It was the second day of competition for the FEI Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup™ CDIO3* at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), and the team from Germany took home their first-ever gold medal at the Wellington Nations Cup with 448.568% on Thursday, March 18. A hairsbreadth behind for the silver medal was the team from the United States, who earned 448.381%. Canada was awarded the bronze medal with 437.071%.
First in the ring for the Germans was Michael Klimke piloting Domino 957, Uwe Kappel’s 2012 Westphalian mare by Den Haag, to a score of 68.000% in the FEI Intermediaire I CDIO3*, which ultimately became the drop score for the team.
“First I want to say thank you to the organizers,” said Klimke. “It’s a very difficult time with the pandemic and the outbreaks, and the show has gone on perfectly organized. We all come from Germany and there is [no competition] going on there, so a big thanks from the German riders, the German team, and the German federation to the organizers. We are very, very happy to be sitting here.”
Klimke, who was also serving as the team’s Chef d’Equipe, noted the strength of the other three riders he was leading. “We have three top riders here. My mare was a little tired but the other three did a super, super job, and it was so close and we are more than happy that Germany won. Christoph and I have been here for eight years, and Germany has never won. Normally the Germans are only winning in Germany, so it makes us more happy and more proud.”
Kevin Kohmann rode Equitas LLC’s 2010 KWPN stallion by Amazing Star, Five Star, to two solid finishes in the Nations Cup classes on Wednesday and Thursday, concluding the FEI Intermediaire I CDIO3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm with a score of 74.206%.
“I’m super proud to represent Germany once again,” he explained. “Five Star just hasn’t let me down all season. Yesterday was his high score in the Prix St. Georges, so it felt especially good to do that with the team here with me. Super proud, super happy.”
It was Frederic Wandres’ first time competing in the FEI Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup™ CDIO3* at AGDF, and he also posted two strong scores for his team aboard Quizmaster, Hof Kasselmann’s 2012 Hanoverian stallion by Quasar de Charry, riding to a 76.529% in the FEI Intermediaire I CDIO3*.
Of his first North American Nations Cup experience, Wandres said, “I am very happy with my horse. He also put in two super rounds. Today he was very concentrated, and we were able to achieve a high score. I am very proud to compete here in the Nations Cup. I did some in Europe, but here in America, the Americans also had a super team, so I am more proud that we are here now.”
Last to go for the team was anchor rider Christoph Koschel, who was also the only team member to contest the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm. Riding Eaton Unitechno, Unitechno Inc’s 2009 KWPN gelding by Wynton, the pair was the deciding factor after earning a score of 73.000% from judges.
“I didn’t know what percentage I needed,” admitted Koschel, “and they didn’t tell me thank God! I heard that Adrienne’s [Lyle] score was high, and the others were very good, too. First I was coaching Ben Ebeling on the USA team, and that was very exciting as a trainer, and then I knew that I had to ride even more for our team.”
Koschel joked, “I had a really good start there, and everyone knows how expensive it is when you canter in the half-pass, so after that I knew that I wasn’t allowed to make any more mistakes. My horse can be pretty sharp and is still a little green, but we really had to stay clear and it worked out well. At the end of the day it was very close, and we are very proud.”
AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur concluded, “ I think it’s very important to start the FEI Nations Cup series here in Wellington. We are happy to start the season here, and I hope that the other CDIOs in Europe will go on.”
Missing the gold medal by only two-tenths of a percent was the team from the United States, consisting of Katherine Bateson Chandler on Alcazar, Benjamin Ebeling on Illuster Van De Kampert, Adrienne Lyle on Harmony’s Duval, and Jennifer Williams on Millione.
Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald was proud of her team, half of whom had never ridden in a senior Nations Cup before.
“I can always expect our team to deliver,” she said. “We have two more or less rookies in their first Nations Cup and two that have been there several times. Today we were one-two-three in the Grand Prix. The Germans did a very good job. More than half of their team was Small Tour. It was an amazing competition and an exciting ending. I congratulate the Germans, and I’m so proud of Team USA.”
Canada finished with the bronze medal with 437.071%, while Australia was fourth on 391.089%.
Full results here.
Final Team Results: FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm:
1. Germany – 448.568%
Michael Klimke (GER) on Domino 957
Kevin Kohmann (GER) on Five Star
Christoph Koschel (GER) on Eaton Unitechno
Frederic Wandres (GER) on Quizmaster
2. United States of America – 448.381%
Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA) on Alcazar
Benjamin Ebeling (USA) on Illuster Van De Kampert
Adrienne Lyle (USA) on Harmony’s Duval
Jennifer Williams (USA) on Millione
3. Canada – 437.071%
Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu (CAN) on All In
Lindsay Kellock (CAN) on Sebastien
Naima Moreira Laliberte (CAN) on Statesman
Chris Von Martels (CAN) on Eclips
4. Australia – 391.089%
Sally Lofting (AUS) on Quinlan CF
Hope Beerling (AUS) on Alpha HM
Kelly Layne (AUS) on Samhitas