The last final of the Longines FEI/WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships for Young Horses was that of the seven-year-olds. The Hannoverian talent d’Avie (Don Juan de Hus x Londonderry) extended his word title with the Spanish Severo Jurado Lopez. The eye-catching chestnut stallion secured the fifth gold medal for Severo, by scoring 85.107% in the final. President of the jury Arthur Gardner: “D’Avie has wonderful, expressive trot in which he always covers a lot of ground: a 9.4. The rhythmic walk improved in the collective walk and in the extended work we look for a bit more groundcover, but it is clear in rhythm and quality: an 8.8. The canter has tremendous scope, a lot of airtime, swinging rhythm and so much expression. A couple of interruptions had more to do with the submission than the quality, so a 10 for canter and an 8.8 for submission. It is clear that this horse has a wonderful future ahead of him, so a 9.5 for perspective.” Thus, another world title for a horse ridden by Severo. “Of course, I felt pressure to defend my title, especially if the competition comes so close. Still, I really enjoyed myself. My dream is to continue with the education d’Avie and keep riding him to the highest level, like I do with Fiontini.” The breeder of d’Avie, Dorothee Heitmüller, was present in Ermelo and admitted to be on the edge of her seat during the final. “D’Avie did so well and I thought he would receive higher scores, but it was so close! As a breeder,it is wonderful to see a horse you bred do so well. On Friday and today I drove all the way down here just to watch his performance. D’Avie was born in late June, so he was too young to bring him to any foal shows. Therefore, I brought d’Avie to a friend for rearing and he advised me to take him to the stallion show. As a foal, he was good but not spectacular. It was when he was trained on the lunge for the stallion show, that he started to show off. This year, a full sister was born. Again, a chestnut! I am very excited how she will develop in the future.”
The silver was obtained by the expressive Hesselhoej Donkey Boy – DWB (Era Dancing Hit x Milan, bred by Dorthe Og Hans Jørgen Hoeck) and Jan Møller Christensen (Germany). Two years ago, pair won bronze in the five-year-old final, this year it was silver for the alluring stallion of Equi Stallions Aps C/o Husen Advoka, thanks to the two 10s he received for walk and perspective. Arthur Gardner: “We are spoilt this afternoon with the quality of the horses and Hesselhoej Donkey Boy is one of them. He has an exceptional trot with lots of freedom in the shoulder and elasticity: a 9.5. All we have available for the walk is a 10: he has such a huge overtrack and he could still keep up the quality in the transitions and the collective work. The canter is uphill, balanced and expressive but had a few inconsistencies, a 9. The few blips reflect on the submission, an 8.7, but certainly do not influence our opinion of the quality of the horse. Hesselhoej Donkey Boy is a real athlete, with tremendous scope and talent: a 10 for perspective.” The score for the technical component of the test cost the stallion the gold. Jan Møller: “One rank higher than two years ago, I think Donkey Boy has become a lot stronger since last year. Too bad I made a stupid mistake, I am still very happy with his performance.
The by Christine Arns-Krogmann bred Total Hope (Totilas out of Weihegold) obtained the bronze with a total score of 84.250%. Ridden by Isabel Freese, the black stallion put his endless quality on display and put on an effortless performance. Arthur Gardner: “We have enjoyed the test of this combination. The stallion has a lot of cadence in the trot, a 9.2. His walk has good acitivity and a clear four-beat, although he was a bit hesitant in the collective work, an 8.5. The canter left our jaws hanging open: uphill, expressive, balanced. It really takes your breath away, a 10. It was a fluent test with only some minor issues, an 8.8 for submission and finally a 9.5 for perspective.”
President of the jury, Ulrike Nivelle, was happy with the quality of the seven-year-olds. “It is not always easy to judge this class, in which the quality, assessed by two jury members, of the horses is so closely together and has to be combined to the technical score, examined by two other jury members separately. But we really enjoyed ourselves today. The quality of the horses was truly fantastic!”
The prizegiving ceremony of the third world champion marked the end of the fourth edition of the world championships in Ermelo. Aat Both, chairman of the organization committee:“First of all, I would like to congratulate all the medal winners! Also, a big compliment to the riders, that presented these young talents very well on such an impressive stage. At the world championships for young horses it is of great importance that we see trust and harmonious interaction between the rider and horse. This was certainly the case! For the past few days, we have enjoyed exciting battles between excellent dressage talents. The jury awarded several 10s, which indicates the high level we have seen in the arena.
An event such as the FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses cannot be organized without sponsors. Thanks to our partners Longines, the Province of Gelderland and Anemone Horsetrucks, we have been able to organize a well-rounded event. We would also like to thank our staff and volunteers for their dedication into making it a festive fourth edition.Next year, the Longines FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships is organized in the German Verden. Thus, it returns to the grounds it called home for many years before it came to ‘our’ Ermelo. However, we look tothe future. In 2021, we hope to pick up where we left off and strive to welcome world’s best young horses in the Netherlands again.”
Organiser Joris Kemperman also looks back on the event with satisfaction: “This year we had over 170 competing horses, representing 22 countries and 21 studbooks. In these four days, we could welcome approximately 21.000 visitors. For me, this edition had two highlights. The first was the the final for the five-year-olds. Of course, we have been spoilt with top quality and world’s best horses in all three age categories. However, the 5-year-old class is always a special one, since a new generation of talents is introduced. Yesterday’s final, featuring the clash of the titans Secret and Jovian, was breathtaking! The second was the gold medal for Frederic Wandres in the six-year-old class. Two years ago, he was awarded bronze in the prize giving ceremony, only to lose that medal when a mistake was discovered in the scores. It was great to see him so happy with his victory today.”
Next year, the world championships will be held in Verden, Germany. Both Verden and Ermelo have handed in their bid at the FEI for the 2021, 2022, 2023 world championships. Kemperman: “We expect the decision of the FEI to follow in November and of course we hope we may host these phenomenal championships again. Hopefully, we may again welcome all the competitors and the dressage enthusiasts in Ermelo in 2021 and the years after.”