Nice Britain Takes the Lead on Opening Day at Riesenbeck

Carl Hester and Fame. (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)

Nice Britain took the early lead within the workforce standings on the opening day of the FEI Dressage European Championship 2023 in Riesenbeck, Germany.

A wide ranging Grand Prix efficiency from 56-year-old veteran Carl Hester along with his comparatively new experience, the 13-year-old gelding Fame, earned 78.540 for the most important rating of the day, giving his nation a slim benefit over Germany in second place, whereas Denmark slotted into third.

Austria and Spain, each combating for one of many three workforce spots on provide for the Paris 2024 Olympic Video games, are in in a single day fourth and fifth locations. France and The Netherlands share that fifth place with the Spanish in spite of everything three sides completed on precisely the identical scoreline.

The workforce medals are determined over two days, so one other 33 horse-and-rider combos will compete within the Grand Prix tomorrow earlier than the rostrum locations are confirmed.

Sturdy goal

Mathias Alexander Rath set the primary sturdy goal when placing 74.845 on the board with the stallion Thiago GS. “He felt actually contemporary yesterday on the vet-check; you may see he had a variety of power and a variety of energy. Right now I used to be super-happy how he behaved within the enviornment; it’s a must to keep in mind that he’s simply ten years previous and nonetheless creating and nonetheless firstly of his profession,” the German workforce pathfinder identified.

Daniel Bachmann Andersen and the 12-year-old stallion Vayron then put Denmark on the map when slotting in behind the German pair on a rating of 74.146, regardless of dropping a shoe within the nook of the world on the finish of the ultimate prolonged trot.

“Taking place the centreline he was effective, however then I went exterior and I felt he wasn’t lame, however he felt totally different. The shoe got here clear off and the hoof is ideal, so we simply need to get it again on!” he mentioned afterwards.

He described Vayron as “a really inexperienced horse; he’s in his very first Grand Prix season – I believe this was his eighth Grand Prix in his life.” He mentioned he’s been driving the horse for simply over a 12 months, “and we’ve grown collectively; we needed to discover one another. He was educated by a prime rider (Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg), however with an entire different size of physique and physique power, so I needed to get to know him and we needed to do some issues in a different way. And I needed to give him some present expertise, as he hasn’t been going to many reveals,” the tall Dane defined.

Then Gareth Hughes acquired even nearer to Rath’s rating with a stunning efficiency from the mare Basic Briolinca. After placing 74.565 on the board, the British rider mentioned, “I’m over the moon along with her. I believed it was the most effective exams she’s achieved! Very clear, no actual errors; I used to be barely disenchanted with the mark however so pleased with the mare.” The horse has been a much-loved member of the Hughes household since she was three years of age.

“She’s 17 now and has achieved a number of championships and she or he’s been wonderful for me and wonderful for the workforce,” he added.


As the primary day was drawing to an in depth, the legend that’s Isabell Werth produced a brand new main rating of 77.174 from DSP Qantaz. “I believe it was his finest competitors this 12 months! He was extra relaxed and never combating; it was easy-going, in order that was very nice to really feel.”

The 13-year-old gelding competed within the FEI Dressage World Cup™ collection over the winter months to offer him extra expertise, “and I believe that was fairly useful. After which we had a bit of break… and the subsequent was Aachen,” she defined.

She is absolutely having fun with the services at Riesenbeck. “The venue may be very tremendous; it’s so skilled within the infrastructure, so nice, particularly now on this temperature and with this climate. When the horses are within the stables, it’s cool and the air is contemporary, so the circumstances are excellent.” It has been extraordinarily sizzling all week, with temperatures reaching over 30 levels C.

Werth was adopted into the ring by Andreas Helgstrand and the extravagant younger stallion Jovian who slotted into fifth behind Hughes and pushed Bachmann Andersen all the way down to sixth when posting 74.410.

The Danish pair was late into the warm-up enviornment as a result of Jovian misplaced a shoe, however neither horse nor rider misplaced their cool.

“He’s a horse you want an enormous driving licence for!” Helgstrand mentioned. Jovian was very filled with himself this morning, so he took him for a stroll.

“My technique was to get him to relax so I might present that stroll (within the check) and the stroll was there. I couldn’t make it pretty much as good as I wished in piaffe and passage, however on the finish of the day I’m completely satisfied. He’s a dream horse, and in yet one more 12 months he might be very, very good!” he added.


Third-last to go, Carl Hester then put Nice Britain out in entrance with a master-class within the artwork of horsemanship. “If I by no means did one other check once more, it could be a stunning one to complete on!” mentioned the six-time Olympian, after placing 78.540 on the board with Fame for the most important rating of the opening day, and with a check that had the group roaring in appreciation because the pair moved into their last halt.

“I completely love this horse. I worship driving him. I look ahead to driving him day by day!” he mentioned of the 13-year-old gelding that was previously competed by team-mate Fiona Bigwood, however who was supplied to Hester on the finish of final 12 months because of her busy life filled with household commitments. “She at all times mentioned this one’s for you when she was driving him, and she or he was proper; it was love at first experience!” Hester mentioned.

He described Fame as “very spicy and sizzling” and “a full-time job. It’s not only a case of get on him. He’s within the discipline all day, he’s a stallion, he goes out all day in his paddock, and it’s a must to handle him so he relaxes.

“He’s the type of horse I really like, a bit quirky and sizzling however great and sort. You want somebody who has time to experience a horse like that… he needs to go, however he’s the kindest individual within the secure and with kids and different horses… there’s not been a morning since January after I haven’t thought I can’t wait to get on him!” he mentioned.

Stands tallest

In the meantime, within the race for Olympic qualification, it’s Staff Austria that stands tallest, their prime rating of 71.724 from Florian Bacher and Fidertraum OLD giving them the sting over the Spanish who additionally posted two 70 p.c scores, the most effective of which got here from Alejandro Sánchez del Barco with the charming PRE stallion Quincallo de Indalo, who earned a mark of 71.584.

Will probably be fairly one thing if Austria can reach taking one of many Olympic slots in Dressage this week, simply days after their Leaping workforce earned their ticket to Paris subsequent 12 months in opposition to all the chances on the FEI Leaping European Championship 2023 in Milan (ITA).

Florian Bacher believes they’ll do it. “It’s trying fairly good!” he mentioned after his spectacular experience with the 14-year-old Fidertraum, who’s competing in his fifth championship.

Startlists and Outcomes right here.

by Louise Parkes

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *