December 13-16, 2007

FEI World Cup™ YR Final Frankfurt

Watch Lotje Schoots and Reine B

At the Festhallen in Frankfurt this weekend not only a World Cup™ qualifier dressage of the Western European League for the seniors takes place, but their YR-colleagues from 21 or below have their World Cup™ Final for Young Riders as well.

The World Cup™ YR Final already sees its third edition. Sponsored by Schenker this third edition even for the first time welcomes a competitor from Australia: Alycia Targa and Neversfelde Kudu. Not very easy, as the equine influenza outbreak in Australia looked set to prevent Kudu leaving Australia. It was a huge relief when they were advised at the end of October that Kudu was cleared to fly.

In Germany Alycia and Kudu were based in Johann Hinnemann’s stable and have prepared there in the weeks leading up to the event now. Alycia earlier had the opportunity to train with Hinnemann in July this year after winning a trip to Aachen as the prize for the Aachen Challenge at the Victorian Dressage Festival in Sydney.

German trainer Conrad Schumacher and Dutch Ellen Bontje welcomed in the Schumacher-stables near Frankfurt from overseas Canadian competitor Alexandra Duncan and American competitor Chelsea Seburn. Both riders were familiar with Schumacher and Bontje by their clinics in the USA and Canada and felt very much at ease to prepare and train at Schumacher’s place. Canadian Duncan became fourth last year in Frankfurt and is excited to have a chance to compete again! “My Holstein-bred mare Elektra has been going great, and she is in great shape from the trip,” noted Duncan. ‘I have more of an idea this year of what European big competition is like, so I will feel a little more comfortable now.”
Chelsea Seburn has one more YR-year to go. She feels her 12 year old Rheinland-bred horse can face the new challenges at an impressive horseshow like Frankfurt very well. “He is a good guy, very level-headed I would say”, Chelsea expresses.

All overseas participants will meet the top of the European Young Riders, an unique occasion.
Dutch Lotje Schoots (19), having won the individual European title dressage as a Junior twice in 2004 and 2005 and being part of the gold winning team of the Dutch YR last European championships, is looking forward competing for the first time in this YR World Cup™ Final. “When my talented mare Reine B is in the mood, she really can do it all. She is perfect when she is not distracted by noises and rumour. The schedule in Frankfurt with three tests to get used to the arena does help her. So I am enjoying this chance very much”, Lotje says.

For German Kristina Sprehe, training with Holga Finken, the Frankfurt World Cup™ Final will be her farewell to participating at this age-group. At a show near Kassel one month ago she already proved to be ready for Grand Prix. “That;s what’s is all about, growing to the Grand Prix-level”, Kristina Sprehe says. “The one tempi changes were the most difficult for me and my horse, all other work he really seems to like. His canter with the pirouettes are a really strong point. I already said goodbye to my YR-time at the European Championships for YR last year and this is really a nice extra. I hope to make the best out of it!”. The same counts for the winner of the Final last year and reining European champion YR dressage Italian Valentina Truppa. She trained with her father international judge Enzo Truppa toward this last goodbye-show for her age-group. “I also have another horse almost ready for Grand Prix, a horse with the same bloodlines of Olympic champion Salinero of Van Grunsven”, Valentina Truppa adds. “But now I only hope everything will be as good as possible this Final for me and Chablis. I am tremendously looking forward to it!”

Tonight in Frankfurt the first YR-result will be there with the team-test, which is a warm up test only. Eva Salomon, dressage director of the FEI adds: “For talented Young Riders having the possibility to share a big indoor show with the seniors, will be a great encouragement for their future career in dressage sport. Knowledgeable escort and help from international riders, trainers and sponsors like Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff will bring them an unforgettable experience. No doubt about that!”

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