Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 29, 2021 – Riders returned to the International Ring on Friday for the third week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), featuring the CDI4* Grand Prix to qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle. German rider Christoph Koschel dominated the field of riders hoping to qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle to be held on Sunday, taking the victory with a score of 70.065%.
Koschel, aboard Eaton Unitechno, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Unitechno Inc., was pleased with his mount’s electric energy in the arena, and explained that he looked forward to getting him more settled in the ring as the season progresses. Koschel took over the ride on Eaton Unitechno just last year, after Masanao Takahaski campaigned the gelding in Wellington last winter. Koschel made his debut with him in Achleiten, Austria, last July before competing in Le Mans, France, and Oldenburg, Germany, later in the fall with great success. This season in Wellington is their first riding in the International Arena together and gaining experience in the world-class atmosphere that Koschel loves so much.
Finishing in second place was Candadian rider Lindsay Kellock and Sebastien, her 15-year-old Rheinlander gelding, earning 68.739%. The pair first made their debut in the CDI ring together in 2019, making improvements along the way and earning their personal best Grand Prix Freestyle score of 75.88% in last year’s AGDF. They finished out the winter season last year by helping Canada win the silver medal in CDIO5* Nations Cup.
Michael Klimke of Germany completed the top three for the day, earning a score of 65.435% on Harmony’s Diablo, an 11-year-old Hannoverian gelding owned by Harmony Sporthorses.
Competition will resume at the AGDF on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 8 a.m. with the Prix St. Georges for Amateurs. The CDI4* Grand Prix Special will take place on Saturday starting at 12:45 p.m., and the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle will take place on Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
Results: CDI4* Grand Prix (for the Freestyle)
1. Christoph Koschel / GER / Eaton Unitechno / 70.065
2. Lindsay Kellock / CAN / Sebastien / 68.739
3. Michael Klimke / GER / Harmony’s Diablo / 65.435
4. Guenter Seidel / USA / Equirelle / 63.391
5. Ivo Juhrend / NED / Cover Girl / 62.717
6. Jaron Verheij / NED / Dutch D-Day / 62.435
7. Joanne Vaughan / GEO / Al Martino 10 / 61.348
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Christoph Koschel – CDI4* Grand Prix (for Freestyle) winner
On his ride:
“He felt a bit spicy today, honestly. I’m glad the horse was really expressive, but for sure we can do better so this is definitely something we want to improve on. The horse has already been to some really nice competitions, but the atmosphere right now is a little chilly and now the sun is going down. He knows the arena from last year, but he was a little scared and not completely with me. I was really happy, but I hope we can do better in the future.”
On Eaton Unitechno:
“I think he was pretty good in the passage to the piaffe — it was really high off the ground and it’s more the small things like a good halt and a little bit more concentration. Especially in the canter, he felt quite tight and really wanted to go but I like that better than a lazy horse. So now it’s about getting this positive power under control. We had mistakes like the zigzag and the piaffe was not the best. We can still do a lot better.
“He belongs to one of my Japanese teammates because I am the coach for the Japanese team. He gave me the ride on this horse because he has a second horse and this horse was a little spicy here last year for him. So he said it might be good for me to take over the ride and that was really kind. For me it’s a nice ride, so I’m very happy about that.”
On his plans for the season:
“We want to get as much experience as we can get, and I’m looking forward to my first freestyle with him on Sunday. When he feels good, I want to keep competing and see where we end up. I think he can do much better with less tension and a little bit more suppleness, but that horse was really eager to work and he’s a happy athlete.”