Germany’s Christoph Koschel & Shakespeare Win Iron Spring Farm Future Stars Performance Series Wellington Qualifier

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Christoph Koschel and Shakespeare competing in the Iron Spring Farm Future Stars Performance Series at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Florida. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 26, 2019–German team rider Christoph Koschel and the nine-year-old Shakespeare won the Iron Spring Farm Future Stars Performance Series second round Saturday, a victory that he declared as exciting as competing as a teenager in the famed Nürnberger Burg-Pokal German Small Tour championships on which the new American event is based.

Christoph and the Mecklenburger gelding (Sancisco OLD x Lomber) were awarded 72.000 per cent in the U.S. Developing Prix St. Georges that qualified the pair for the $10,000 final at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex the last week of March.

Canada’s Diane Creech on Dublin L was runner-up to also qualify in the national level competition this inaugural year of the series sponsored by Iron Spring Farm of Coatesville, Pennsylvania and supported by Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock Insurance  and Legacy Farm.

The first and second place-getters on horses aged seven to nine years in each of 10 designated USEF Developing Prix St. Georges events at Global. Riders can qualify more than one horse

Shakespeare, owned by Carrie and Bernd Schopf, has been ridden by Christoph for 2 1/2 years and was competed in seven-year-old classes in both Germany and Florida in 2017.

This year, the pair have won twice at Prix St. Georges in Wellington.

Christoph, 42 years old and in his fifth year of competing on Wellington’s winter circuit, lauded the new series adopted by the Global organizers at the request of Legacy Farm’s Lars Petersen and dressage-news.com as vital for development of dressage,.

“It’s a real stepping stone for upcoming young horses for top sport,” he said.

He was the youngest finalist at age 15 when the Burg-Pokal debuted in 1992 and was won that year by Nicole Uphoff on Sir Lennox. She won Olympic gold on Rembrandt earlier that year.

“In three to four years these horses become the championship Grand Prix horses,” he said. “Nearly every horse you see on the German team has competed in the Burg-Pokal or the Louisdor Prize for developing Grand Prix horses.

Christoph rode his own Donnperignon on Germany’s team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky and the 2011 European Championships. He sold the horse for Anna Kasprzak to compete for Denmark, including at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, the 2014 World Games and the 2013, 2015 and 2017 European Championships as well as the 2013 and 2016 World Cup Finals.

Qualifying Future Stars Performance Series competitions are scheduled for:

-GDF5 Feb. 6-10
-GDF6 Feb. 15-16
-GDF7 Feb. 20-24
-GDF8 Feb. 27-Mar. 3
-GDF9 Mar. 7-10
-GDF10 Mar. 13-17

Final: GDF12 Mar. 27-31-International Arena, Global Dressage Festival