By Claartje van Andel and Agata Grosicka
Ermelo, the Netherlands is the place to be if you want to get a closer look at the best young dressage horses in the world and to see which breeds and bloodlines are the most favorable and the most successful at the moment. Riders, breeders, dressage fans – they all gather around the dressage arena in Ermelo to watch the moves, gaits and performances of the best horses in five-six- and seven-year-old tests.
So, who conquered Ermelo this year, who will return in 2019, bringing another year of training and experience under their girth?
The youngest age group: 5yo
When Andreas Helgstrand and his magnificent grey Westfalian stallion Revolution (Rocky Lee x Rouletto) finished their victorious presentation in the five-year-old test, the whole audience momentarily lapsed into silence, then spontaneously rewarded the couple with a standing ovation. The jury was also impressed with the performance awarding them a 9.62 total: 9.80 for trot, 9.00 for walk, 10.00 for extremely powerful, balanced and uphill canter, 9.30 for submission and 10.00 for future prospect. One member of the jury, Maria Colliander, complemented the stallion by calling him “a true rock star and a real powerhouse”. Revolution was bred by Yesemin Yanik and is jointly owned by Hanni Kasprzak and Helgstrand Dressage. According to Andreas Helgstrand: “This one is special to me He has such a nice character, it is out of this world. I previously owned the triple world champion Sezuan when he was the same as Revolution right now, but I think Revolution is even more complete.” He continued by adding; “This year the show is of a very high level. The breeding is moving up, the judging is better and we are looking here at the horses that will be more complete in the future.”
The runner up was a Hannoverian stallion Destacado (Desperados x Londonderry) presented by Matthias Alexander Rath. He received 10.00 for his fantastic walk, that was both energetic and relaxed, for an overall total of 9.48. His walk was so ideal that the judges’ presenter, Mariette Sanders, said; “If it were possible, I would have given him 11 for the walk.” His canter was rewarded with 9.40, trot with 8.90, and 9.70 for prospects.
The bronze medal went to the very elegant mare, Candy OLD (Sir Donnerhall x Fürst Heinrich) and Eva Möller, with a total score of 9.38. The mare may not have the power of the stallions, yet all her gaits were very rhythmical, energetic and light-footed. “A beautiful, charismatic ballerina” as judge Colliander described her, after receiving 9.70 for prospects and 9.40 for submission, trot 9.80, walk 8.80 and 9.40 for canter. The horse was bred by Paul Wendeln and is owned by Hilde and Paul Wendeln...
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