Isabell Werth & Satchmo Dominate Munich Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Kür
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
MUNICH, Germany, May 24–Isabell Werth and Satchmo were back to their top form to dominate the Exquis World Dressage Masters, winning the Grand Prix Kür before a crowd of several thousand adoring fans at Munich’s newly refurbished Olympic dressage center on Sunday.
The ride by Germany’s Werth and Satchmo followed their Grand Prix victory on Friday performing at such a high level as to draw gasps from the crowd that packed every available seat and anywhere they could stand to get a view. The pair showed none of the errors of the 2008 Olympic Games or the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in April.
Their efforts in the second of four CDI5* competitions making up the Exquis World Dressage Masters earned them a score of 84.750 per cent, with four of the five judges awarding scores of 90 per cent and better for the artistic performance. Each of the four WDM competitions in 2009 – Palm Beach, Munich, Cannes on the French Riviera June 11-13 and the finale in Hickstead, England July 23-26 – offers prize money of €100,000 (US$140,000), making it the richest dressage circuit in history and on a par with top jumper events.
Only 0.100 per cent separated second and third places, with Finland’s Kyra Kyrklund on her seasoned 14-year-old gelding Max having a slight edge to score 79.200 per cent with Ulla Salzgeber of Germany on her spectacular 10-year-old chestnut Herzruf’s Erbe in his second year of Grand Prix on 79.100 per cent.
The financial rewards were substantial. Werth earned €20,000 (US$28,000) for the Kür victory, Kyrklund €12,000 (US$16,220) and Salzgeber €9,400 (US$13,130).
Other placings were: 2008 Olympic competitor Victoria Max-Theurer of Austria and Augustin 13 fourth on 77.800 per cent, Danish 2008 Olympic team bronze medalist Nathalie Sayn-Wittgenstein and Digby 2 fifth on 75,400 per cent and Germany’s Hubertus Schmidt and Prego sixth on 75.100 per cent.
The Grand Prix Special to Music on Saturday was won by Sander Marijnissen, little known outside of his home in The Netherlands, on his Moedwil, a 15-year-old gelding, to win €10,000 (US$14,000) with the USA’s Catherine Haddad on her 12-year-old Danish warmblood gelding Cadillac taking second place and prize money of €6,200 (US$8,660).
Isabell said that Satchmo’s Grand Prix was “one of the best” ever by the 15-year-old gelding while Sunday’s musical freestyle was “brilliant” despite a mistake in the two-tempis.
She said the freestyle ride was designed with the highest degree of difficulties and Satchmo rose to the occasion with “charisma” and “brilliance.”
Satchmo’s owner, Madeleine Winter-Schultze, flew to Munich from Hamburg after Goldfever, the horse she owns and ridden by Ludger Beerbaum, did not make it to the final round of the Hamburg Derby.
“I just had to be here and this was so fantastic,” she said.
Spectators were packed around both the competition and warm up arenas that were newly built for this year’s Pferd International.
The Munich event dramatically enhanced the reputation of the Exquis World Dressage Masters series with Werth and the other riders effusively praising the arenas, stabling and organization. The most common description for all aspects of the event was “super.”
Simultaneous with the CDI5* dressage was a CDI3* and a CSI3* jumping competition in which the USA’s Georgina Bloomberg competed. There was Western competition, numerous exhibitions of different equestrian disciplines and horse types and a children’s fair.
Three of the four days of competition enjoyed hot summer weather–highs in the low 80sF (28C)–that attracted 50,000 paying spectators.
For scores of all competitions at Pferd International go to RESULTS on the Front Page.