Gold for Kjento in Verden
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A wealth of the world’s most talented young horses took centre stage at Verden in Germany, the home of the Hanoverian Studbook, for the FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships (25 – 29 August 2021). Three astonishing horses claimed the titles on offer, with Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry riding the KWPN stallion Kjento to gold in the six-year-olds’ world championship.
The KWPN stallion and Dutch representative, Kjento (Negro x Jazz), impressed under ‘Lottie’ in Wednesday’s qualifier for six-year-olds. Kjento (pictured above) is a powerhouse of a horse with a fantastic ability to collect and close. His way of going gives the impression of lightness and adjustability and they were rewarded with a score of 94.00% from the judging panel of Peter Storr (GBR), Adriaan F Hamoen (NED), Sharon Rhode (RSA) and Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA). Scores of 10 went on the board for trot and canter, an 8 for walk, 9.5 for submission and 9.5 for perspective, giving them a comfortable lead above second-placed Spaniard Manuel Dominguez Bernal riding the German representative, Escamillo (92.00%).
First in that morning, and leader for much of the class, were Greg Sims and Waverley Fellini (Fürstenball x Sandro Hit) who scored an impressive 81.60%. The Oldenburg gelding, who was bred by Sara Longworth at the Waverley Stud in Warwickshire, showed super rhythm in the trot, steps well under in the canter, and his ground-covering walk earned an 8.8. Amongst the world’s top six-year-old horses, they finished 11th on the leaderboard to secure themselves a place in Saturday’s final.
Sarah Millis and Kodora SRV (Lord Leatherdale x Andretti), a KWPN mare she co-owns with Kate Moisson, show themselves as a good partnership with much more to come, however a bit of tension crept in on the day. They posted a score of 70.00%. The duo went on to the Small Final where Kodora showed super quality and balance but was perhaps a little too enthusiastic, which was costly, and they scored 70.20%.
There was much anticipation going into Saturday’s six-year-old final in the Gut Wettlkam Arena, from not only the British and Dutch camps but also the dressage world as a whole to witness horses of this calibre.
First in that morning, Greg and ‘Leni’ - pictured above - kept their cool to earn an overall mark of 75.20%, with 7.5 for trot, 7.8 for walk, 7.7 for canter, 7 for submission, 7.6 for perspective. To reach the final is a huge achievement and is invaluable experience on the big stage for this pair.
Last in, as the rain really started to fall, were Lottie and Kjento. The Yorkshire-born 25-year-old isn’t fazed at all by the big occasion and, winner of the 7YO title on Glamourdale in 2018, has become masterful at presenting these young superstars to the world.
Following a number of horses who were in the mix for the top placings, as Lottie and Kjento came down the centreline it became apparent that we were witnessing something special. Kjento’s power and ground cover was matched, in equal measure, with balance, adjustability and a fabulous uphill tendency throughout. The rhythm and air-time remained constant through all movements and the horse has a wonderful aura of confidence and happiness in his work.
On the final centreline, the crowd, unable to contain their appreciation, started to clap. Kjento was startled for a moment but still managed to produce a good final halt.
As the score went up on the board: 10 for trot, 8 for walk, 10 for canter, 10 for submission, 10 for perspective, and a total score of 96.00%, Lottie was clearly emotional.
“To produce what he has done today is the most incredible feeling. When those 10s came up, it took me a little by surprise. I know he’s amazing but now everyone thinks he is too,” she said at the press conference.
Reflecting on his Verden experience with Waverley Fellini, after returning home to Wales, Greg Sims commented, “It was brilliant to be there, and even more amazing to get to the final. He’s always done well in young horse classes and although it’s not the end goal, it’s been in the back of our minds that we could do the worlds.
“It was a fantastic experience,” he continued. “Leni has never been exposed to anything like that before and he’s never travelled that sort of distance. It was quite an atmosphere with everything bubbling in the stands but he was super in the arena, and stayed relaxed and attentive, which is very positive for the future.
“For me, the first day was brilliant but I felt like I could have got him in a better balance in the final, but it’s all part of the learning process and overall we achieved more than we expected.”
Representing Great Britain in the five-year-old world championship was Luke Baber-Davies with his own and Yulia Skornyakova’s Oldenburg stallion, Vaudeville Carrus. In Thursday’s qualifier, the athletic chestnut stallion appeared a little distracted and their final score was 68.80%, however an 8.2 for the trot was very pleasing. The pair delivered a more confident performance in the Small Final for a score of 75.00% with 8.8 for trot, 8.5 for canter and 8 for perspective.
“Thursday, Vaudeville Carrus competed in the 5YO class, unfortunately he got huge stage fright which reflected in his marks,” said Luke on social media. “The following day, he competed in the small final where he gave me a much better feeling and finished on a great score of 75%.”
Spanish-based British rider Joseph Hunt (26) and Teatrero D Centurion (Kabileño VIII x Vistoso IV), posted a solid 70.95% in the qualifier for seven-year-olds for 23rd place.
Teatrero D Centurion, owned by Yeguada Centurion, was one of a number of horses representing the PRE breed in Verden, and he and his rider acquitted themselves well, going on to 11th place with 70.90% in the 7YO Small Final.
Results: top-three and British placings
Wednesday 25 August
FEI Qualifier for 6YO
1. Charlotte Fry and Kjento (Negro x Jazz), 94.00% (GBR)
2. Manuel Dominguez Bernal and Escamillo (Escolar x Rohdiamant), 92.00% (ESP)
3. Mette Sejbjerg Jensen and Suarez (Sezuan x Desperados), 84.00% (DEN)
11. Greg Sims and Waverley Fellini (Fürstenball x Sandro Hit), 81.60% (GBR)
45. Sarah Millis and Kodora SRV (Lord Leatherdale x Andretti), 70.00% (GBR)
Thursday 26 August
FEI Qualifier for 5YO
1. Eva Möller and Danciero 7 (Dancier x Füchtels Floriscourt), 96.60% (GER)
2. Kirsten Brouwer and Lightning Star (Ferguson x De Niro), 95.20% (NED)
3. Eva Möller and Global Player OLD (Grand Galaxy Win T x Blue Hors Don Schufro), 95.00% (GER)
40. Luke Baber-Davies and Vaudeville Carrus (Vivaldi x Davignon II), 68.80% (GBR)
FEI Small Final for 6YO
1. João Pedro Moreira and Fürst Kennedy (Fuersten Look x Don Kennedy), 85.60% (POR)
2. Urte Balciunaite and Valverdi (Vivaldi x Fürst Romancier), 81.80% (LTU)
3. Merita Hagren and De Angelo (Blue Hors Don Schufro x Stedinger), 81.00% (FIN)
28. Sarah Millis and Kodora SRV (Lord Leatherdale a Andretti), 70.20% (GBR)
Friday 27 August
Qualifier for 7YO
1. Andreas Helgstrand and Jovian (Apache x Tango), 87.14% (DEN)
2. Marianne Yde Helgstrand and Elverhøjs Raccolto (Sezuan x Sandro Hit), 81.88% (DEN)
3. Simone Pearce and Quandro Unico (Quantensprung x Fidertanz 2), 81.70% (AUS)
23. Joseph Hunt and Teatrero D Centurion (Kabileño VIII x Vistoso IV), 70.95% (GBR)
FEI Small Final for 5YO
1. Nicole Casper and Birkhof’s Bohemian OLD (Bon Coeur x Rotspon), 88.00% (GER)
2. Dennis Kjaer and Polka Fascination M (Fuerstenball OLD x Sandro Hit), 85.20% (DEN)
3. Benedek Pachl and Hexagons Luxuriouzz (Johnson TN x San Remo), 84.80% (HUN)
21. Luke Baber-Davies and Vaudeville Carrus (Vivaldi x Davignon II), 75.60% (GBR)
Saturday 28 August
FEI Final for 6YO
1. Charlotte Fry and Kjento (Negro x Jazz), 96.00% (GBR)
2. Manuel Dominguez Bernal and Escamillo (Escolar x Rohdiamant), 93.40% (ESP)
3. Beata Stremler and For Magic Equesta (For Romance x A Jungle Prince), 86.40% (POL)
16. Greg Sims and Waverley Fellini (Fürstenball x Sandro Hit), 75.20% (GBR)
FEI Small Final for 7YO
1. Kimberley Rap and Jersey (Vivaldi x Olympic Ferro), 76.57% (NED)
2. Kristine Moller and DSP Spectre (Suzuan x Silvermoon), 76.33% (LUX)
3. Yara Reichert and Valverde NRW (Vitalis x Ampere), 76.15% (GER)
11. Joseph Hunt and Teatrero D Centurion (Kabileño VIII x Vistoso IV), 70.90% (GBR)
Sunday 29 August
FEI Final for 5YO
1. Jeanna Hogberg and Hesselhoej Down Town (Hesselhoej Donkey Boy x Blue Hors Zack), 97.00% (SWE)
2. Eva Möller and Danciero 7 (Dancier x Füchtels Floriscourt), 96.60% (GER)
3. Kirsten Brouwer and Lightning Star (Fergusin x De Niro), 92.80% (NED)
FEI Final for 7YO
1. Andreas Helgstrand and Jovian (Apache x Tango), 89.13% (DEN)
2. Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Blue Hors Touch of Olympic L (Don Olymbrio x Fidermark), 83.96% (DEN)
3. Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen and Eternity 75 (Escolar x Sir Donnerhall), 83.40% DEN)
Photo © DigiShots
Words: British Dressage/Joanna Bowns