America’s Catherine Haddad-Staller & Semper Fidelis Post 1st Win Taking Le Mans CDI3* Grand Prix Special
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LE MANS, France, Oct. 21, 2017–Catherine Haddad-Staller and Semper Fidelis won the CDI3* Grand Prix Special Saturday. the first victory for the American pair and just a month after making their Big Tour debut.
Catherine and the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare scored 71.902 per cent for the victory. The pair have scored well above 70 per cent in the two Grand Prix and two Specials in the two CDIs in Europe.
Ulrik Moelgaard of Denmark who is based in England placed second on Michigan on 70.294 per cent with Switzerland’s Antonella Joannou on Dandy de la Roche CMF third on 69.471 per cent.
Catherine and Semper Fidelis placed second in the Grand Prix Thursday in their first indoor show. They made their debut a month ago at an outdoor competition in Germany.
Catherine, based in Califon, New Jersey in summer and Loxahatchee, Florida in winter, began riding Semper Fidelis (Sir Donnerhall x Welt Hit II) last year. The horse is owned by Rowan O’Riley, a sponsor of Catherine for the past 2 1/2 years.
“Semper Fidelis is gaining confidence in the test,” Catherine told dressage-news.com after the Grand Prix, “her expression and flow were wonderful, especially for her first indoor show. It’s really too early to talk about the future, but we’ll keep training and see where this mare takes us. She has the helm!”
The mare was originally named Sue and trained in Italy before being sent to Germany and eventually Denmark to be sold. The horse was apparently competed at Prix St. Georges in Italy and performed an M class, the equivalent of U.S. 3rd level, in Denmark before Rowan bought her.
She changed the name to Semper Fidelis that Catherine said “fits the horse. She has a fiery temperament but she is indeed ‘always faithful.’
“She was a project, but a project with a lot of quality and she is really coming around to my way of riding. I love her.
“She has many names in the stable. I call her ‘my pants’ because riding her feels like stepping into my favorite pair of jeans.
“Rowan did a wonderfuf thing in pairing me with this horse. She is the wind beneath our wings.”
Catherine went to Germany this summer to compete after 18 months out of the international competition arena following the sale of Hotmail that she had competed on both sides of the Atlantic over four years.
She spent 20 years as a trainer and competitor in Germany before returning to the United States when she married the veterinarian Greg Staller. She was reserve on different horses for U.S. teams at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany in 2006 and the 2010 WEG in Kentucky. She also competed at the 2007 World Cup Final in Las Vegas and at Leipzig, Germany in 2011.
CDI3* Grand Prix Special
Judge-E: Lionel DU TRANOY-FRA H: Elke EBERT-GER C: Leif TOERNBLAD=DEN) M: Juan Carlos CAMPOS ESCRIBANO-ESP) B: Mary A. ROBINS-NZL