I got home late last night from a fun and successful weekend at the Hamburg Dressage and Jumping Derby. It was an unseasonably cold, blustery weekend in Hamburg—the coldest Derby weekend in 30 years according to the bartender at my hotel!
Always famous as a jumping show, the first horses negotiated the renowned Derby Wall in 1920. This year, more than 70,000 spectators wandered the Derby Park to watch some of the world’s best in jumping and dressage.
You can see some highlights from the show grounds and the dressage warm-up on the following clip. Pay special attention to the warm-up. Training with so many horses in such a small space is a skill that should be developed by any rider who dreams of competing in Europe one day. Also included is my first attempt at a mounted video blog:
I placed second in the international Freestyle Tour with W, and Susan Dutta placed second in the international Special Tour with Currency DC! A good weekend for America!
Both Susan and I took young, inexperienced horses to the show. Hamburg was W’s first international tour at the age of 10 and Currency is only 9! I was very impressed with Susan’s GPS ride and I look forward to seeing her horse move up the World Ranking List this summer.
You can see highlights from Susan Dutta’s Special and my Freestyle here:
I was proud of W. He held himself together very well for the GPF despite the freezing, gusting winds and flapping tents, and I was pleased with his first international start. We managed to beat a lot of horses by default this weekend as most of the freestyle horses did not handle the distracting atmosphere with as much aplomb as W. (As usual, he was too sexy for his shirt.) We had our problems, but everybody else had more.
I won’t complain. It was nice to put the check in my pocket.
So it’s back to the training arena to work on loads of technical stuff. I knew that I would find things to work on at our first international show. I had W really tuned up in the last weeks, but the few remaining weak spots are a lot easier to cover up when I have a whip in my hand. Now it’s time to fine tune for our next show.
I’m Catherine Haddad, and I’m sayin it like it is from Vechta, Germany.
Training Tip of the Day: Can you shorten and lengthen your passage with very light aids? This will help you in creating a good transition in and out of piaffe.