USA 2nd & 3rd to Fabienne Lütkemeier’s Victory in Lingen CDI4* Special
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LINGEN, Germany, July 14–Californians Günter Seidel on Coral Reef Wylea and Kathleen Raine on Breanna both posted personal best scores Sunday to place second and third behind Germany’s Fabienne Lütkemeier and D’Agostino in the CDI4* Grand Prix Special at the first show in Europe for the American combinations.
The score of 75.750 per cent for Fabienne and the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding was also a personal best, surpassing the 72.896 per cent the pair were awarded at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany two weeks ago.
Günter of Cardiff, California and Wylea scored 71.813 per cent in Sunday’s competition that eclipsed their pair’s previous best of 71.312 per cent notched at Burbank, California five months ago. Günter and the 13-year-old Westfalen mare (Weinberg x Saluut) placed second in the Grand Prix Saturday with 70.000 per cent.
Kathleen Raine of Murrieta, California and Breanna scored 71.542 per cent for third place in the Special, after placing fifth on 69.043 per cent in Saturday’s Grand Prix, their first competition in Europe since 2000. The Special result beat their previous best of 70.400 per cent at Burbank more than 15 months ago.
Kathleen has been riding the Hanoverian mare (Brentano II x Weltmeyer) since her husband, David Wightman, found the horse as a four-year-old at the Hanoverian auction and bought her with financial help from Dr. Jennifer Mason.
Breanna now 13 years old, and Kathleen have been competing at CDI Grand Prix since March, 2011 and later the same year won the Sherry de Leon Memorial Trophy for Grand Prix at the California Dressage Society Championships.
“Thery all had a great show,” said Robert Dover, the recently appointed leader of United States high performanc dressage, of the five American Big Tour combinations that competed at Lingen this weekend. “”I’m very happy.”
Günter Seidel began riding Wylea, that was named Winci when competed by Anabel Balkenhol, the 2012 German Olympian and daughter of former U.S. team coach Klaus Balkenhol. The horse was bought by Coral Reef Ranch at Rancho Santa Fe, California late last year.
Günter is training with Klaus while in Europe as one of more than a dozen United States combinations competing there this year.
It is his first competition in Europe in two years, a period in which major changes have occurred in the career of one of the most respected and well liked riders on both sides of the Atlantic. He won bronze medals on U.S. teams at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004. More medals at a succession of world championships, last being at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany in 2006.
In 2010, Günter was bringing along U II, a horse he rode to the U.S. Developing Championship title in 2008, and Sundayboy, both at Grand Prix as potential U.S. team horses. In preparation for the American selection trials for the WEG in Kentucky, both horses were shipped to Klaus Balkenhol’s German training center in June, 2010. Riding U II fresh off the plane, Günter was thrown from the horse and seriously fractured his pelvis. The accident ended hopes of making the U.S. WEG team.
He was back competing nine months later, then took both horses to Europe over the summer of 2011, notching victories aboard U II at Hamburg, Germany and Fritzens, Austria.
Within a few weeks of their return to California, the relationship with Dick and Jane Brown who owned the horses, was over after almost a quarter-century.
In an unsuccessful effort to win a spot on the U.S. team for the London Olympics last summer, he rode the then-16-year-old California-owned Fandango.
Kathleen is well known for her success on Avontuur, the Dutch Warmblood gelding that died earlier this year at the age of 30.
Kathleen and her husband, David, trained the stallion from three years old and Kathleen and Avontuur won team bronze at the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Hague, fifth place at the 1994 World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden and eighth at the 1995 Los Angeles World Cup Finals. The pair was team alternate for the 1996 Olympics in Atlante.
Grand Prix Special
|Judges:||(E)||I.Wessels (GBR)|| Prize money: