The Oldenburger stallion Zucchero OLD is the new world champion of the six-year-old horses. After the qualification of the Longines FEI/WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships for Young Horses, the Zonik-son grabbed the lead and Frederic Wandres hold on to that position in the final test. The by Hans-Heinrich Brühning bred stallion (ds.Prince Thatch xx) just missed out on a podium last year, but in the meantime he developed further to seize the gold today. Frederic Wandres was over the moon: “For me, this is a special feeling. I have been present in Ermelo every year, and I knew this was my last chance to win here. Zucchero is a special horse, our relationship is super strong, and I know him inside out. On the days before coming to Ermelo, I rode him on the racetrack, without a saddle. Just to keep him fresh and supple. This horse is easy to train and has a natural talent for the passage and piaffe. My goal to keep him happy and healthy up to Grand Prix-level.”
Christoph Hess, spokesman of the jury, praised the stallion of Star Horses: “This horse nears perfection and comes the closest to what we want to see at this level. What an incredible trot, with lots of self-carriage and impulsion, even in the lateral work: 9.7. The walk is relaxed, spacious and through the whole body: a 9.4. In the canter, he covers a lot of ground and he shows a lovely natural balance. All four changes were correct and straight. The canter is so elastic and supple, it nears perfection: a 9.7. The submission gets a 9.7 and the perspective of this fantastic horse deserves a 9.8. Congratulations to Frederic Wanders!”
Thus, it was Zucchero that was honored as world champion. The score of 9.66 placed him just ahead of Andreas Helgstrand, for whom it is the second day to have two horses in the top 3. The reigning world champion Revolution (WESTF – Rocky Lee x Rouletto, bred by Yanik Yasemin) grabbed silver this time, receiving the ultimate 10 for his expressive trot. Hess: “Andreas displayed us some riding on a very high level. Have a look at the walk, it is so relaxed yet active, with a nice stretch in the neck: a 9. The trot is always in the right rhythm and leaves nothing to be desired: a 10. The canter has an amazing natural balance, a 9.6. The weakest part today were the changes, which brings the submission down to an 8.8. But wow, what a horse! He gets a 9.8 for perspective.”
The total score of 9.44 for Revolution meant Andreas bested his previous score of 9.34 with Zhaplin Langholt, like Zucchero a son of Zonik N.O.P. Charlotte Jorst bought the gelding at Helgstrand last October. When the she brought the horse to Europe this summer, Andreas suggested to prepare Zhaplin Langholt (ds.Stedinger, bred by Ole Magnus Jensen & Bente Graasboll) for the world championships. “I had to convince her, but luckily I did because this horse has so much quality and I have so much confidence in his abilities. I am very proud of him!” The eye-catching gelding received a 9.8 for his expressive trot. “Andreas never over asked and the smooth transitions show exactly how much talent this horse has to collect.” In the walk, he could show a bit more overtrack, an 8.3. The uphill canter was elastic and balanced, a 9.5. The 9.4 for submission and 9.7 for perspective secured the bronze.
President of the jury Annette Fransen-Iacobaeus felt it was an honour to judge at these world championships: “Especially in the final we have seen so many fantastic horses, the top was certainly well-matched. A special thanks to the riders, for presenting their horses in such a harmonious manner.”