a young mare: light footed, engaged, cadenced and delightful (8.9). In the free walk she used her entire topline (8.8). She had a a huge mess for her transition into canter, but once there I simply loved her (8.6). The transitions were expensive for submission (8.0) but a perspective of 8.8. I can’t wait to watch her again.

Juliane Brunkhorst on Asgards Ibiza. © 2018 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

The KWPN stallion Asgard’s Ibiza (Desperado x Jazz), is currently one of the very popular young stallions. He was ridden for Germany by Juliane Brunkhorst. This stallion was a huge surprise for me. I have not enjoyed him on the videos from stallion shows, although I know he has been very successful both in the sport and as a breeding stallion. Turns out that I love him in the flesh. Apparently I loved him much more than the judges. He was in the first group and I asked around a little afterwards and it wasn’t just me that was confused by his scores. He was definitely busy in the mouth, leading to some unsteadiness in the frame but it wasn’t what your eye was drawn to. He is a stunning stallion, bright chestnut with four matching white socks and a beautiful face. My notes say “OK, this trot has to get high scores. It is TRULY a trot, not some version of passage or extension.” He got 9.2. I saw his walk as relaxed  and swinging, perhaps not enough difference between the two walks but I thought it was worth more than 7.5. The canter had a big uphill jump with a super hindleg and scored 8.2. The submission was also low, 7.6. Given the fussing in the connection, a rather hideous rein back and no stretching in the stretching trot circle that score makes sense, but the score of 8.1 for perspective makes no sense to me at all. Overall score 8.12, which means he will do battle tomorrow in the small final to try to earn a ride in the big final.

A couple of notes that seemed consistent across the class: Five-year-old horses find reinback really hard. Without fail, they all did at least one of the following: threw their head in the air and ran backwards, threw themselves onto the forehand and dragged themselves backwards, went crooked either significantly into the ring or nearly through the outside rails or they did too many or too few steps.

I was also sitting at H, so I could see the outside leg of all the riders in the transition from walk to canter, The teacher/trainer in me wanted to yell at so many of them that poking their spur into the saddle pad, whilst leaning dramatically to the inside was not conducive to a quiet, correct canter transition. Most of the horses would have agreed.

The stretching trot was for many, a necessary evil. We didn’t see any running away, heads waving in the air or outright disobedience, but there were a scant few that demonstrated true stretch down to the contact and increased looseness over the topline.

Editor’s note: Ilse Schwarz is a frequent contributor to dressage-news.com, from several World Equestrian Games, world young horse championships, premier horse shows around the world, as well as articles on training. An Australian based in Wellington, Florida, Ilse has developed several horses from home-bred and unridden youngsters to Grand Prix, with a particular passion for training young horses. And an incredible eye for talented horses (says her editor).

Results:

Preliminary Test for 5-Year Old Horses

Judges-E: U. Nivelle-GER/L.Andersson-SWE C: M.Sanders-NED/M.Colliander-FIN
Rank HNR Competitor Nation Trot Walk Canter Subm. Persp. Penalty Total

Placed competitors

1. 511 Revolution Andreas Helgstrand den 9.5 8.8 9.0 8.5 9.5 9.06 points
bay / 5y. / S / WESTF / Rocky Lee / Rouletto / 106DD29 / Hanni Kasprzak,Helgstrand Dressage €750
2. 526 Destacado Matthias Alexander Rath ger 9.1 9.8 9.0 7.9 9.4 9.04 points
chest / 5y. / S / HANN / Desperados / Londonderry / 105XP03 / Friederike LOHSE,Gestüt Schafhof 525
2. 528 Zucchero Frederic Wandres ger 9.0 9.7 8.7 8.7 9.1 9.04 points
5y. / S / OLDBG / Zonik N.O.P. / Prince Thatch XX / 106DB83 / Star Horses 525
4. 510 Zhaplin Langholt Andreas Helgstrand den 9.8 8.0 9.7 8.0 9.5 9.00 points
dbay / 5y. / G / DWB / Zonik N.O.P. / Stedinger / 106DF13 / Helgstrand Dressage A/s,Sølyst Hest 300
5. 532 Indian Rock Emmelie Scholtens ned 8.8 8.3 9.5 8.9 9.2 8.94 points
dbay / 5y. / S / KWPN / Apache / Vivaldi / 106DI84 / Ad VALK,Black Horses BV 240
6. 525 Candy OLD Eva Möller ger 8.8 8.8 8.6 8.5 9.0 8.74 points
dbay / 5y. / M / OLDBG / Sir Donnerhall / Fürst Heinrich / 106DD11 / Hilde Wendeln,Paul Wendeln 180
7. 536 Imposantos Bart Veeze ned 9.0 8.8 8.5 8.3 8.9 8.70 points
bay / 5y. / S / KWPN / Wynton / Ips Krack C / 106DK25 / Theo Driessen 150
8. 535 Imagine Bart Veeze ned 8.9 8.8 8.6 8.0 8.8 8.62 points
dbay / 5y. / M / KWPN / Dream Boy / Jackson / 106DK24 / Theo Driessen 120
9. 514 Atterupgaard Delorean Selina Solberg Vittinghus den 9.2 8.8 8.7 7.3 9.0 8.60 points
dbay / 5y. / M / DWB / Bon Bravour / Sandro Hit / 106DF09 / Atterupgaard 90
10. 534 In Style Renate van Vliet ned 8.9 7.8 8.8 8.5 8.9 8.58 points
bay / 5y. / M / KWPN / Eye Catcher / Lorentin I / 106DK22 / Joop Uytert 60
11. 527 Devonport Rieke Schnieder ger 8.5 8.8 8.6 7.9 8.8 8.52 points
black / 5y. / S / HANN / Dancier / Ravallo / 106DC78 / Gerd Sosath 30
11. 518 Ironman H Yvonne Österholm fin 8.1 8.5 8.8 8.5 8.7 8.52 points
black / 5y. / S / KWPN / Bordeaux / Rousseau / 106DM21 / Ucas Ab 30

Total: €3,000

Other, non-placed competitors

13. 533 Zum Gluck RS2 Robin van Lierop ned 8.5 9.0 7.8 8.6 8.6 8.50 points
bay / 5y. / S / OLDBG / Zonik N.O.P. / Florestan I / 106CU66 / RS2 Dressage Center de Horst
14. 520 Star de l’Ocean Guillaume Recoing fra 8.2 9.0 8.5 8.0 8.7 8.48 points
bay / 5y. / M / HANN / Soliman / Carismo / 105XH53 / Guillaume RECOING
15. 519 Dorian Grey de Hus Jessica Michel Botton fra 9.3 8.0 8.7 7.8 8.9 – 0.2 8.34 points
chest / 5y. / G / SF / Don Juan de Hus / Sandro Hit / 105XK63 / S.A.R.L. Haras de Hus
16. 501 Lindballe’s Just Perfect Simone Pearce aus 8.2 8.7 8.1 8.0 8.5 8.30 points
dbay / 5y. / S / DWB / Johnson Tn / de Niro 6 / 106DF10 / Helgstrand Dressage A/s,Sølyst Hest
16. 541 Shizeido GJ Madelene Engelke swe 8.0 8.7 7.9 8.4 8.5 8.30 points
bay / 5y. / S / SWB / Sezuan 2 / Danzas / 106CC23 / Engelke MADELENE,Saddle Me Engelke
18. 542 Athena Rebecca Mauléon swe 8.0 8.7 7.8 8.2 8.4 8.22 points
bay / 5y. / M / SWB / Tailormade Temptation / Master / 106DL81 / Christina OLSSON
19. 515 Molinero FS Alba Abollo Fontela esp 8.3 8.0 7.8 8.5 8.4 8.20 points
grey / 5y. / S / PRE / Centello V / Ermitano III / 105ZE89 / Yeguada Arroyomonte
20. 502 d’Evelino Stephanie Dearing aut 8.3 8.0 8.1 8.1 8.3 8.16 points
bay / 5y. / G / HANN / Don Bosco / Arpeggio / 106CE51 / Mag. Wolfgang FIEDLER
21. 523 Asgard’s Ibiza Juliane Brunkhorst ger 9.2 7.5 8.2 7.6 8.1 8.12 points
chest / 5y. / S / KWPN / Desperado / Jazz / 106DK36 / Asgard Dressage B.V.
21. 531 Beukenvallei’s Iconic B Joyce Lenaerts ned 8.5 8.5 7.7 7.5 8.4 8.12 points
chest / 5y. / S / KWPN / Bing / Jazz / 106DK23 / C.A.M.vd Oetelaar,Stal de Beukenval
23. 513 Straight Horse Ascenzione Victoria E. Vallentin den 9.2 8.1 7.8 7.0 8.4 8.10 points
bay / 5y. / M / DWB / Blue Hors Zack / Blue Hors Don Schufro / 106DF12 / Helgstrand Dressage A/s,Straight Ho
24. 522 Iondale Charlotte Fry gbr 7.9 7.6 8.3 7.6 8.0 7.88 points
bay / 5y. / G / KWPN / Everdale / Donnerhall / 106CE67 / van Olst Horses
25. 504 Conan di Fonte Abeti Nick van Laer bel 7.8 7.8 7.5 7.8 7.9 7.76 points
bay / 5y. / G / HANN / Apache / Sir Donnerhall 1 / 106DL59 / Bernardelli
25. 512 Delizia Anne Troensegaard den 7.8 7.7 7.6 7.6 8.1 7.76 points
dbay / 5y. / M / DWB / Fürstenball / De Noir 3 / 106DF22 / Anne Troensegaard,Lotte Sophia Liv
27. 524 Drama Queen Sabrina Gessmann ger 7.7 8.0 7.5 7.2 7.7 7.62 points
chest / 5y. / M / WESTF / Deveraux 3 / Louis Le Bon / 106DD00 / Helen Langehanenberg
28. 521 Inclusive Charlotte Fry gbr 8.3 6.8 7.8 7.4 7.7 7.60 points
bay / 5y. / S / KWPN / Everdale / Uptown / 106CE70 / van Olst Horses
29. 503 Bartlgut’s Alsandair Ulrike Prunthaller aut 7.6 7.1 8.5 7.2 7.5 7.58 points
bay / 5y. / S / HOLST / Ampere / Lorentin I / 106AA24 / Edda & Wenzel Schmidt
30. 505 Hitch v. Bloemenhof Christel Vernelen bel 7.5 7.8 7.3 7.5 7.7 7.56 points
chest / 5y. / S / SBS / Vivaldi / Quaterback / 106DL69 / Shana de Leenheir
31. 540 Bergsjoholms Valbonne Emilie Brolin swe 7.7 7.3 7.4 7.0 7.5 7.38 points
bay / 5y. / S / SWB / Blue Hors Zack / Epson / 106DK45 / Marita Strauch
32. 509 Winston Hana Vasaryova cze 7.0 7.6 7.4 7.3 7.5 7.36 points
chest / 5y. / S / WESTF / Wynton / Laudabilis / 105YP45 / Josef Malir
33. 530 Impress Taonga Yessin Rahmouni mar 6.4 7.4 7.9 7.3 7.4 7.28 points
chest / 5y. / S / KWPN / Vitalis / Blue Hors Hotline / 106BG01 / Willeke BOS
34. 507 Londoncrown Susanne Dutt-Roth can 7.8 6.8 7.2 6.8 7.3 7.18 points
chest / 5y. / M / HANN / Londontime / San Amour I / 105YW42 / Daniel Gauthier
35. 516 Solo de Centurion Lucas Marin Giraldez esp 6.9 7.2 7.5 7.6 7.5 – 0.2 7.14 points
grey / 5y. / S / PRE / Fer Bago / Jordan Cen / 105YO56 / Yeguada Centurion
36. 537 Sir Europe Mateusz Cichon pol 7.3 6.2 7.5 7.0 7.2 7.04 points
dbay / 5y. / S / OLDBG / Sir Donnerhall I / Welt Hit II / 106DL48 / Helgstrand Dressage A/s,M. M. Broth
37. 539 Impressive Evgeny Sharangovich rus 7.5 6.0 7.6 6.9 6.9 6.98 points
black / 5y. / S / Cupido / Ramiro Z / 106BU45 / Natalia Bronnikova
38. 508 Iffendic Eva Jancarikova cze 7.3 6.8 6.7 6.8 7.2 6.96 points
bay / 5y. / G / KWPN / Vivaldi / Donnerhall / 106BC30 / Umlauf Ladislav
39. 529 Kaleem Simone Citelli ita 6.3 6.8 6.8 7.0 7.0 6.78 points
grey / 5y. / S / MIPAAF / Colbert Gti / Zeddam / 106CZ57 / Greco Antonino
40. 506 Maximo BCN Annabelle Collins ber 7.2 5.5 7.4 7.0 6.7 6.76 points
bay / 5y. / S / PRE / Utrerano VII / Veterano v. / 105YS55 / Agusti Elias Lara,Rosalind Collins
41. 538 Heiline’s Zanzier Jan Gawecki pol 6.9 5.7 6.2 6.5 6.5 6.36 points
chest / 5y. / S / DWB / Blue Hors Zack / de Niro / 106DL56 / M. M. Brothers Sp. z o.o.
42. 517 Dewdrop’s Johnny Depp Siiri Kyrö fin retired
bay / 5y. / S / FWB / Johnson / 106DL10 / Minna Virtanen,Saara Vuokila