Dorothee Schneider & Santiago

Santiago wins Nürnberger Burg-Pokal

They already were the clear winners in the opening competition of the Nurnberg Burg Pokal in the Festhalle Frankfurt, and they also were the best in the finals: Dorothee Schneider and 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding Santiago. Their result of 78,902 percent was the second best result in the 24 years the Nurnberg Burg Pokal does exist. Only Nadie Capellmann’s Elvis VA had a better result in 2004: 81,17 percent. “I’m simply stunned,” Schneider said, who took part in the finals of the Burg Pokal for the tenth time. “Santi brought such a great performance. He’s been with me for only one year and we’ve really established ourself in that time. Yesterday and today he was totally focused and has demonstrated all his strenghs.”

Even commentator Christoph Hess was enthusiastic: “Their performance today was a world class performance, a great achievement. Santiago’s gallop was simply great. He’s a noble youngster with a great presence. And Dorothee can sense the horses’ reactions. She has an incredible feeling for the horses.”

Matthias Bouten & Fräulein Auguste

Matthias Bouten & Fräulein Auguste

Matthias Bouten was just as pleased as Dorothee Schneider. Isabell Werth’s former assistant instructor had an unbelievably successful day, he was placed second with Westphalian mare Fräulein Auguste MJ (75,317 percent) and third with Dante Delux MJ (73, 634 percent). Bouten especially enthused about Fräulein Auguste: “She is an absolute dream horse. She’s super intelligent and doesn’t want to do anything wrong.” Christoph Hess emphasized the manner in which Bouten presented the mare: “That was almost perfect riding.”

Bouten, who had his debut in the Festhalle this year, also had commendatory words for his second horse, 8-year-old Hanoverian stallion Dante Delux (by Danone I): “He’s very talented and has a great perspective. However, he’s more difficult than Fräulein Auguste. He can be a macho sometimes.”

Matthias Bouten & Dante Delux MJ

Matthias Bouten & Dante Delux MJ

While the top placed horses this year showed steady and focused performances there was also an extraordinary amount of competitors in the finals who got distracted by Santa Clause and co. Dr. Dietrich Plewa, chief judge of the competition, emphasized that the fact that many competitions ended with a result of less than 70 percent was not the result of lacking quality: ” Some horses have not found the necessary suppleness. That happened due to external circumstances and not due to a lack of fundamental quality.”

Next year the Nurnberg Burg Pokal will celebrate its 25-year anniversary. Hans-Peter Schmidt, initiator of the series, explains which changes he wants to introduce next year: ” We are thinking about restricting the age group of the horses to eight- and nine-year-olds. We always say that riding a horse means to be its partner and we often think that the 7-year-old horses are simply not developed enough. In addition we want to lighten the burden of the hosts. In some qualifications we have 20 to 40 participants. We are thinking about introducing 12 stations where only the best 12 horses in the opening competitions go to the qualification.”

Photos: Karl-Heinz Frieler