First of all: Both horses did just great in Munich, I am very satisfied with Escolar and Escorial. The fact that I could not compete in the last competition was simply annoying...
But one after the other. Escorial made the start, showed especially good trot half-passes and strong canter and thus won his Grand Prix. For the first international appearance of an eight-year-old, I find this remarkable. Before the freestyle, I noticed already in the competition arena that he was a bit tired - the long way from the stable tent to there had cost him nerves. Understandably, as we had met runners with headlamps and other "ghosts". Accordingly, I kept the warm-up to a minimum, but still, in the second half of the test he was just tired. But he still mastered this difficult choreography very well, and rank three was well deserved.
Escolar was also really good in the Grand Prix for the Spécial, got great marks for the extended gaits and won the test. Sunday morning I led him from the stable tent to the riding hall, and even though I did not stumble or do anything similarly silly, I felt something strange in my thigh. As soon as I started to trot him, I was sure that once again, one of my adductors was showing, it was simply impossible to sit the trot. So Escolar could not show his good shape for a second time - a real pity. (But better the rider than the horse...)
Now I am on my way to Australia to train Mefisto and his owners. The peace and quiet will do me good, and if need be there certainly are good physiotherapists in Melbourne.
... so all of a sudden it is mid-December already, and we're back in Frankfurt... Fortunately my leg had recovered a few days after Munich, so we are well-prepared. I am confident that my three boys will present themselves well in the Festhalle. Bonamour is qualified for the final of the Nuremberg Castle Cup. Escolar will compete in the Louisdor Prize, and Imperio will be shown in the International Tour. I am looking forward to a sportive weekend!
Even though it could have gone better here and there: Frankfurt was a nice tournament for us, and thus a successful conclusion of the 2018 sports year.
Bonamour showed what I had hoped for from him. He was really switched on in both competitions, and if a judge hadn't given him a much lower score than the others, he would probably have finished fifth in the final of the Nuremberg Burg Pokal.
Imperio was also very good in both competitions, I would even call the Spécial one of our best ever.
With Escolar the pirouettes in the entry stage were not ideal, but we still finished second. Well, and in the Louisdor Prize itself, a "human need" overcame our Big Boy - just at the moment when we started the first piaffe... So, first of all, complete standstill, which in a movement with double scoring of course really costs points. In order to make up for our mistake in the second piaffe, I obviously pushed a little too hard, which led to a jump forward. Once again, a lot of points left behind... Well then, in the end it was rank four, and that matches our presentation. It was Escolar's second fullGrand Prix, and he behaved really well - we head off into the Christmas break rather satisfied.
Yesterday at Vechta, the audience could catch a nice glimpse of the Westphalian E-line: Estobar NRW, Escorial and Escolar in a stallion presentation. In addition, Elegance by Estobar, Estefano GT and Steendieks Exclusiv by Escolar, gave living proof of this breeding treasure owned by Gut Neuenhof. Goldberg with his combination of Dutch and German blood just added to the experience. Unfortunately, me myself had not the best of all days, but Ivan presented Estobar just as well as always on Grand Prix-level.
So now, I am having a one-week vacation, which I will also use to finetune the planning of the competition season. For sure will Hagen be our starting point into the outdoor season. Before that, I would like to compete Imperio and at least Escolar - we'll see when and where.
So more information will follow!
After our skiing trip I went right back to ride our four-legged athletes, and I have to say that I am quite happy about them. So Dortmund will be a good opportunity to present the good results of our winter training.
Imperio will compete in the CDI5*. I will decide on the spot whether we're going to proceed to the Spécial or the Freestyle. Right now, I feel like Spécial, but it really has to be seen.
With Escorial and Escolar, it is rather exciting: Both of them are doing amazingly well. So I can't even tell whom of the two full brothers I will actually show in the Inter-tour! I will make the decision on the very day, depending on whom feels still a bit better than the other.
Father and son performing on S-level - always great to watch. All those staying in the Niedersachsenhalle until the very end yesterday were, in my point of view, definitely rewarded. Us again, we were awarded with big applause - thanks! Ivan and Estobar NRW did really well, directly followed by the living proof of Estobar's breeding quality. It was the first time that Escolar showed Piaffe and Passage publically, and he did great, and me personally I really liked the transitions.
So let's see what it's going to be like in Vechta on February 18...
We're taking it slowly early this year, the next shows are scheduled for late winter only. Which of course does not at all mean that we're being lazy! All horses are in training and best shape. Escorial and Escolar improved a lot at Piaffe and Passage, and I am looking forward to their first competitions this year.
Those who don't want to wait until then, will be able to see at least the stallions earlier. Tonight, the Fleyenhof farm is repesented at the stallion presentation at Muenster. Katharina is showing Vainqueur, Ivan is riding Estobar and I will mount Goldberg. On February 3, we will present Estobar and Escolar in Verden, and all Neuenhof-stallions can be watched in Vechta on February 18.