Frederic Wandres Back Home After Success at Wellington’s Global Circuit to Seek Place on German Teams
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Mar. 29, 2021
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Frederic Wandres has returned home to compete Duke of Britain for a place on Germany’s Olympic or championship teams after the rider fulfilled a long-held dream of winter in Wellington where he successfully debuted the eight-year-old Harrods being developed as the Big Tour hope for the future.
Frederic competed four different horses for seven victories in 10 starts in 2 1/2 months at the Global Dressage Festival, including leading the German team to Nations Cup gold, the first in Wellington and only the second such win in competition outside their homeland in nine years of the trans-Atlantic series.
The length of the stay was the longest he had ever spent away from his home farm, that he says was long but “flew by fast.”
As a stable rider for Hof Kasselmann of Hagen, Germany Frederic came to Wellington with a sizeable contingent of horses, some to compete, others to sell and others to deliver to American buyers from the famed Performance Sales International auction operated by Ullrich Kasselmann and Paul Schockemöhle. This was a return to the pioneering venture by Ullrich and Paul who in 1981–six years before Frederic was born–formed in the United States what was the first P.S.I. auction, with Francois Kasselmann of the next generation now taking over.
“Overall,” said the 34-year-old Frederic “Wellington was such a nice experience for my whole team around me. We really enjoyed being here the first time with horses and, of course, competing successfully… and the whole international Wellington family welcomed us in a very nice way! We appreciated that.” He shared barn space in Wellington with Hagen neighbor and well established Wellington “snow bird” as those from colder climates are often called.”
It was experience he wanted for many years, and the fact that the coronavirus pandemic shut down most horse shows in Europe for most of a year made it easier for him to leave many of his horses at home and travel with a select few to Wellington.
“It’s funny because now I have tasted the smell of Wellington so I think I would love to come back the next seasons!” he said.
Frederic’s first Global competition was on Harrods, the eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding that he rode to runner-up in a CDI1* Prix St. Georges Jan. 28.
The next day, he competed Rebroff, a 12-year-old Rhinelander gelding, in the CDI3* Grand Prix and for Frederic’s first victory. The elation was shattered within 24 hours when the horse suffered a ruptured aorta and died in his stall.
Two weeks later he was back in the arena with Quizmaster, a nine-year-old Hanoverian stallion that later in the circuit he rode to a sweep of the Small Tour division–Prix St. Georges, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate Freestyle–in the mixed format CDIO3* Nations Cup.
His team mates were Kevin Kohmann, based in Wellington and riding for the last time for Germany as he has become an American citizen, on his Small Tour Five Star, Michael Klimke on Domino also at Small Tour and Christoph Koschel on Eaton Unitechno at Grand Prix.
And he competed Harrods for a second time to win a CDI3* St. Georges.
When he first took over the ride on Harrods a year earlier, he recalled, everything was not easy.
“I think he was in a part of his life where it could have easily gone in either directions for him… sporthorse or no sporthorse. But for me there was no discussion or wrong thoughts about it–I think like with children growing up sometimes they have difficult phases in their life, and it’s our job to lead them on the right way of life.
“So we took our time and like the Wellington season showed us I think we are on the right way now.
“Harrods is my hope for the future–we plan to keep him as a horse which is growing up behind Duke of Britain.
“The plan is not to over-ask him with too many shows. I want to educate him now to the next level. Therefore, we need time like we had in the beginning.
“But he shows a lot of potential for collected work; there is already a piaffe rhythm in Harrods that is incredible! Maybe we reach the first intermediate II in the end of the season, fingers crossed”
Frederic did not take Duke of Britain, the 14-year-old British-bred gelding to Wellington, but left him in Hagen to be kept fit so he could prepare for the outdoor season on his return.
Duke of Britain will be shown for the first time this Olympic year at the Hof Kasselmann Horses & Dreams CDI4* at home in Hagen in three weeks.
That will be a warm-up for the German championships at Balve followed four weeks later by the final Olympic selection event at Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff’s Shafhof in Kronberg near Frankfurt.
The pair, that qualified for a start at the 2020 World Cup Final in Las Vegas but was canceled in the early stages of coronavirus, will also seek a place on the team for the European Championships–at Hagen–in September.