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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Germany Continues Reign of Dominance in Wellington With Fourth Consecutive FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ Victory

Team Germany - Frederic Wandres, Anna-Christina Abbelen, Felicitas Hendricks, Michael Klimke (GER), during awards at the FEI Dressage Nation's Cup™ 2024 - Wellington, FL (USA) (FEI/Shannon Brinkman)


The 2024 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ series kicked off Thursday in Wellington, FL (USA) with a fourth consecutive victory in the event for Germany.


Two combinations returned from last year's winning squad in Anna-Christina Abbelen (Sam Donnerhall) and Felicitas Hendricks (Drombusch). Frederic Wandres (Totall Recall) and Michael Klimke (Domino 957) completed the winning team, with Klimke also serving as chef d'equipe. Their winning total was 213.369.


The United States finished second (210.978), with Sweden third (198.956).


"Yes, we won—not one time. We've won four times in a row. For me, it's an honour to be here and all of these years."

Michael Klimke (GER)


A year ago, Hendricks was making her senior team debut when she led Germany to victory with the top score in the Grand Prix Special. A restructured format made the Nations Cup a one-round competition in 2024, with results solely derived from the Grand Prix test. Still, 23-year-old Hendricks and the 13-year-old gelding Drombusch produced the best individual score of the competition (72.087%).


"It's been a great journey, and it's great to be back on the senior German team. I had a fantastic team with great teammates and great team spirit," Hendricks said. "I think the scores are reflecting our improvement, but it's not just about the scores. I think I was able to do a more detailed test today than last year, for example...There are still things to work on, and it's far away from being perfect, but when is it ever perfect? We just keep working on it, and it's just getting better and better."


The impressive pair has begun their 2024 season with five straight individual victories, including their first World Cup win, also in Wellington. Hendricks acquired Drombusch as a 6-year-old, when she was just 16 years old herself, and they've climbed the ranks together.


"The season can't really be going any better for me right now. It's a great honour to be showing this horse in this fantastic venue. He's so happy to be here, and he's always happy to be showing. That's just the best feeling in the world, when they're so happy and willing to give their all in the ring."

Felicitas Hendricks (GER)


Each team's top three scores were combined to make up the team total. Germany's best three riders all finished among the top five individually, including Abbelen (70.826%) and Wandres (70.456%). Wandres was competing Total Recall for the first time. Australian athlete Jemma Heran lent Wandres the horse to compete when Wandres didn't have an ideal mount lined up.


"When we saw we'd need four Grand Prix horses [to this event], for us, it meant that we had to bring four good [horses]," Wandres said. "I really liked that ride, and it was our first competition at all...There is a lot more in that horse."


The United States also repeated their runner-up effort from a year ago. On this occasion, Kevin Kohmann and Düenensee finished second, recording a personal best score of 71.326%. Kohmann formerly represented Germany in Nations Cup competition until he became a United States citizen in 2021. 


"I'm super thrilled to be here and sit here with these [riders], some old teammates," Kohmann said. "To be the anchor rider for my team made me even more proud. Then to get the top score—what else can I say?"


Germany now sits atop the series standings with 10 points from the CSIO3* competition. The United States earned eight points, and Sweden received seven points.  


The FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ continues at Compiegne (FRA) on 04 May 2024. 

 

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