The victory of the German dressage riders at the Aachen Soers was unequaled. The German team won with 492,598 points ahead of the USA with 437,139 points and Denmark with 430,418 points. Admittedly the great riders from other countries were missing, but this doesn’t change anything regarding the potential of the German riders – all of them are able to achieve 80 percent or more.
In the Special, Kristina Bröring-Sprehe led the field with Desperados FRH and 83,725 percent even though they made some minor mistakes during the first salute and the two-times flying changes. However, their team colleagues also made mistakes in the flying changes, like they did already in the Grand Prix.
Dorothee Schneider and Showtime also had mistakes in the one-time flying changes. However, besides those mistakes the Hanoverian gelding performed great, made the audience murmur (they were awarded some 10s) and was seen in first place by two of the judges. With 81,902 percent they “only” finished in second place. Dorothee Schneider, again part of the Olympic team after 2012 (where she rode Diva Royal), is happy: “He simply is a great horse.” The 10-year-old Sandro Hit son has a good routine at home, she takes him often out in order to enable him to stay calm. Still the big dressage arena was a challenge for the tall horse. His rider said: “He basically asked me “Are we able to go in there?” – I said yes and then he did it. He gets more focused from event to event.”
Third place went to Isabell Werth with Weihegold OLD (80,686 percent). She also had mistakes in the two-times flying changes, furthermore the first piaffe was problematic for the 11-year-old Oldenburger mare. “I’m absolutely not satisfied with my performance today,” the Rhinelander said. “The fine-tuning during warm up just didn’t work. I started too early with the transitions where I usually still do gallop and Weihegold wasn’t ready. So she lost some of her strength and easiness. She did not feel confident, therefore I rode the second piaffe a little bit longer in order to make her feel secure. I hope that I won’t let her get that feeling tomorrow. Today she actually was in a good mood.”
The fourth member of the team, Sönke Rothenberger, who was announced part of the team for Rio with Cosmo after his performance, finished in fifth place behind Steffen Peters and Legolas. He had promblems with the one-time and two-time flying changes and was awarded 76,412 percent. With regard to their performance in the Grand Prix, where the KWPN stallion once overreacted and almost exploded this time it went better: “I walked with him a lot, rode half passes and tried to desensitize him a bit.”
Rothenberger and Cosmo are not allowed to compete in the Freestyle – only the best three riders of a nation are qualified. However, the 22-year-old can look forward to Rio.