06-08-2023 door Ermelo YH

After three solid performances, My Toto (Glock’s Toto Jr. x Voice) and Hans Peter Minderhoud clinched the gold in the world championship for six-year-old horses. The KWPN gelding produced a score of 88.6%. Vitalos (Vitalis x De Niro) and Leonie Ruchter swayed to a silver position. The bronze medal was bestowed on Zuperman OLD (Galleria’s Vincent Maranello x Destano) and Beatrice Hoffrogge that scored 87.2%.

After the qualification on Friday the black powerhouse, owned by Aat Both and Lida Both-Van Loef and Miga Horses, had to settle for the 17th position. Their win in the Small Final granted the Dutch combination the opportunity to return on Sunday, Being the first duo to enter the ring this class and immediately set the bar high. My Toto gave a convincing performance which earned him a 9.5 for the canter and a 9.0 for perspective, sending his home fans into ecstasy. Chairman Adriaan Hamoen enjoyed the performance of the young talent. “My Toto’s test was the most complete today, he was forward, happy and showed off his exceptionally powerful canter.”

Long wait
Hans Peter Minderhoud says he always had faith in his WC debutant: “I think the jury overlooked his qualities in the qualification, because I was happy with the first test as well. Nevertheless, he went on to win the small final and today he gave me an even better feeling. He is a clever horse that can cope so well with the demanding conditions.” And then the Dutch rider, who had two irons in the fire this final, had to wait and see if his score was enough. “After the test with My Toto I was happy we probably secured a top ten position. After the ride with Massimo, we were sure of a top five ranking and then I stayed in the stables until the last results came in. My Toto absolutely deserves this medal, he really tried his heart out.”

It was also an exciting afternoon for breeder Aat Both. “After retiring as chairman of the organising committee, I was looking forward to a relaxed Sunday. Then this happens! I assure you this is even more nerve-racking. He was the first to go, so it was a waiting game.”

Silver once more
The 2022 silver medalist of the five-year-old horses could cash in another medal of the same colour this edition. The Hanoverian stallion Vitalos, bred by Josef Bramlage and co-owned by Hengsthaltung Helgstrand and Schockemöhle, effortlessly moved to 88.4%, receiving a 9.2 for the trot and 9.0 for perspective. “A horse with a grand future ahead of him thanks to his natural talents”, lauds Ulrike Nivelle. “He moves with abundant balance and shows great aptitude for the collection.” Vitalos already displayed those natural abilities as a foal, according to his breeder: “Unreal! When we sold him as a foal, we already thought he was a super star, a future champion in the making. We still have his full sister for breeding and she will not be sold for any price.”

Best character
Rider Leonie Richter is having a remarkably successful day during which she reached the podium twice. “It is an amazing feeling, I so happy, especially since this horse deserves this result. He does everything for me, he truly has the best character.” The two have been a combination for three years now and are always looking for things to improve. “In my eyes he can do no wrong, but his canter got a lot stronger during the last year. You want to show off the progression, so there is some pressure, but as soon as I am in the saddle of Vitalos, I feel safe.”

Germany’s Beatrice Hoffrogge has a double role when it comes to Zuperman OLD. She is not only the rider, but also the proud owner of this Oldenburger stallion bred by Stefan Tietje. “I was super pleased we advanced to the final. The fact he feels so great on the last day and only got better as the weekend progressed gives me a lot of confidence towards the future”, radiates Hoffrogge. “It is a special feeling to compete in the World Championship with your own horse, but I was not nervous at all. Zuperman is a true show pony.” The combination made great strides in a short period of time, since the dark bay stallion was sidelined by an eye infection for a while. The bronze medalist is now blind to one eye, but that does not affect his performance in the ring. “He is super smart and a fast learner, so I am eagerly looking forward to our future together.”

Not only his owner beams with pride when talking of Zuperman OLD, the breeder is also having a wonderful time in Ermelo. “Indescribable, an extremely emotional experience”, tells the teary-eyed breeder. “A beautiful moment and we are so proud of Zuperman and Bea!” Commentating judge Ulrike Nivelle praised the canter and the perspective of the stallion. “Zuperman is an impressive horse with a bright future ahead. The highlight of his test today was his uphill canter that has a huge jump and great rhythm to it.”

Picture: Dirk Caremans