By Christopher Hector
Photography: Wilma Frentz
Ermelo is usually an oasis of green, surrounded by trees that are so tall and dense that even during the daytime they can switch your dashboard to its after-dark format. The gardens surrounding the arenas are obsessively manicured – every plant centimetre perfect – and a delicate purple heather covers the encircling rolling hills.
Not this year, as in the rest of Europe, drought has taken its toll, so no one was complaining when it rained (hard) for the first three days of the Championships. But through it all, the horses shone, which was a tribute to the brilliance of the breeders.
There was a time when Grand Prix dressage was in the grip of the worst of the 'spectacular ugliness’. My friend Christoph Hess suggested that the young horse classes with the emphasis on natural movement might lead the way back to sanity. Alas for a while it looked as if these classes had fallen victim to the same disease. This year, however, I’m happy to report the overwhelming majority of tests were marked by tactful, correct horsemanship, that were a delight to watch.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a class more than the five-year-old final, and it even had a heart-warming feel-good result. The winner, the oh-so-elegant Lyngbergs St Paris, was discovered as a two-year-old in the field, by her rider, Victoria E. Vallentin, and her boyfriend, and Victoria has since done all the training. Now Danish couple, Ingrid and Poul Thøgersen have bought into the mare to ensure she stays with her Danish rider.
The mare is by Blue Hors St Schufro, a Grand Prix competitor (first in the Falsterbo four-star with 81.08%) who is by St Moritz Junior, who is by St Moritz (Sandro Hit x De Niro) out of a Wie Weltmeyer x Prince Thatch xx mare. Lyngbergs St Paris, is out of a mare by Blue Hors Rockefeller who is by Rohdiamant, over one of Harli Seifert’s famous mares, Rumirell, making Rockefeller a full-brother to three Grand Prix competitors: Rubin Royal, Romanov, and Rubin Action... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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