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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Germany Rallies for Short-Handed Victory in Budapest

Team Germany winners of the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ 2023 FEI - Budapest (HUN) L-R Chef d'Equipe BRINKMANN GOTZ, STIEGLMAIER Franziska, WIDMANN Rudolf, and MÜLLER Lisa (© FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Germany entered the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ of Hungary with a bit of added pressure. Prepared to start with a full team of riders, the squad was left short-handed following the late scratch of Lisa-Maria Klössinger.

But no drop score would be needed, as Team Germany, with just three riders, recorded a comfortable victory under the tutelage of Chef d'Equipe Götz Brinkmann. The trio of Rudolf Widmann (Ferrari OLD), Franziska Stieglmair (Samurai 504) and Lisa Müller (Gut Wettlkam's D'avie FRH) finished on a total score of 416.873%, more than 10 points ahead of runners-up, Hungary (405.301%).

"There was a lot of pressure. Of course you can make mistakes, but if that happens [with three riders], you're out of the running...I was pretty proud of all of them, that they were able to handle that pressure and solve all the problems."

-Chef d'Equipe Götz Brinkmann (GER)

Stieglmaier and Müller were the only riders to score above 70 percent across the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, with Stieglmaier firmly asserting a German victory with an individual win in the Special aboard her longtime mount, Samurai 504. She and the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding received a winning score of 71.234%—a personal best for the pair.

"It's a really special partnership. I bought him as a 2-year-old. When he was young, he was a little scared of everything, but now he's my partner in crime. If I don't make a mistake, he also won't."

Franziska Spieglmaier (GER)

Anchor pair Müller and Gut Wettlkam's D'avie FRH set the team ahead from the onset, winning the Grand Prix (72.543%) and finishing second in the Special (70.000%). Collectively, the squad did not finish worse than seventh in a single test.

"It was really fun to ride with our team," Spieglmaier said. "There was really good team spirit, and we helped each other really well. This win is very good for all of us."

Germany maintains its lead in the 2023 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ series standings. Sweden sits second, followed by Denmark.

"We have many strong riders [in Germany]. It's not only riding in a foreign country and riding for Germany, but many others also could have ridden, and [German National Coach Monica Theodorescu] chose us," Brinkmann said. "That makes us really, really happy."

The FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ season continues in Rotterdam (NED) on 24 June 2023.


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