Bettina Hoy has the lead in both classes at the conclusion of the dressage phase at Luhmühlen. She leads the CCI4* on Designer 10 with a score of 36, and keeps the lead she established on the first day of the CIC3* with Signeur Medicott, on 26.3.
Bettina, from Germany, has a great reputation in the dressage phase but has also enjoyed plenty of success in other phases, including winning here before on Ringwood Cockatoo in 2005. The triple Olympian, aged 54, divides her time between competing, caring for her elderly parents and training the Dutch eventing team.
In second place in the CCI4* class behind Bettina and her 13-year-old Westphalian gelding Designer 10 is Julia Krajewski (GER) with Samurai du Thot (37.10), followed by American Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous (38.00) in third.
“Designer was really relaxed today,” says Bettina. “I was a little annoyed about the small fault we had in the first extended trot, but otherwise he felt great. In fact, the last trot was so good I almost forgot to halt for the final salute!“ Bettina commented on how much Designer has been progressing in the last couple of years and says dressage trainer Sebastian Heinze played a major part in that. “He is very good in understanding the horse and what it needs to improve.“
Julia Krajewski said she had a great day with both horses today. “Sam was really concentrating on the job and his trot tour was the best we have had so far. Unfortunately, we had a little hiccup in the last flying change, which might have cost us a few points. Riding in front of such a big stage is a challenge and I am very proud how my two have coped with it today.”
New Zealand riders are all currently in the bottom half of the field after the dressage, on relatively inexperienced horses at this level. Andrew Nicholson is the best of the Kiwis, scoring 52.10 on Teseo for 29th place.
Caroline Powell’s Sinatra Frank Baby scored 53.7 and is 32nd. Caroline is also 38th on Spice Sensation, on a score of 56.6. She will be the first out on the cross-country track tomorrow on Spice Sensation and last to go on Sinatra Frank Baby. Tim Rusbridge finished in 45th place with Oneforthenotebook, on a score of 62.2.
Australian Katja Weimann on BP Flamboyant put up a good score of 46.5 to lie 15th, and Shane Rose’s score of 48.7 on Virgil has put him in 22nd place after dressage. There are 48 starters in the CCI4* class.
Michael Jung, the clear leader in the FEI Classics series, is not riding in the four-star at Luhmühlen, but Maxime Livio (FRA), currently second in the standings and winner of Pau and runner-up to Jung at Kentucky, is, and he is sitting in 12th on Opium de Verrieres. Badminton winner Andrew Nicholson is currently in third on the Classics leaderboard.
CIC*** Meßmer Trophy
Nobody could beat Bettina and Seigneur Medicott’s amazing score of 26.3 recorded on the first day in the CIC*** Meßmer Trophy. Ingrid Klimke came closest with both her horses: Horseware Hale Bob OLD is on 31.30 and Weisse Düne on 32.70.
The Germans are looking very strong in this class, chasing national honours, as closely behind Bettina and Ingrid is Michael Jung in fourth and seventh with Star Connection and fischerRocana FST. Julia Krajewski riding Chipmunk FRH is equal fourth with Michael, and Sandra Auffarth with Opgun Louvo is sixth.
Australia’s Emma McNab has finished in tenth place after dressage on a score of 40.5 with Fernhill Tabasco.
Comments on the cross-country
Andrew Hoy: This year’s course is definitely the best course yet. Everything looks stunning and very well built into the landscape. I am a little sad not to be riding this year, but I am here to coach the Spanish team and doing both would not have been fair on either of us. Next year, I’ll definitely be back competing, though.”
Chris Bartle: “The course is impressive, very beautifully presented. It starts off flowing nicely to give the horses the chance to get going. Then there are some good technical questions, but always with clear lines. The course is not as challenging as some of the other four-star-courses we know, but is a great track to get used to riding at four-star level. The Meßmer water complex is a challenge not to be underestimated, it’ll be interesting to see who will choose the direct route.”
Anna Siemer: “The new course looks fantastic. You can tell right from the start, that things are different. Even the start box has been moved, which I think is nicer for the horses. I think the course will ride nicely flowing and all questions seem clear and fair.”
Andreas Dibowski: “The three-star-course is very inviting with some clearly defined questions. I am confident that even young horses will be able to have a good run tomorrow. However, the water complex in Luhmühlen is always a challenge and needs to be ridden with thought and accuracy.”
Andreas Dibowski: “The four-star-course is nicely built with many straightforward tasks for horses and riders. I think the middle part will make staying within the optimum time tricky, as there are quite a few loops, which are time-consuming. Further, I think there are a few too many drops on this course, which could have been avoided.”
Bettina Hoy: “The course is nice, but then I really like Mike’s courses. He always asks clear questions, which makes riding so much more pleasurable for horse and rider. I think it was a good move to have the change. I am sure we will all enjoy tomorrow’s cross-country, but time could be an issue. The many loops will make it hard to stay within the optimum time.”
Julia Krajewski: “I think the cross-country looks very different this year. With a lot of technical challenges, horse and rider need to concentrate all the way round. There are quite a few drops, which might break up the rhythm. The water jumps are as challenging as ever. Time might be a problem, but there are quite few stretches where you can make up time.”