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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Germany's Frederic Wandres won the first dressage Short Grand Prix

WELLINGTON, Fla.-Frederic Wandres, the only German in the class, won the FEI World Cup Short Grand Prix on Jan.13 as the Global Dressage Festival opened the winter season in Wellington, Florida.

Frederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD Susan StickleFrederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD (Photo by Susan Stickle)The 12-strong class featured five combinations who scored over 70 percent, but it was Wandres on the 12-year-old Bluetooth OLD, by Bordeaux, who was untouchable and recorded a personal best of 74.158 percent

The class was a qualifier for the FEI World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle, which takes place under the lights on Friday night during the first of the “Friday Night Stars” series.

Female Americans filled the four spots behind Wandres, with Anna Buffini riding her own FRH Davinia La Douce into second, closely followed by Ashley Holzer on Havanna 145.

Wandres’s winning ride, Bluetooth, has been with him for a year, having been previously ridden by German Olympic team gold medalist in eventing, Ingrid Klimke.

Owners Elena Knyaginicheva and Sergey Knyaginichev bought the powerful and elegant Oldenburg gelding at the PSI Auction for €1million as a 3-year-old.

This is the horse’s first trip to Florida.

 

“LAST SEASON I figured out that all the horses who came here and did the season took a lot of experience home with them, which was a big plus for all of them,” said Wandres. “I’m looking forward to the same with Bluetooth.

“He has a super elastic trot and the piaffe and passage have developed really well,” said Wandres. “But he’s a young horse and he’s developed a lot in the important exercises like piaffe and passage since his last show, so I’m happy about that. I am also really happy to be in Wellington; we have spectators back which I really enjoy, and it’s good for the sport.”

“The plan is to do one or two more shows with Bluetooth,” he said. “Bluetooth is for sale, so maybe we’ll find a match for him here, but if not, I’d be very happy to keep him as a second horse to my top horse Duke Of Britain.”

Jennifer Williams rode Millione, te oldest horse in the field by a lot, scored out a new personal best of 72.956 percent at 19 years old to win the Grand Prix CDI4*.

“He was the most relaxed I’ve ever felt him in the ring today,” said Williams of her long-time partner. “I am thrilled with the score; all of 2021 he had pretty much all mistake-free tests, but I didn’t quite capture the harmony and relaxation I was looking for, and today that’s what we captured. I’m so grateful for what ‘Mickey’ has done for me; he’s a heart horse, and I always want him to feel the pride I have in him.”

Williams is not ruling out a start at the World Championships in Denmark in August but is taking things as they come due to the horse’s age.

“This is definitely his last international season,” said Williams, who will contest the CDI4* freestyle during the day on Friday. “It’s important to me that he ends his career on a high note feeling wonderful in his body and his mind, so I don’t want to go past that. But he’s still happy having a good time in his work, and he’s not a horse that’s going to enjoy being left behind.”

Seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén, who is no stranger to Wellington, won the day’s final Grand Prix class, the CDI4*, which was a qualifier for the Grand Prix Special with a personal best of71.457 percent on Devanto.

“Last year when we came here I had only just got him, and it was maybe a little bit too early,” said Vilhelmson-Silfvén, who also recorded her first international win with the horse. “Now it all feels so much better and he’s trusting me, so I have much more fun competing now. It’s not only about the results, but about the feeling that he was confident and that he understands me. This was the first time with a little atmosphere that he felt that we were together in the ring.”

“I like his energy but it’s a matter of making sure he uses it to be with me on the same side,” she said. “When he does that, it’s a great feeling. He’s super sensitive and quite hot and before we knew each other I didn’t have such a good cooperation as we do now. It feels good to both be speaking the same language.

 

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