German Amateur Isabelle Hermann & Number One Win Vienna Dressage CDI4* Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
VIENNA, Nov. 9–Isabelle Hermann, a German amateur who works in the office of her family’s recycling business, scored the biggest win of her life Friday when she rode her Number One to victory in the Vienna Dressage CDI4* Grand Prix at the Wiener Pferdefest.
The youngest horse in the field of 16 starters, the nine-year-old Westfalen gelding and Isabelle were awarded 70.532 per cent for their first CDI victory and the first CDI score for the pair above 70 per cent. They beat out the Netherlands’ Stephanie Peters and Unlimited on 70.340 per cent for second place with Austria’s Peter Gmoser and Cointreau third on 69.191 per cent.
The 32-year-old German rider’s score would have been higher except for a break in the final extended trot in which all five judges awarded the pair four points–but the first extended trot received four eights and one 7.5. Even with the mistake, two judges placed her on top, two in second and one third.
Isabelle, who lives in Pforzheim, had entered this competition for their first indoor experience ahead of the more daunting German Masters in Stuttgart next week where combinations from 14 nations, including numerous London Olympians, are scheduled to compete.
Isabelle began riding when she was seven years old, first as an eventer then a jumper and turned to dressage when she was 16.
She bought Number One (Numero Uno x Kira x Ramiro) as a four-year-old from a horse dealer. After competing in small shows, the pair showed small tour when the horse was aged seven and a year later moved up to the young Grand Prix tour, including the “Stars of Tomorrow” series in Bavaria.
But, said the rider who wears a small Swarovski crystal bear as a good luck charm on her riding coat, it was not until a clinic with German trainer Wolfram Wittig in the spring of 2011 who saw the potential in the horse did she realize just how good Number One could be. Until then she had been training and competing the horse through the national levels.
“It was nothing special at the clinic,” she said after Friday’s ride. “But Wolfram is a fantastic trainer and he could see the potential. I think from then on I realized he is a very, very good horse.
“It gave me a lot of confidence.”
Later in 2011, she entered Number One in their first CDI Grand Prix at Leudelange in Lexembourg and this year competed first at Vidauban, France, in February, then Stadl Paura, Austria, in April, Mannheim, Germany, in May and Achleiten, Austria in June where they posted their best score of 67.957 per cent before the performance in Vienna.
“He is the best,” she said of the horse whose barn name is “Anton” from the popular Austrian party song, “Anton aus Tirol,” that contains lyrics “he’s so super, he’s so beautiful.”
“His charm is what makes him so good for me,” she laughed.
“He’s always in a good mood, always willing to work. He wants to do everything right.
“He is a good guy who has won my heart.”
Isabelle said she gets “great pleasure building up the horse every day, to see how the horse can improve.”
“There is a lot more potential in the horse,” she said. “We are building up slowly and not overdoing it.”
Her goal for Number One is straightforward.
Stuttgart CDI4* next week. Isabelle competed there once before, 10 years ago in an Under-25 class.
If all goes well, the Louisdor Prize for eight to 10 year-old developing Grand Prix horses in Frankfurt in December.
“Then we will see what I am going to do with the horse,” she said. “He did a lot this year and he’s only nine years old. I won’t overdo it or push too much. There is even more in the horse but we will see, one show at a time.
“This is simply unbelievable.”
|Judges:||(E)||I.Judet (FRA)|| Total prize money: