Faurie on form at Amsterdam FEI World Cup Qualifier
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Last weekend, the RAI Amsterdam set the scene for the sixth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League (26-27 January 2018). Defending World Cup Champions Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD (GER) were victorious by a distance, though places down the line were a close-fought affair of dressage megastars.
The relatively new pairing of Emile Faurie and Delatio (pictured at Olympia) once again showed what an exciting prospect they are for Great Britain. Emile and Delatio (De Niro x Rubinstein), a beautiful stallion owned by Elena Knyginicheva, achieved sixth place in Friday’s Grand Prix and seventh in Saturday’s Freestyle on only their third international competition together.
Their campaign got off to an impressive start in Friday’s Grand Prix with an international PB of 73.60%, the horse’s controlled power rightly awarded with some high marks throughout. “I’m really super-happy with him [Delatio],” Emile told British Dressage. “He’s such a powerhouse, yet so controlled and he never loses concentration.
“It was a lovely concentrated test and his carriage and frame were very good. He’s so secure - a very secure performer. His piaffe and passage are extraordinary and he scored nines for his changes,” he continued, reflecting on the test highlights. “The feel he gives…it’s just amazing.”
In front of a capacity crowd on Saturday, Emile and Delatio delivered a fabulous freestyle to emotive music composed by Tom Hunt. They couldn’t quite match the 80-plus percent they earned at Olympia but they were not far off, on 78.91%. They made extended canter to pirouettes look like child’s play, and the tempi changes were beautiful. “He’s such an impressive horse and the music suits him well,” said Emile “It has a cinematic feel but is not overpowering – Tom met the brief entirely,” he added.
The 14-year-old horse came to Emile four months ago, although he had briefly ridden the horse at the Hamburg Derby last May. “Delatio was bought by Ullrich Kasselmann as a nine- or 10-year-old and trained and competed by Bianca [Kasselmann]. He was then sold to Elena and I was offered the ride as Bianca no longer competes internationally. Delatio is very well-trained which always helps, but as a partnership we clicked straight away. I’m lucky that Bianca has given the reins to me and grateful to the owners.”
Reigning National Champions Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubin’s Nite produced a Grand Prix test of wonderful highlights albeit with some expensive mistakes. Their score of 68.41% earned them a place in the Freestyle, the discipline in which they never fail to shine. True to form, ‘Squeaks’ hit his stride and scored a super 75% to take 12th place amongst some of the world’s best.
“Squeaks was back today, the heat indoors was too much for him yesterday,” said Hayley via her Facebook page “Such a strong class..... scored over 75% with a couple of mistakes, so super pleased.”
1st Isabell Werth with Weihegold OLD, 80.217% (GER)
6th Emile Faurie with Delatio, 73.609% (GBR)
14th Hayley Watson-Greaves with Rubin’s Nite, 68.413% (GBR)
Grand Prix Freestyle
1st Isabell Werth with Weihegold OLD, 88.540% (GER)
7th Emile Faurie with Delatio, 78.915% (GBR)
12th Hayley Watson-Greaves with Rubin’s Nite, 75.32% (GBR)
Grand Prix Freestyle