This year is the 25th anniversary of the Stuttgart German Masters. As usual, this event is a perfect example of just what makes up a good German Show… It is held indoors, as normally the weather is really cold (when I was here 2 years ago, it snowed!) So, in the Porsche arena in Stuttgart, spectators are always warm and dry. The warm up arena is located in the adjacent hall where you are free to go and watch any of the riders warming up. The horses are stabled in another heated hall, which means that horses and grooms are kept warm. There are also a wide variety of events scheduled, Dressage, show jumping, indoor derby, vaulting and of course the entertainment of the evening events.
There is an abundance of shopping, so should anyone be in need of some retail therapy you are sure to find what you’re after. Should you get a little peckish… the food outlets are always not far away and range from fast food to sit down restaurants. It is all here, whatever you think a show might need to be classed as a good show.
The show is also available to watch online and for free courtesy of CPM24.tv.
After a very smooth drive this morning, I arrived with just enough time to find a good seat and test my camera for a few settings. As I am unable to afford the massively expensive profi lenses that so many photographers have, I came to Stuttgart to see what I can do with what I have. I am very happy to say that I was quietly surprised! Yay for the not so „mega bucks" lens!!
So with a few photos under my belt I sat down to capture the first of the Grand Prix action, with todays GP being the qualifier for the Kur on Saturday night
Photos: The Dutch Duo, Edward Gal & Moorlands Totilas
Edward Gal & Moorlands Totilas showing a very expressive piaffe.
The highlight of the Grand Prix for me was always going to be Totilas, this is the first time I have managed to see this pair in action. For such a young horse he shows amazing ability and confidence, in a field of all the international 9 year old Grand Prix horses he is leagues ahead of the others. The movement this horse has from his shoulder is awesome, I have never seen anything like it before. However if I were to be picky, I would say that to me he needs a little more throughness and action in the hindleg. This was a spectacular, mistake free test which put the hottest Dutch combination of the year in the lead with 79.021%.
The victors smile - Edward Gal & Moorlands Totilas.
Anabel & Rubins Royal take out 2nd.
Second place went to Anabel Balkenhol and the 12 year old Rubinstein Gelding Rubins Royal. Except for a minor glitch between the pirouettes, this was also a good solid test and scored 69.319%
Devroe and Apollo
Third Place went to the Belgian rider Jeroen Devroe and the 9 year old Welt Hit II gelding Apollo vn het Vijverhof with a score of 68.596%
Ellen Schulten-Baumer and Donatha S
Fourth went to Ellen Schulten-Baumer and the 15 year old Hannoverian mare Donatha S (Donnerhallx Pik Bube) with 68.340%
Photo: Ulla Salzgeber and the ever improving Wakana.
Fifth place went to Ulla Salzgeber and Wakana with 67.830% This pair looked much more solid than when I last saw them and only the piaffe let them down today. This was a good test for the young, spooky mare.
Photo: Hans Peter and Escapado are through to the Kur.
Sixth went to Hans Peter Minderhound and the 16 year old stallion Exquis Escapado with 66.979% Sadly today the stallion looked a little distracted, errors in the rhythm, throwing his head in the walk, and also confusion on the final centre line all cost them valuable points.
Carola and Intersburg TSF
Seventh were Carola Koppelmann and Intersburg TSF with 66.851% This pair also suffered a few miscommunications, the most obvious with the change between the pirouettes.