Kitty King (GBR) and Ceylor L A N and Boyd Martin (USA) and Shamwari 4 sit tied for first place on a score of 27.4 at the conclusion of dressage on the first day of competition in the 2018 Luhmühlen CCI4*. Both pairs have not competed at the four-star level since 2016.
Kitty King was particularly pleased with her horse’s performance, who has not competed in an event of this caliber since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. “He has performed really well for me today and I could not have asked for more!”
Boyd Martin, who rode The Shamwari 4 Syndicate’s Shamwari 4, a 16-year-old Hanoverian (Star Regent xx x Donnice), was equally pleased. Working with USEF Performance Director Erik Duvander, they managed to really improve the canter work, which Boyd felt made a big difference today. Boyd and Shamwari last competed at Luhmühlen in 2014, where they finished third, and are off to a great start this year after scoring a personal best dressage score.
Vittoria Panizzon’s (ITA) Chequers Play the Game is competing in his first four-star this weekend, making Panizzon extremely proud how well he delivered throughout their test. “Only one of the flying changes didn’t quite turn out as planned, but the rest was brilliant. He has a fabulous walk, which earned us three nines from the judges – definitely something to be proud of!”
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
The United States’ second representative pair of Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, the Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties’ 10-year-old KWPN (Zapatero VDL x Zonne-Trend), are close behind the leaders on a 29.8, good enough for 8th place overnight.
All three riders felt the CCI4* presented by DHL course is asking plenty of questions of horses and riders and requires full concentration and precise riding throughout. With technical challenges and big jumps, everything you would want from a four-star course is in there. Vittoria Panizzoni summed it up, “I’m so excited to ride this beautifully built course and looking forward to Saturday.”
The second half of the 50-horse field will perform their dressage tests tomorrow beginning at 1:15 p.m./7:15 a.m. EDT. Click here to view full scores from day one.
Julia Mestern Takes Lead in Meßmer Trophy CIC3*
Julia Mestern (GER), who is also a successful dressage rider, delivered an almost perfect dressage test today. “This was by far our best test! I was smiling the whole way through, which is a sure sign things were going well for us today. There were only a couple of things we could have done better – coming down the first centre line and two of the flying changes were not a good as they could have been. The rest was brilliant! The atmosphere is electric in the stadium but my horse kept his cool and listened to me throughout.”
Closely behind Julia is team colleague Josefa Sommer (GER), who could not be happier with her gelding ‘Hannes’ today. “He has improved from test to test this year and today he really gave it his all. The canter work still needs a little work but I really could not have asked for more. Even our changes were pretty good today, which I managed to improve after getting some useful tips from Ingrid Klimke.“
Woods Baughman and Maverick McNarma, the sole US pair in the CIC3*, lie in 21st place on a 35.4. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
“This year’s course is definitely more difficult than last year’s. There are many questions for horses and riders, however, they are clear and fairly built with easier passages in between. Well-prepared horses should be able to make the time,” shared Hans Melzer, the German team chef d’equipe. Julia Mestern stated, “The course has a number of technical questions which require concentration and precision. There is a lot to jump, however, this is a three-star competition and therefore should be challenging. I am really looking forward to Saturday!”
Click here for CIC3* scores from day one.
Live streaming of both the CIC3* and CCI4* dressage tomorrow will be available here.