Schneider
Tangos
to Victory

11 December 2017

Schneider’s score of 83.42 became the one to beat as the final competitors entered the arena

Dorothee Schneider of Germany triumphed in the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle this weekend in Salzburg, Austria, combining challenging choreography set to tango music with beautiful artistic interpretation.

 

On her 11-year-old DSP gelding Sammy Davis, Jr., Schneider managed consistently high technical marks with difficult canter work and no joker line as a safety net in her programme to repeat any mistakes in her elements and raise her percentages.

 

Schneider’s score of 83.42 became the one to beat as the final competitors entered the arena. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, also of Germany, finished second in this leg of qualifying events heading towards the finals in Paris in 2018. Her score of 81.57 reflected her quick corrections during a bit of a difficult ride on distracted mount Unee Bb as well as a programme with a high degree of difficulty.

 

Rounding out the podium at third place was Daniel Bachmann-Andersen of Denmark, new to the World Cup level of international competition, but a competitor to watch in the future. Bachmann-Andersen turned in an elegant ride with superb collection, especially in his transitions, with a continuous sense of movement throughout his choreography for a score of 80.38.

Schneider managed
consistently high
technical marks

Henry showed what an art form Grand Prix freestyle can be in the right hands

At this tier of competition, all the entrants have moments worth noting during their tests. Fourth place finisher Fabienne Lütkemeier  of Germany (79.22%) gave a dramatic performance with challenging choreography to music from the film “Gladiator” that showed her horse’s high lift in passage and piaffe to perfection.

 

Agnete Kirk-Thinggaard from Denmark also rode a lovely test, using unique choreography and music that suited her Hungarian-bred horse well for a score of 76.41 and a fifth place finish.

 

Ludovic Henry of France, in sixth place, was one a few riders who utilised a medley of pop tunes for a crisp, finished ride and a score of 75.64. The upbeat, percussive accompaniment complemented his horse’s movement qualities well and showed what an art form Grand Prix freestyle can be in the right hand.

 

 

 

“Bachmann-Andersen turned in an elegant ride with superb collection”

Truppa included 18 one-time changes

Austria’s Belinda Weinbauer (74.85, seventh place) used cinematic-style music to showcase her horse’s huge canter and ground-covering extended trot.

 

Valentina Truppa of Italy wound up at number eight in the competition with a score of 72.88. Not one to shy away from challenge, having survived a kick to the face that left her in a coma in 2015, Truppa offered up a highly technical programme and included 18 one-time changes -- more than the required number for this difficult element.

 

The level of competition just keeps getting higher as the World Cup events get closer to finals in Paris, where last year’s champion Isabell Werth will be defending her title. Will any of these outstanding competitors unseat her? Judging from the performances in Salzburg this weekend, the potential is certainly there.

 

 

Written by Patricia Salem

Images by FEI/Daniel Kaiser