Dominy overcomes his nerves
Despite retiring in the preliminary round, the Diamond Hit offspring goes on to produce a flawless test when it matters, to win a gigantic class
IT was a rocky road to the five-year-old final for Swedish Olympic dressage team rider Therese Nilshagen. She eventually topped the board in the huge, 75-strong class on the Lodbergen Stud’s Bavarian-bred licensed stallion DSP Dominy (Diamond Hit x Pour Plaisir).
The 34-year-old rider chose to retire the liver chestnut stallion, whom she’s been riding since
May this year, in the preliminary round due to too many tensionrelated mistakes. The eyecatching stallion was nervous in the notoriously buzzy and atmospheric Warendorf arena.
The combination managed to qualify for the final in extremis, with a third — the last available place — in the consolation class, but went on to produce a virtually flawless test in the final to score nines across the board, framed by an 8.5 for walk and a 9.5 for his rhythmical, clear canter.
“This is a first win for me in Warendorf,” said the Swede, fresh from winning team bronze at the European Championships in Gothenburg on Dante Weltino. “Dominy is a really nice horse with three good gaits and a good brain, so I’m really looking forward to the future with him.”
The five-year-old podium was entirely made up of stallions, with the Belgian-owned Oldenburg Fürst William HC (Fürst Wilhelm x Lord Sinclair) taking silver, ridden by Isabell Werth’s former head rider Beatrice Buchwald, and the extravagant Revenant (Rock Forever I x Sir Donnerhall), purchased for more than €1m (£917,000) by Gestüt Ammerland at last year’s PSI auction, taking bronze under Rudolf Widmann.
The unprecedented size of the class meant almost 11 hours of dressage. It demonstrates the ever-increasing quality of the young horses being bred in Germany, although perhaps the qualifying score of 8.0 needs to be raised to keep the numbers to a more manageable level.
In the six-year-old class, Frederic Wandres’ win was particularly poignant as, only a few weeks ago, the German rider had been stripped of a bronze medal at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Ermelo, the Netherlands, when a counting error was discovered after the prize-giving. His fourth place in Ermelo (on another ride, Sir Skyfall) motivated the PSI rider to do well in Warendorf with Fior.
He steered the Fürstenball x Sandro Hit stallion — who was sold to Gestüt Ammerland for €350,000 (£321,000) at the 2015 PSI Auction fresh from bronze at the 2015 Bundes championat— to score 9.5 for trot, 8.5 for walk and canter, 8.5 for submission and 9.5 for general impression in the final here.
This was after coming second in the qualifying round behind another Fürstenball offspring, Flambeau 136 (ridden by AnneKathrin Pohlmeier).
Frederic and Fior impressed particularly in the trot work, which was flowing, cadenced and balanced, with mouth-watering half-passes and transitions, and an equally striking, uphill canter, only marred by one less-than-
perfect flying change.
The overall picture the combination presented was to die for; the dark bay stallion was always in self-carriage, up in the bridle and light in the contact.
“For me, this is a first victory in Warendorf — something
I never dared to dream of,” said Frederic. “But Fior is in great form and I had a good feeling on the morning of the final.”
The silver medal went to Forbes 7 (Fidertanz x Rohdiamant) ridden by Spanish rider Borja Carrascosa Martinez — who used to ride Fior as a four-year-old — while the bronze went to experienced young horse producer Kira Wulferding and the Westfalian mare Brianna (Bvlgari x Rohdiamant).
IN the younger age classes, the four-year-old mares and geldings title went to the Sir Donnerhall
I x Fürst Heinrich mare Candy OLD, ridden by Hermann Gerdes, while the stallion title in the same age category was awarded to the Hanoverian Devonport III (Dancier x Ravallo) and Rieke Schnieder.
Both horses cemented their wins in the preliminary round with convincing performances under the guest riders.
Finest Selection OLD (Follow Me x Lauries Crusador xx) gave the Lodbergen Stud — also the owners of Dominy — a second gold medal at this year’s championships. Lukas Fischer rode the three-year-old stallion into the winning spot.
The equivalent age class for mares and geldings was won by the Escolar x Sir Donnerhall I mare Eternity, who, under the PSI supremo Eva Möller, was awarded two 10s for both her trot and canter.
Five-year-old champion Dominy steps up in the final to score predominantly nines with Therese Nilshagen
Convincing: Candy OLD (Sir Donnerhall I x Fürst Heinrich) scoops the four-year-old mares and geldings’ sash, ridden by Hermann Gerdes
Cadenced: Fior takes the six-year-old title under Frederic Wandres