Expectations were high for Sunday’s Saab Top 10 Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to music and the world’s top-ranked riders would not disappoint the enthusiastic crowd.
For the ten riders, the stakes were high with a total of 232,000 Euro in prize money.
Everyone was on the edge of their seats when start number eight entered the arena. Isabelle Werth (GER) and Weihegold OLD, who won Saturday’s Top 10 class, were for sure crowd favorites. Isabell took it in stride, saying in a pre-ride interview:
– Our program has a high level of difficulty and we will do our best to deliver but we’re going there to have a lot of fun!
Isabell did just that and won with 89.775%. The victory was worth a total of 70,000 Euro.
- Watching Isabell ride makes you warm inside and she has an incredible understanding of her horse.
- The level of riding here is exceptional and the music and compositions are very good. It doesn’t get any better than this, said expert commentator Pether Markne.
Patrik Kittel (SWE) and Delaunay OLD rocked the house, riding to the music of Guns ‘N Roses, landing him a second place with 85.875% and setting a new Swedish record.
- My choice of music was a bit daring and unusual. It was rocky, risky and really fit my horse, said Patrik.
Dorothee Schneider (GER), known for her fine compositions, rode to tango music with her horse Sammy Davis Jr. finishing third at 84.725%.
- My horse was calm, feeling good and working well with me here in Stockholm. It’s like he’s dancing with me and is always looking for more. We are very happy to be here, said Dorothee.
At the press conference, all riders had nothing but praise for the competition.
- The atmosphere was so electric you could feel it in the warm-up arena on the other side of the main curtain, Isabell said.
- I was very emotional and I had tears in my eyes while exiting the arena, said Patrik.
Swedish judge by C, Annette Fransen Iacobaeus was touched by the performances.
- Things just kept getting better and better. It was fantastic judging this competition.