By Claartje van Andel

It was no surprise that German won the dressage Nations Cup in Aachen, however, new pairs also claimed the spotlight, bringing big smiles to the faces of Dutch Dinja van Liere and young British rider Charlotte Fry – riding for the Dutch Van Olst stables.

For the German dressage team it was a 39th win at Aachen-Soers: “When everyone is expecting you to win, you really have to perform,” said German chef d’equipe Monica Theodorescu. The German team included Isabell Werth/Quantaz (Quaterback x Hohenstein 4); Jessica von Bredow-Werndl/Ferdinand BB (Florencio 2 x Lanciano); Frederic Wandres/Duke of Britain (Dimaggio x Rubinstein); and Carina Scholz/Tarantino (Toronto x Carbid). For Frederic Wandres, however, a childhood dream came true; competing in Aachen and winning alongside Isabell Werth: “I have dreamt of being in a prize-giving team photo with Isabell since I was a child.” He made that happen after two very strong performances in the CDIO5* riding his top horse Duke of Britain. This year saw Wandres’s debut in Aachen, and he made the most of it. In addition to Duke of Britain, he also competed with high scores in the CDI4* Tour with Bluetooth OLD (Bordeaux 28 x Riccione) and claimed victory in the Intermédiaire I riding his young horse, Quizmaster. His performances were rewarded with the PIAFF Prize of the Liselott Schindling Foundation, awarded to the best dressage rider at CHIO Aachen 2021. An amazing première.
There were more amazing premières in Aachen with second place in the Nations Cup going to the Netherlands. With her surprising GP win scoring 78.22%, Dinja van Liere riding Joop van Uytert’s stallion Hermes (Easy Game x Flemmingh) made a major contribution to the team. It was her first time competing for the Dutch team, and being rewarded with the best international result so far achieved by an only nine-year-old KWPN stallion was very special.
This result was some consolation for van Liere, who was team nominated for the Tokyo 2020 Games. However, Hermes was mistakenly registered with the FEI as being German-owned, and horses must be proprietor registered to the nation for whom they’re competing by a certain date, which put an end to Dinja’s Olympic dream. Incidentally, the pair have a rather unconventional trainer, the Western coach Rieky Young, who also taught Olympian Anky van Grunsven, the basics of Western riding. Van Liere adds: “The special thing about her, is that she really has a feeling for horses. It doesn’t matter whether one rides dressage, jumping, or Western.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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