Spain’s Paula Matute Guimón & Delagronge Win CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle, Germany’s Michael Klimke Debuting Domino Take CDI3* Freestyle for European Sweep of Wellington Friday Night Stars
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 28, 2022–Spain’s Paula Matute Guimón on Delagronge won the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle for the second straight victory while Germany’s Michael Klimke debuting Domino captured the CDI3* Freestyle for a European sweep of Global Dressage Festival Friday Night Stars.
Riding to music borrowed from her brother, Juan Matute Guimon, Paula and the 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion were awarded a personal best 74.480% for the win a day after logging a personal best for victory in the Grand Prix, the first Big Tour wins for the 26-year-old rider who is based in Wellington.
Germany’s Christoph Koschel on Favorito, a 12-year-old Lusitano stallion that he acquired at a riding clinic in Portugal when the owner did not like the horse’s big head, placed second on 71.670%, a result that caused some controversy over whether the pair performed a required piaffe tour of 10 straight steps. Spectators, permitted at the Wellington horse shows as well as online viewers, awarded the pair an overwhelming top result of 77.046% comparied with 73.792% for the first place combination.
Mikala Münter, the former Danish team rider based in Wellington who now competes under the Stars & Stripes, was third on Salsa Hit on 71.425%.
For Paula, who went her own way as a teenager, said after the victory Friday night: “Well, I think everybody enjoys a victory, but for this means a lot. It’s been many, many years trying to come back. Many years watching from the outside trying to figure out what it takes to come back, so I really am enjoying every second of this so much because I know what I had to go through, so I am so happy, so grateful to the team behind, the owners… for believing in me, for believing in us, and for making this dream come true”
“I honestly didn’t,” expect the results she had this week. “I’m very hard on myself, and I want to keep improving. Even for tonight, the victory is amazing but I want to keep improving. Winning is very nice reward, and it means a lot. Of course we all like the color blue, but I was not expecting that at all. I have great competitors next to me, and they work very hard. I’m super happy that it happened, and I’m going to remember this week forever.”
Chrisoph Koschel, a rider on Germany’s bronze medal team at 2010 World Equestrian Games and silver at the 2011 European Championshops, rode Favorito to music from Peter and the Wolf.
“I always wanted to have a Lusitano,” he explained of the unusual ride for a German team member. “It was just for fun, and I wanted to see where I can get to, and so I bought him with and now we’re in the international ring so that’s really nice.”
Michael Klimke, debuting the 10-year-old Westfalen mare Domino at Big Tour at this week’s CDI3*, was the winner of the musical performance on 74.110%. The pair placed second in Grand Prix Thursday. Benjamin Ebeling of Moorpark, California and Indeed, the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare that he took over riding two months ago, was second on 73.920% with his Olympian rider father Jan Ebeling in third on Bellena.
Michael went out of his way to talk about coming from Europe where so many events have been shut down because of coronavirus and discussions as to whether the World Cup Final scheduled for Leipzig, Germany will take place after being canceled for two years.
“We are really lucky as riders from America, from Europe, to compete here,” he said. “We can be thankful for this event and that it happens. It’s the only show circuit that goes on. That for me is very important, and I think for all the horses.”
CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle
|Judges:||Yuri Romanov||Mariano Santos Redondo||Janet Lee Foy||Jacques van Daele||Thomas Lang|
|1.||74.480||ESP||Paula Matute Guimón||Delagronge||75.75||74.85||74||73.25||74.55||73.792 (2)|
|2.||71.670||GER||Christoph Koschel||Favorito 11||71.925||72.15||71.2||72.575||70.5||77.046 (1)|
|3.||71.425||USA||Mikala Münter||Salsa Hit||72.3||72.575||70.1||72||70.15||72.591 (3)|
|4.||66.720||GEO||Joanne Vaughan||Al Martino 10||68.05||69.525||66.325||65.05||64.65||67.458 (4)|
CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle
|Judges:||Mariano Santos Redondo||Janet Lee Foy||Jacques van Daele||Debbie Rodriguez||Yuri Romanov|
|1.||74.110||GER||Michael Klimke||Domino 957||75.875||73.3||73.525||74.125||73.725||73.680 (2)|
|2.||73.920||USA||Benjamin Ebeling||Indeed||71.75||75.025||73.65||73.725||75.45||74.062 (1)|
|3.||73.140||USA||Jan Ebeling||Bellena||71.675||74.15||73.65||71.475||74.75||71.673 (5)|
|4.||72.180||CAN||Evi Strasser||Disney Tyme||70.05||72.55||73.275||70.375||74.65||71.988 (4)|
|5.||71.420||CAN||Ariana Chia||Fiderflame||72.225||71.7||72.175||68.775||72.225||73.215 (3)|
|6.||67.615||USA||Susanne Hamilton||Lesath||66.05||68.15||70.175||66.5||67.2||66.060 (6)|