Julia Krajewski, a rising star on the German eventing scene, is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after taking the Dressage lead at Luhmühlen CCI4* (GER), presented by DHL, penultimate leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016.
Krajewski and the 10-year-old Selle Francais, Samourai du Thot scored the only sub-40 mark and has taken a narrow 1.2 penalty lead over first-day leaders, Belgium’s Julien Despontin and Waldano 36.
“I originally planned to ride in the sunshine, but in the end the rain was helpful as Sam lifted his feet really nicely in the puddles”, Krajewski said. “His trot was particularly expressive, and he stayed really relaxed throughout the whole test. Walk and canter also went really well. He obviously liked the atmosphere from the grandstand and the whole arena.” And on her hopes for the Cross Country with Samurai du Thot: “He is a very gentle horse and we have collected quite a lot of experience at three-star level. He’s fit and I hope we put in a flowing round tomorrow.”
Krajewski, 27, whose parents run a small stud farm near Luhmühlen, has yet to complete a CCI4*, but the German combination recently won the CIC3* at Renswoude (GER).
Despontin and Waldano, a horse previously ridden by Andreas Ostholt (GER), now have a long-standing partnership and regularly shine in the Dressage arena, finishing 20th at Luhmühlen last year.
“He’s a great horse with a big personality”, explained the 26-year-old. “He was a little tense at first so I had to ride the canter work cautiously, but his walk and trot were much improved from last year.”
Australia’s Emma Dougall is in third place on 40.6 penalties with CCI4* first-timer Belcam Bear, ahead of the seasoned German Olympian Andreas Dibowski on It’s Me XX.
Tim Price’s Ringwood Sky Boy, one of the most experienced horses in the field, missed Badminton but is now in with a great chance of a high placing at Luhmühlen. The New Zealand combination are in fifth place on 44.6, just 0.3 ahead of the talented Frenchman Maxime Livio with Qalao des Mers.
Riders have been giving their views on Captain Mark Phillips’ Cross Country course and the general opinion seems to be that it’s a fair track but stronger and with more demanding lines than last year.
“The jumps have been beautifully built and the ground is exceptional”, Despontin said. “If Waldano and I get round and past the Meßmer water complex, we should be able to finish on a decent score.”
Twenty-eight combinations are set to start tomorrow’s Cross Country – Germany’s Bettina Hoy (Seigneur Medicott) and France’s Geoffroy Soullez (Madiran du Liot) withdrew before Dressage. First out on the course at 14.00 local time is Britain’s Louise Harwood on Mr Potts.
Follow the competition with live coverage on FEI TV (www.feitv.org) and live results on www.luhmuehlen.de.
Results after Dressage
1 Julia Krajewski/Samourai du Thot (GER) 39.0
2 Julien Despontin/Waldano 36 (BEL) 40.2
3 Emma Dougall/Belcam Bear (AUS) 40.6
4 Andreas Dibowski/It’s Me XX (GER) 43.4
5 Tim Price/Ringwood Sky Boy (NZL) 44.6
6 Maxime Livio/Qalao des Mers (FRA) 44.9
7 Bill Levett/Improvise (AUS) 45.5
8 Claas Hermann Romeiki/Cato 60 (GER) 46.0
9 Andrew Nicholson/Qwanza (NZL) 46.3
10 Sarah Bullimore/Reve du Rouet (GBR) 46.9
FEI Press Release by Kate Green