Laura Tomlinson and Fallatijn ace Grand Prix Special at Aachen Dressage Days
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Fallatijn, the bright prospect of British Olympian Laura Tomlinson, showed his vast potential with a Grand Prix Special win at Aachen Dressage Days CDI3*, plus Lara Butler and Kristjan performed magnificently for a pair of podium placings. Held at the Aachen showground in 2018, the event returned to the FEI calendar for 2022 hosted by Hof Kasselmann in Hagen, Germany (18 – 20 May 2022).
Laura and 12-year-old Fallatijn (Vivaldi x Cabochon) – pictured in April, who she co-owns with her mother Ursula Bechtolsheimer, got off to a convincing start in Thursday’s CDI3* Grand Prix, setting the scene for the rest of their show. A new international Grand Prix PB of 72.717% placed them second to Norway's Isabel Freese and the 10-year-old son of Totilas and Weihegold OLD, Total Hope OLD, and just in advance of fellow Brit Lara with Kristjan (72.370%).
The British challengers impressed again in Friday’s Grand Prix Special. Laura and Fallatijn staked out their claim with a winning round, on another PB (73.617%), to raise the Union Flag, whilst Lara and 17-year-old Kristjan (Polarion x Napoleon Quatre) - pictured in April, presented another fabulous test in the Hagen heat to earn a PB of 73.447%. Third place on the podium was claimed by the Australian combination of Mary Hanna and Calanta (72.340%).
“It was a really nice step in the right direction,” said Laura about her performances with Fallatijn, the exciting chestnut talent who is known at home as Finn. “There’s still lots of progress to make, and both tests weren’t faultless, but I’m very happy that the things I’ve been working on are now bearing fruit in the arena.
“He’s a lot of fun to ride and in the past he’s almost given too much… a little like Alf (Mistral Hojris, Laura’s London 2012 team gold medal partner) but now, I can temper that enthusiasm. The more relaxed he is, the more I can ride and take control and the judges can appreciate the picture more. It was in a different arena to the last Hagen (Horses & Dreams in April) – this time the main showjumping arena – but he was super-relaxed.”
Together with Lara Butler’s successes, it was great achievement all round for team Bechtolsheimer. “It was lovely for Lara and Kristjan to do so well. Kristjan is like a fine wine, he just gets better with age, and it was lovely for mum (Ursula Bechtolsheimer) to see him do so well as he’s a home-bred.
“Lara and I have worked together for over ten years now, so it was rewarding for us and also for Carl Cuypers who trains us,” commented Laura.
“It was good for the soul to hear the National Anthem on German soil!” she smiled.
Results – top three
CDI3* Grand Prix
1. Isabel Freese and Total Hope OLD, 74.543% (NOR)
2. Laura Tomlinson and Fallatijn, 72.717% (GBR)
3. Lara Butler and Kristjan, 72.370% (GBR)
CDI3* Grand Prix Special
1. Laura Tomlinson and Fallatijn, 73.617% (GBR)
2. Lara Butler and Kristjan, 73.447% (GBR)
3. Mary Hanna and Calanta, 72.340% (AUS)
Photos © LL-FOTO.DE
Words: British Dressage/Joanna Bowns