Even though not everything went as well for Sönke Rothenberger and the Van Gogh son Cosmo as Rothenberger had wished for – they finished in second place with 74,320 percent ahead of British Susan Pape with Harmony’s Fiorano (69,760 percent)- the rider from Hessen was not dissatisfied: ” Having a look at some of the video sections I myself get goosebumps. He always gives his best.” Dr. Dietrich Plewa would have given Cosmo at least at a 9 for the first extended trot, but then there was a stutter and the 8-year-old was repeatedly distracted. However, what has to be duly noted about Sönke Rothenberger: He is only 21 years old and has just been nominated for the German A squad, but he does not get affected by anything. If his horse gets nervous he gives him confidence and does not panic although he’s not had much experience riding dressage competitions. Rothenberger has only competed at Grand Prix Niveau for one year, previously he was a show jumper. Perhaps it’s exactly that aspect that lets the young rider with hopes for the Olympic Games keep calm.
The Louisdor finals at the Festhallen Reitturnier in Frankfurt promised more quality than ever and a duel at eye level: Isabell Werth’s Emilio versus Sönke Rothenberger’s Cosmo. The 9-year-old Ehrenpreis son and the 8-year-old KWPN gelding are two of Germany’s most talented horses and in the beginning it was impossible to know who would finish ahead of the other. In the end, the result was a clear thing for the Westphalian Wallach owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze. Isabell Werth and Emilio showed a sovereign performance without mistakes and many highlights, especially the piaffe and passage tour. “The playful lightness paired with the powerful push-off and the way in which the hind legs carried the weight was something special one rarely sees,” annotator Dr. Dietrich Plewa said after the performance. However, he called the whole performance a highlight. “I’ve followed the horse for some time now and that was the pair’s best Grand Prix by far. In some aspects it was near perfection.” The result of 79,100 percent speaks for itself. Emilio’s rider is also happy about her young horse’s performance: “His development is almost scary. One year ago he attended his first St. Georg. He made it to the top international ranks in a very short time.”
Photos: Karl-Heinz Frieler