WELLINGTON, Fla.--Frederic Wandres of Germany on Bluetooth OLD won the Grand Prix Freestyle by unanimous judge's decision over Ashley Holzer on Valentine on Wednesday, March 15 at the Global Dressage Festival.
Two Grand Prix classes, one of which was a qualifier for the Grand Prix Special and the other for the Grand Prix Freestyle, both were held Friday evening under lights of the International Arena at WEF.
It was the last rider to go in the CDI5* Grand Prix qualifier for freestyle who got the unanimous nod from all five judges with a new career high score in this test.
Germany’s Frederic Wandres rode Bluetooth OLD to 75.63%, with two judges rewarding the ride with over 76%.
Ashley Holzer finished second with 70.935% on Valentine, and Sweden’s seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén on Devanto was third with 70.63%.
The 35-year-old Wandres extended his unbeaten streak on Bluetooth, having recorded five straight victories at this year’s Global Festival and are hoping to make it six when they contest the Freestyle, to new music, on Friday evening.
It will be Bluetooth’s final test at AGDF before he returns to Europe.
“HE FELT a little tired in the last test, so I shortened the warmup by 10 minutes and didn’t ride all the energy out in the warmup,” said Wandres. “We tried to find another way to prepare and it worked out very well today. I had a way better feeling tonight even with a small mistake in the one tempis, which is percentage-wise an expensive mistake. I trust him because now he’s experienced enough to do all the tricks in the arena."
“He really loved it out there," he said. "It’s another venue and the atmosphere is incredible. There were a lot of people and I was very happy to see that. This is a five-star, so everyone is excited. I like being in this arena after a season in the stadium. It’s great experience for the horses to go somewhere else.”
In the CDI5* Grand Prix for Special, Pablo Gómez Molina of Spain had a new personal best, riding Ulises De Ymas to 71.239% at his first ever five-star show.
The 28-year-old Gómez Molina knows the horse inside out, having ridden him all the way up from young horse classes.
They began international grand prix two years ago and this was their third consecutive win this season.
Belgium’s Laurence Vanommeslaghe was second with 70.065% on Havalon, and Morgan Barbançon of France was third with 69.391% on Habana Libre A.
“I’m really excited because I was nervous this week,” said Gómez Molina. “Not because I didn’t think we were ready, but because it’s a five-star. I’m just excited and I want to ride. Once I got on, the nerves all went away."
“Ulises was with me tonight and that’s what I really enjoy. I know there are things I can do better next time but the second passage and piaffe was really nice," he said. "In the canter and extended trots too we were very solid. We are working really good at home and we still see things that we can improve. Everything little by little is coming together and we are able to present the horse better and ride better in the test.”
“With Ulises, the collection was always easy, but at some point we were struggling in the collected movements because he wanted to use himself so much it became tension," he said. "But he wants to work with you, he has a huge heart, and always tries hard.”