Germany’s Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD go third to last in tonight’s grand prix freestyle at the Winter Equestrian Festival showgrounds and Frederic is hoping for a back-to-back win, while recognising that the competition is wide open.
“I hope everything comes together fine, but the cards are newly mixed,” said Frederic, 35, who will be one of 13 riders lining up as dressage takes top billing for the second time this week at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre, USA. “Everyone has the same chance again so everyone has to be in competition mode – also me. But I am looking forward to it,” he said.
Wednesday night’s victory came on the back of a personal best of 74.631%, giving Frederic the fourth win of five starts at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. After the ribbons had been distributed, he knew he could not rest on his laurels. “I saw some other riders with nice tests today,” he said at the time. “Maybe they had a little mistake here or there, but they can also develop for Friday. The challenge is on.”
Frederic cited the atmosphere in the international arena at the Winter Equestrian Festival as “amazing”, and knows his horse is relatively new to the limelight. “He has not had that much experience with super crowded arenas as we have been in partnership for less than a year,” he said of the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Bordeaux, who is owned by Elena Knyaginicheva and Sergey Knyaginichev.
The German rider also knows that tonight’s setting can be an asset in lifting performance. “The Americans are always creating a super atmosphere,” he said. “We love to be here. Most of the horses love to be in an atmosphere, and they really feel it. They like it and they push a little bit and feel like, ‘Now I want to shine and that is our moment’. For sure the horses can bring it into the arena and use it for shining better and being more impressive.”
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