Hans-Christian Matthiesen, international dressage judge and member of the FEI dressage committee, stepped in to deliver the FEI report on behalf of Trond Asmyr who was unable to attend. Despite the very short notice he very professionally took the audience through the work of the dressage committee and the many proposals of rules which lead to a very interesting discussion about the future of dressage engaging many different representatives in the audience.
The internationally successful Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen has previously presented her own training as an athlete at the GDF. This time she demonstrated her training methods with the talented stallion Aquido. “Riding in these new surroundings I get a lot of information from my horse”. She talked the audience through her training while also speaking about her 17-year-old super star: “As long as Parzival enjoys it, he will be in the business”. After her demonstration Adelinde talked about the inspiration he gets from people even outside the dressage scene, like driver Boyd Excell, and openly answered questions both from a panel of professionals and from the audience – about nearly everything.
The 14th GDF has kicked off For the first time ever the Global Dressage Forum is taking place outside The Netherlands - at the outstanding facilities at the Blue Hors Stud in Denmark where the Forum has kicked off today
The 14th Global Dressage Forum has kicked off with a fabulous first day Monday 20 October. In his opening speech Richard Davison stressed that the 14th Global Dressage Forum is a very special one as it for the first time ever takes place outside the founders, Bartels Academy in the Netherlands. He praised the wonderful facilities and extended his gratitude to Keld Kirk Kristiansen, Esben Møller, Christian Struck and their team from Blue Hors for the enormous amount of work put into the preparations of the Forum 2014.
The president of the Global Dressage Foundation, Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte expressed a warm welcome to everyone attending the Forum and expressed the Foundation's gratitude for the huge efforts undertaken at Blue Hors. Giving the floor to the speakers the Princess said: "There should always be room for improvement; therefore critisim should never be taken negatively but turned into development."
Lisa Lazarus, FEI Chief of Business Development & Strategy, had a very interesting discussion with Gerrit Jan Swinkels from Indoor Brabant and Martin Richenhagen from Fendt about the challenge of finding the balance between tradition and innovation in the development of dressage. A discussion where also capacities like Kyra Kirklund and Dr. Bechtolsheimer as well as many others paid their contribution on how to develop the sport on the horses' terms. As Andrew McLean put it in his presentation: "The Global Dressage Forum is a think-tank where we toss ideas around and value others’ opinion."
Richard Davison spoke to the reigning world champion Charlotte Dujardin about her incredible life story from being a pony show rider to claiming 46 Grand Prix wins including all the big championship titles and world records in a matter of only three years. What really changed Charlotte’s career was when she met Carl Hester who taught her so much and of whom she speaks so fondly: “He brings so much fun to the sport and to my everyday.” However, it has been a bit of a bumpy road and the biggest challenge in Charlotte’s career was facing the media. “In the beginning of my career the press and the media were my worst night mare. They just scared me to death.” With time and experience she has overcome her fear of the press, and tonight she clearly enjoyed to speak at the Forum and to share her gripping story.
Gina Capellmann and Fabienne Lütkemeier were last on the floor on the first day of the 14th Global Dressage Forum. Richard Davison spoke to Gina about coming from a dressage family and about her and her daughter’s career. It was clear to everyone that Gina invests herself 100% in Fabienne’s training. “I have no nerves when I compete, but when my daughter competes I get so nervous!” After an interesting interview the curtain opened to a most inspiring and very harmonious training session with mother and daughter. Fabienne schooled two horses while Gina explained about their ways of working. “I have been watching the stars warm up since I was a child, and I loved to see how they worked their horses” Fabienne said, and it was clear to everyone that she successfully has picked up the best from everyone.
Second and final day at the Forum
The 14th Global Dressage Forum has taken place at the beautiful premises of Blue Hors where everyone has been very well looked after. Today was the second day of a thought-provoking and an inspring two-day-programme
This morning the audience were literally blown away by three para dressage riders who not only shared their life stories but also demonstrated their amazing skills in the saddle. In a practical demonstration the three superstars, British Sophie Wells and Danish riders Stinna Tange and Annika Lykke Risum talked about overcoming challenges in terms of compensating for their missing aids - and focus on the abilities they have, rather than focus on their disabilities.
They expressed their regret about para dressage not being on the programme at the European Championships in Aachen next year. At the end of the Forum, the President of the Global Dressage Foundation, Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte expressed her wish to help this discipline be part of the European Championships again - which immediately caused a firm applause form the audience.
The Princess phrased a plea to the organisers of the championships: "Participants in the 14th Global Dressage Forum strongly recommend the organisers of the European Championships in Aachen 2015 to include Para-equestrian in the programme as one of the disciplines."
The question of harmony was reviewed by former international dressage judge Jytte Lemkow through a slideshow of various photos of rider-and-horse combinations to give us a better understanding of what is harmonious when it comes to the size of the rider compared to the horse, the rider's attire, the rider's position and the horse's gaits etc. And all about harmony in dressage.
Freestyle composers Joost Peters and Tom Hunt shared with the audience how they compose a freestyle taking into account the appearance and the personality of both hore and rider. International dressage judge Katrina Wüst joined in for a discussion about freestyles, and a panel comprised of top riders Beatrice Ferrer-Salad, Charlotte Dujardin and Nathalie zu Say-Wittgenstein shared their experiences and their preferences in freestyles.
International dressage rider and trainer, Florida-based Danish Lars Petersen who is the former head rider at Blue Hors, made a practical demonstration with some of the Blue Hors riders and their quality horses at different training levels. Allan Grøn showed 4-year-old stallion Blue Hors First Choice by Jazz/Negro and 6-year-old Zick Flower by Zack/Romanov, whilst Maria Anita Andersen showed the 12-year-old mare Loxana by Diamond Hit/Argentinus. After the clinic Lars Petersen got the opportunity to explain into detail some of his techniques, and the panel of professionals acknowledged the good riding and the high quality of horses. Kyra Kyrklund and Richard Davison praised the clinic for being a lovely and down-to-earth practical demonstration in horsemanship and training.
What a fantastic trip we had...filled with Super Stars, fantastic shopping, lovely hotels, loads of information and some VERY Famous horses....