Rene Dittmer’s Luck Runs Strong won the CSI4* Grand Prix

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Rene Dittmer & Corsica

USA’s Ashley Vogel picked up a win on the opening day of ESP Holiday and Horses in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies Holiday & Horses Opener 1.40m. Besting the field of twenty-eight horse-and-rider athletes, Vogel was the quickest double-clear with a time of 20.52 seconds aboard her own entry, Bellissimo Z. On Vogel’s heels to take home the red rosette was Elena A. Haas (USA) and Centana with a clear 31.25 while Carly Anthony (USA) and Jet Blue, owned by Portfolio Horses LLC, rounded out the podium with a time of 31.43 seconds. 

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Continuing Thursday’s competition in the International Ring was the $50,000 TRM CSI4* Grand Prix Qualifier. Thirty-two entries tackled the large and technical track designed by USA’s Anthony D’Ambrosio. Brazil’s Luiz Francisco De Azevedo was the quickest out of the four double-clears in the shortened course, stopping the timer at 37.29 seconds. Second place went to Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Artemis Equestrain Farm LLC-owned Dhalida with a clear 37.95 while Ireland’s David O’Brien bookend in 38.05 seconds aboard El Balou Old, owned by Chansonette Farm LLC & Leap Year Farm LLC. 

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Jumper competition continued Friday morning with the $39,000 Score at the Top 1.45m taking place in the International Arena. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) ran away with the win aboard Lord Lucio, owned by Astemis Equestrian Farm LLC. 

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A total of thirty-two entries tested the course with nearly half putting in a clear ride. Twelvth to test the course was Pesso and his mount, Lord Lucio, laying down the quickest clear ride with a time of 64.01 seconds. Caroline Mawhinney (USA) had a clean effort in 65.27 seconds with her own entry, Stella Levista, for the second-place title. In third place was Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA), who stopped the clocks in 65.6 seconds riding Santa Cecelia Stables-owned, HFG Quaman.  

The USA’s Richard Neal piloted his own entry, Catemaco LS, ahead of thirty-six entries in Friday’s $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Stake. Ten of the thirty-six entries managed to secure themselves a spot in the jump-off round over D’Ambrosio’s track but four fell victim to an unfortunate downed rail in the short phase. Neal brought his best in the competition and found the fastest way around to clock in 29.076 seconds. 

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Wilton Porter (USA) was fast on Neal’s heels, only missing the lead by one-and-a-half seconds as they rounded out two clear rounds with a final time of 30.618 seconds. Israel’s Sydney Shulman Desiderio rode her way to a placing on the podium aboard J-Boston S.E, owned by Jill Shulman, with a time of 31.382 seconds. 

Twenty-nine elite show jumping combinations contested the $226,000 Holiday & Horses CSI4* Grand Prix, Sponsored by Keyflow Feeds USA. Saturday night. The battle for the win pitted riders from all over the world against one another but it ws young professional Rene Dittmer (GER) who raced to the lead with his partner, Corsica. 

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Heavy-hitting course designer D’Ambrosio produced another worthy challenge for the field of competitors. After the completion of the first-round only four riders advanced to the jump-off. Dittmer produced the first successful effort early in round one and carried out the same plan in the jump-off.  

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“Of course, for the first round my plan was to go clear. In the jump-off, I wanted to go fast but not over do it; just fast enough to put pressure on the others,” explained Dittmer on his plan for the night. 

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Dittmer was the first to return as the first successful clear and he put the pedal down to gallop across the flowing jump-off course. Proving to be one to watch, Dittmer overcame the challenge with a double-clear effort that landed him across the timers in 42.32 seconds on the Mark Miness-owned entry, Corsica.  

“I’ve had Corsica for about a year-and-a-half now,” said Dittmer. “She’s been doing amazing this whole year. I’m so happy the owner, Mark Miness, let me ride her and she’s just really taking off.” 

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McKayla Langmeier (USA) and Jiselle NS gave it a respectable effort, crossing the timers in a clear 44.5 seconds to take second for owner Linda Langmeier. Peter Lutz (USA) and Hollerno, owned by Lovsta Stuteri, finished third with a clear 44.77 second time. 

The second to last class in the International Arena to wrap up competition for ESP Holiday & Horses was the $39,000 Dover Saddlery CSI4* 1.50m. Competition was hot with Lebanon’s Jad Dana stealing the win aboard Wyndmont’s ABC Quantum Cruise. The pair turned and burned their way through the shortened course, clocking in at a clear 34.09 seconds. The second-best double clear time was Shane Sweetnam’s time of 35.65 seconds with Seabrook LLC’s Irandole Du Flot. Ireland’s Simon McCarthy rode the Rock Ridge Farms-owned Gotcha to the third-place position with a clear 33.64. 

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“Grooms are extremely important and I think that if you don’t have trust in your groom, you can’t really focus on your job,” explained Dana. “If you’re doing your best and your groom isn’t, the result isn’t going to pay off. My groom [Geovanni Velasquez] has become like my family. I trust him with everything. We are very good at communicating and I don’t think it’d be possible without him.” 

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Wrapping up competition for the week was the $25,000 Florida Coast Equipment Grand Prix. Besting the field of eighteen competitors was Carly Anthony (USA) and her mount, Jet Blue, owned by Portfolio Horses LLC. The duo paved their way to victory with a double-clear 37.674 time. Earning the second-place title was Ansgar Holtgers Jr. (USA) and Tulum with a clear time of 39.441, for Gut Einhaus LLC while Belgium’s Flip De Wandel rounded out the podium with a time of 40.905 aboard Manhattan Van’t Leeuwerikenhof. 

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Join us next week for the 2023 ESP Year End Awards from December 7th through December 10th for three days of competition. Taking place on Thursday, December 7th is the ESP Year End Awards Banquet, presented by Dover Saddlery, at 6:30PM. ESP & SFHJA members and award recipients are invited to attend the event at the Wellington National Golf Club.

Premium seating tickets now available for the $226,000 Holiday CSI4* Grand Prix, presented by BrainJuice and BrainJava, for Saturday, December 16th, 2023.

Wellington International Press release – Rene Dittmer and Friends – © Cassidy Klein

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