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

Horse & Hound - - Breeding - By SE­LENE SCARSI

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).

AYE CANDY

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

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