Posts from the ‘dressage freesstyle’ Category

Breaking 80: Steffen Peters and Legalos 92

Steffen Peters and Legalos 92 broke the 80 mark in Grand Prix Freestyle at the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am Games

Approaching Perfection?

It remains incredible that any horse and rider partnership can actually attain perfection, but several panels of the most qualified judges in the world have reduced their opinions to numbers and scored this pair, Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin consistently in the 90s during the current cycle of championships.

Here are Valegro and Dujardin at London’s 2014 Olympia performing the GP musical freestyle:

Just sittin’ On Top of the World

Quadrille: Who’s Having the MOST Fun?

I noticed this film in December, and enjoyed it. Yesterday a reading rider encouraged me to include it in this burgeoning collection of “bests”. I agree with her; it does belong here.

To save your having to read all the comments to the video: So far, anyone’s best guess as to WHO the horses and riders are, is this list…which includes thirteen pairs, rather than twelve, suggesting that the troupe included an alternate in the case one pair was unable to perform on the ocassion.

1. Dr Reiner Klimke – Ahlerich 2. Gabriela Grillo – Osander 3. Herbret Krug – Muscadeur 4. Ingeborg Fisher – Gran Chaco 5. Tilman Meyer zu Erpen – Tristan 6. Madeleine Winter – Chagall 7. Herbert Rehbein – Rex the Blacky 8. Karin Rehbin – Marschall 9. Jean Bemelmans – Angelino 10. Monica Theodorescu – Lexicon 11. Johann Hinnemann – Genius 12. Ruth Klimke – Pascal 13. Heike Kemmer – Lotus.


4.Bibliography: Klaus Balkenhol

“Most alleged training ‘innovations’ aren’t really new but were actually dismissed as useless centuries ago.”

Klaus Balkenhol, per Schoffman, Britta, Klaus Balkenhol, The Man and His Training Methods, 2007, Trafalgar Square, p.44.

I was committed to giving field school instruction the summer of ’92, and did not attend, but only read about, the Barcelona Olympics.  So while preparing this article, I was thrilled to find a November 2011 upload of Klaus Balkenhol and Goldstern 1992 Barcelona Olympics GP Special Test, from which I have intentionally not removed the audio commentation, which I believe to be the voices of Cameron Williams and Lucinda Green.

But I did accept assignments to cover the 1994 WEG denHagen for  equestrian print media, and saw all three of Goldstern’s tests from the press box, watching through binoculars rather than any of the many closed circuit television screens with which I was surrounded.

If, on that Thursday evening of the GP Kur, the applause meter had determined the winner, Goldstern was  Individual Gold. When the jury’s scores were announced, others in the press box, far more frequent and educated observers of the international scene than I, were raising their eyebrows, winking,  clearing their throats, or bowing their heads, to communicate their reactions to each other.

Two years later, at the 1996 Olympics, I again saw Balkenhol’s and Goldstern’s tests, and thrilled at their dance to Ravel’s Bolero. I hope that a video of that performance will eventually surface. ‘Til then, I will cherish vivid memory of their piaffe pirouette to that undeniably driving, climactic rhythm. Phew!

And recall that after each of those six rides, I left  Zuiderpark or Georgia International Horse Park, eyes lifted upward, silently pleading, “Hire him!”

Soon before Britta Schoffman’s Klaus Balkenhol, The Man and His Training Methods, 2007, Trafalgar Square came out, the USET did hire Balkenhol to coach and chef US Dressage riders. We Americans are much better horsemen for his intercession.

While reading this book again last summer, I took a LOT of notes. <br/>my favorite quote,from page 44:   “Most alleged training ‘innovations’ aren’t really new but were actually dismissed as useless centuries ago.”

1.Music, Anyone? Raising Craft to Art

There are not many horses in the world whose sponsors will commission arrangement or original composition of music for Freestyle performance. Anticipating the spectacular extravaganza that will be London 2012, I am as much interested in the preparation process  as the eventual performances. So I wanted to embed these vimeos, which I found on Eurodressage recently. The  first is about making of a score by Cees Slings for Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven and Favourit (SWE) owned by Antonia Axel Johnson

It’s Broadway! Part I -Trailer from Cees Slings on Vimeo.


And the second is  MA Rath visualizing his ride on Sterntaler UNICEF to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue arranged by Cees Slings.

Visualising a freestyle from Cees Slings on Vimeo.

Of course, in the realm of Dressage for the rest of us, we’re not hiring Cees Slings to accompany us. But we are resourceful, are we not? Let our lives mimic art, eh?  Strike up the band!

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