Leipzig, Germany – April 8, 2022 – No stranger to the podium, superstar Olympic and European gold medalist Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and 15-year-old mare TSF Dalera BB (GER) took the win in the FEI World Cup Final Short Grand Prix on Thursday with a staggering 84.793%.
The weekend marks the final competition before von Bredow-Werndl, who is now six months pregnant, takes pause from riding to have her baby. Von Bredow-Werndl hopes to go out with a bang in Saturday’s freestyle, which she considers a highlight. “I think Dalera does too, she feels the rhythm, she knows it’s her music and maybe that gives her even more confidence. It still feels like she’s improving and always giving 100% and when there are mistakes it’s because of me. She’s always on fire and always willing to do her very best”.
Second place honors went to Cathrine Dufour and Vamos Amigos, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding. Despite his relative inexperience in comparison to her Olympic mount, Bohemian, Vamos Amigos expertly handled the electric atmosphere of the ring, taking a 80.019% to position her just behind von Bredow-Werndl. “I was surprised and super happy with his performance,” Dufour commented. “He was really on fire in the ring and the audience started clapping in the first extension and I thought ‘No!’ because he had legs everywhere! But he’s only done a few indoor shows so the fact that he kept his mind in the right place and performed like he did today that is really fantastic!”
Rounding out the top three with a score of 79.756% was three-time FEI World Cup Final champions Isabell Werth and her longtime partner, 17-year-old Weihegold OLD. This is sure to be an emotional weekend for Werth, as her mare will be retiring from competition after Saturday night’s freestyle. Werth commented, “I hope we can show a very good test like she deserves, and it will be pleasure to be here with a loud crowd in a competition. I think it’s just great to retire her not in an empty arena, she really deserves this atmosphere, so I’m really looking forward to it and I will try to enjoy it. And of course I have the pressure of showing her as best as possible, more than ever before because it is the last one!”
The USA’s Holzer and Havanna 145 received a personal best 72.519% from the panel in their first championship appearance together as a combination, while Anna Buffini and FRH Divinia La Douce earned a 69.342% with both pairs looking to show off their freestyle choreography on Saturday evening under the lights in the Leipzig Messe.
Holzer and Havanna 145, a 15-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Diane Fellows, impressed in their FEI Short Grand Prix test to secure their highest score of their partnership together at Big Tour. Holzer had originally given the ride back to Havanna’s owner, Fellows, before revisiting their partnership after the mare looked fresh and eager to compete at the international level again.
“I’m thrilled. I think for my mare to come and perform like this when she’s never been in an atmosphere like this. She just went in there and tried her absolute hardest and she was just amazing,” said Holzer. “The highlight for me was going clean. It’s such a short test and mistakes are incredibly costly because there’s no time to make it up. I really was focused on going clean.”
Holzer thanked her friend and stand-in coach Katherine Bateson-Chandler for her help this week, as the pair train consistently together at home in Florida and Bateson-Chandler can push Holzer in the right way to get the best out of Havanna.
“She’s amazing and she sees the mare train every day, so she knows how she goes and what we can do. She really knows when to push me and when to not push me and knows how much to push the mare or to not push her and that really was a security blanket because she knows her so well. It’s been a long road to get here with this horse and she’s really just surprised me more and more – I’m just thrilled for everyone involved,” she added.
In their debut FEI Dressage World Cup Final and the first combination to enter down the centerline, Anna Buffini and FRH Davinia La Douce produced a score of 69.342%, a score which Buffini is eager to improve on in Saturday’s Freestyle competition.
“I was happy with a lot of the ride. Something we wanted to prepare we executed on really well and then there were some other things that were tight, and we had a few mistakes, so to come out with a positive feeling and a nice score with things to work on is always a good feeling,” said Buffini. “I’m looking forward to everything about Saturday. If I could only ride Freestyles forever I would. She always kills and I love it,” she smiled.
The FEI Dressage World Cup Final will continue on Saturday, April 9, with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle beginning at 7:10 p.m. GMT+2/1:10 p.m. EST to conclude the 2022 edition of competition.
FEI Short Grand Prix
Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1 . Jessica von Bredow-Werndl / GER / TSF Dalera BB / Béatrice A. Buerchler-Keller / 84.793
2. Cathrine Dufour / DEN / Vamos Amigos / Sarah Pidgley and Cathrine Dufour / 80.019
3. Isabell Werth / GER / Weihegold OLD / Christine Ams-Krogmann / 79.756
4. Nanna Skodborg Merrald / DEN / Atterupgaards Orthilia / Blue Hors Aps / 75.752
5. Carina Cassøe Krüth / DEN / Heiline’s Danciera / Poul Thøgersen / 75.094
6. Helen Langehanenberg / GER / Annabelle / Günther Fielmann / 75.019
7. Patrik Kittel / SWE / Blue Hors Zepter / Blue Hors / 74.662
8. Charlotte Fry / GBR / Dark Legend / Charlotte Fry and van Olst Horses / 73.365
9. Ashley Holzer / USA / Havanna 145 / Diane Fellows / 72.519
10. Morgan Barbançon / FRA / Sir Donnerhall II OLD / Morgan Barbançon and Marie Carmen Mestre Pons / 71.936
11. Yvonne Losos de Muñiz / DOM / Aquamarijn / Yvonne Losos de Muñiz and Sylvia Ines Muniz Losos / 71.617
12. Rodrigo Torres / POR / Fogoso Horsecampline / Rodrigo Torres / 70.977
13. Juan Matute Guimon / ESP / Quantico / Juan Matute/ 70.808
14. Alisa Glinka / MDA / Aachen / Alisa Glinka / 70.639
15. Thamar Zweistra / NED / Hexagon’s Ich Weiss / Stau Hexagon B.V. / 70.583
16. Yessin Rahmouni / MAR / All At Once / Stal 104 BV and Yessir Rahmouni / 69.906
17. Anna Buffini / USA / FRH Davinia la Douce / Anna Buffini / 69.342