Ingrid Klimke Making Franziskus a Dressage Star When She’s Not Eventing–the Journey in Photos

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Franziskus with Ingrid Klimke aboard achieving a personal best score in winning the Stuttgart World Cup Freestyle to place to place as a top contender for the Final in Omaha. © 2022 Leanjo de Koster/DigiShots

Nov. 12, 2022

Ingrid Klimke has become a global equestrian star as a double gold medalist in five Olympic eventing competitions over the past quarter century. As the 53-year-old daughter of the late dressage icon Reiner Klimke, she pursued dressage beyond the first phase of eventing. Way beyond! The World Cup Final on Nector VH Carelshof more than two decades ago was her most successful effort in dressage before 2022.

Until Franziskus hit his stride … eight years after his first appearance on the world stage.

Ingrid Klimke piloting FRH Butts Abraxxas in the final jumping phase of eventing competition at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. © Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

The first time Franziskus (Fidertanz  x Alabaster) was seen through a camera lens by dressage-news.com was at the World Young Horse Championships six-year-old division in Verden, Germany in 2014. That was after Ingrid won eventing team golds at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics with the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky sandwiched between.

Ingrid was a superstar in eventing, a sport that requires dedication and skill for the three disciplines of dressage, a gallop through the countryside with an abundance of created “natural” obstacles such as ponds of water and fallen trees, and a final test of jumping in a stadium that Ingrid pursues as she competes Franziskus. Fans are so passionate that they’ll stand for hours in cold, wet weather to watch a horse and rider flash by every few minutes.

So far in 2022, Ingrid has ridden Franziskus in four international dressage competitions including the world championships as well as two dressage Small Tour horses in CDIs.

And she has competed in 11 international events on four different horses–in both dressage and eventing at some international shows that is not unusual for the rider.

 

Franziskus ridden by Ingrid Klimke showing off at the World 6-Year-Old Championships in Verden, Germany in 2014. © Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

After young horse tests, the next step in the development of Franziskus was the Nürnberger Burg-Pokal, the world’s most prestigious competition for young Prix St. Georges horses. Ingrid was carefully preparing the stallion for top sport.

 

Franziskus ridden to runner-up in the final of the 2016 Nürnberger Burg-Pokal, the world’s most prestigious competition for young Prix St. Georges horses held at Frankfurst, Germany after a summer-long series. © Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

By 2017, Franziskus was ready for Big Tour. The pair won both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle in their debut at Munich, Germany.

Ingrid Klimke competes Franziskus at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, the most prestigious horse show in the world–likened to the Masters for golf and Wimbledon for tennis. © Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

“Making it” came in 2019 when Ingrid rode Franziskus at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany.

In 2022, the duo was named to their first German dressage team, the Nations Cup at Aachen.

The following month, the World Championships in Herning, Denmark. Ingrid and Franziskus competed in both the Grand Prix in which Germany earned team bronze, and the Special.

Victory at Stuttgart in one of the most competitive dressage qualifiers for a start in one of the most competitive championships is special–only 18 combinations from around the globe will be invited to Omaha.

Ingrid Klinke and Franziskus. © 2022 Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

(go to https://www.clipmyhorse.tv) to see Ingrid’s victory on a personal best score in the Stuttgart World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle that puts the horse and rider combination second in the Western European rankings so far for a much sought-after start at the championship Final in Omaha next April.)