Italy’s Valentina Truppa & Eremo del Castegna Set New Personal High in Capturing WDM Munich Grand Prix Kür

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Valentina Truppa and Eremo del Castegno. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

MUNICH, Germany, May 20–Italy’s top dressage combination of Valentina Truppa and Eremo del Castegna captured the World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday, leading a parade of the top four placings all setting new personal high scores.

The result of 84.250 per cent by Valentina, aged 26, and the Italian-bred Eremo del Castegna was their third score above 80 per cent and easily beat their previous best of 81.232 per cent set just a month ago when they placed third at the World Cup Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.

And it was enough to stay a sliver ahead of Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW on 84.050 per cent, a new personal best for Germany’s long time Olympic star and the 11-year-old Rhinelander gelding (Ehrentusch x Rhythme – Rhythmus) whose previous best was 81.625 exactly four months ago.

Not to be outdone, Austria’s Victoria Max-Theuer who has already been nominated at the age of 27 for her third Olympics, rode Augustin OLD to a new high of 81.085 per cent, eclipsing the previous best of 80.875 per cent with the 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion (August der Starke x Weinrubina x Rohdiamant) that was recorded at this show a year ago.

Germany’s Dorothee Schneider and Diva Royal added their score of 78.250 per cent to the new personal best category, surpassing the 77.025 per cent received at Frankfurt last December.

The personal best results for four of the combinations amounted to half of the starting lineup of eight combinations in the Freestyle of Munich’s €100,000 World Dressage Masters staged at this 1972 Olympic equestrian venue.

Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén won the €25,000 (US$31,9000 Nürnberger Rider Award for accumulating the most points on the WDM circuit of four competitions–Palm Beach, Munich, Falsterbo, Sweden, and Hickstead, England.

Valentina, a former Young Rider star, wore her familiar uniform of the Carabinieri, a 200-year-old police corps now a branch of Italy’s military, in riding the 11-year-old UNIRE gelding (Rohdiamant x Weltgirl x Weltmeyer) to victory. The pair have been partners since the horse was a youngster and began their CDI Grand Prix career together just over two years ago.

“I am so happy with my horse,” Valentina said after the ride. “At one point in the middle of the program, he felt explosive and the audience clapped even more and I was just trying to keep him concentrated, but he just kept going and I decided to give it a try to do the changes one-handed. At home we always ride like this.”

They competed at last year’s European Championships and this year’s World Cup Final, their first appearance at the annual global championship. She still competes Chablis, one of her partners in European Young Rider Championship success.

The pair will ride as individuals at the London Games, the sole Italian representative as the nation did not qualify a team and no other individual is on the qualifying reserve list.

Results: WDM Munich GPFS