May 1st to 5th, 2008
Dressage Triumph for Ploenzke, Gregory
German dressage queen Anja Ploenzke and British rider Jane Gregory dominated this year's Munich International Horse Show's dressage ring: Jane rode Lucky Star to Victory in the Grand Prix, as well as in the Grand Prix Special. Ploenzke won the Prix St Georges with Le Mont d'Or, and the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music with Tannenhof's Solero. With Le Mont d'Or, she also placed 2nd in the Intermediaire I, behind Ulla Salzgeber and Warkana. The Intermediaire II was won by Karolin Kniha on Loesdau's Loriot, followed by Uwe Schwanz on CCM-SLK's Rockbarton in 2nd place. Interesting to note in the Intermediaire II was that both the 1st and 2nd placed horse represented an increasing trend in the German dressage scene that swaps over from showjumping: naming the horses after the firms that sponsor them, which shows an increasing trend of sponsors pulling toward dressage. Loriot carries as a prefix the name of a major equestrian products supplier while Rockbarton is sponsored by an international German consulting firm. This year, there seemed to be a major increase in the number of spectators at the dressage ring when compared to the jumping: some of the major jumping stars, like Meredith Micheals (Germany) or Theo Muff (Switzerland) had failed to show, and so the showjumping was very much in the hand of the Bavarian based riders, with Thomas Mühlbauer on Asti Spumante winning Sunday's Grand Prix, and Max Kühner riding Golden Coin to victory in the Munich Champions class.
The dressage riders also had another reason to be proud. Professional Sportsline director Stefan Bensch honoured five international yards for their contribution toward the sport: among them were three dressage yards and their owners. These were Sissy Max Theurer (Austria), Nicola Danner (Germany) - the ex-wife of Formula 1 driver Christian Danner, and Evi Strasser (Canada). The other two were showjumping yards: Hindelang (Germany) - the founder of the European Youngster Cup Series, and Olympic rider Fabio Crotta's yard of Ticino, Switzerland.
Anja Plönzke and Le Mont d'Or
Uwe Schwanz and CCM-SLK's Rockbarton
Evi Strasser and Stefan Bensch
Thomas Mühlbauer and Asti Spumante
The Ticino yard of Fabio Crotta in Switzerland