In dialogue with the media during CDI Lier

Considering the fact that our equestrian society is passing through challenging times, as show organizers, we should be focused on finding the best solutions to make our sports better, as well as improving communication with the audience and media.

During CDI Lier, we had a chance to engage in dialogue with the media. In recent months, dressage has faced waves of criticism, and as we know, no field is perfect, and there are things we can definitely improve. On the other hand, social media and media, in general, sometimes show only one side of the story, which is not helpful in making our sports better. Therefore, the only way for us is to work together and to have respect for each other’s points of view.

Information and education are key, and our goal during CDI Lier was to establish dialogue between show organizers, veterinarians, coaches, riders and the media. This provided an opportunity to get answers to questions that are not often on the surface. We understand that this is only the beginning of the journey, but we truly hope that it was a good first step for the positive development of both our sports and unbiased media coverage. We should acknowledge the negatives but also highlight the positive aspects of our beautiful sports.

Winner 4* Freestyle Helen Erbe: “I think it is one of nicest competitions of the year”

It was again full house today at CDI Lier. The atmosphere was great, the horses amazing and the crowd enthusiastic. The final class of six wonderful days was the 4* Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Stephex, which was won by the German Helen Erbe and her Carlos FRH.

“I didn’t expect to win. Yesterday he was really impressed by the whole atmosphere. Today he still was, but just gave his best for me and try to concentrate”, was Helen her first reaction. “I always pinch myself because I think he’s a real champion. He always fights for me, always gives his best and I just really really love riding him. I did like the whole canter work of my Freestyle. The flying changes I tried to improve a bit compared to yesterday and I think it went quite well.”

Great for the horses
Helen praised the show: It’s really really cool, everything around is organized perfectly. The stables are great for the horses, the showground is really really cool. So I was really happy to be able to ride here. And I think it is one of nicest competitions of the year.”

Results 4* Freestyle
The judges awarded the Freestyle of Helen and Carlos FRH with a score of 75.895%, followed by the Spanish Severo Jurado Lopez and his lovely horse Fuerstenglory OLD on the second place, scoring 75.690%. The French Camille Judet Cheret and Herelja Higgins completed the stage. Their result was 74.205%.

Results 4* Special
Most of the big names competed in the 4* Grand Prix Special today. Yesterday’s podium of the 4* Grand Prix was swapped, and it was a real close call. The number one and two received the same score after their performance, but it was the German Dorothee Schneider who took the win at the end with Dayman 4. Jagerbomb and Becky Moody became second, followed by Jagerbomb’s sire, Dante Weltino and Therese Nilshagen.

Belgium riders dominated Small Tour Freestyle
It was a real Belgian party in the first class of today. The first four placings went to Belgian riders, as well as the sixth place. It was Jorinde Verwimp who took the victory. “I am very happy, this was the second international competition of this horse and only the fourth competition in total. He has only been at our stable since September and has not done many competitions before. I am super happy with how he performed here. I really felt that he gained every day more confidence in the arena.”
The score of Jorinde Verwimp and Vicomte de Reyves was 73.575%, just 0,005% higher than Tommie Visser and Karma Begijnhoeve, who became second. Rob van Puijenbroek and Quinten Begijnhoeve finished third with a score of 73.415%.

The best edition
It was for sure the best edition to date of CDI Lier and we are already looking forward to 2025. We would like to thank everyone who’s involved to make it such an amazing show.


Photo: Digishots

Charlotte and Charlotte on top of the stage, Nespresso wins Grand Prix Freestyle

Charlotte Fry and Nespresso danced the night away! It was full house tonight at Azelhof Equestrian Center, the atmosphere was amazing and so were the rides. With a score of 76.605% it was Charlotte Fry who took the win in the 3* Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Paardensport Vlaanderen.

“Nessie felt really good in there. There was a bit more atmosphere today and it was nice to feel he was enjoying it”, is Charlotte Fry her first reaction. “It’s a freestyle he never ever has done before, it’s actually not his freestyle. So, it wasn’t fitting 100%, but he did everything so well. It’s only his second ever international Grand Prix, I’m very proud of him. He really enjoyed himself and so did I.” The 15-years-old son by Negro is Charlotte Fry her fifth Grand Prix horse at the moment.

Gaining experience
“I haven’t thought about it too much”, she says, referring to the question about the plans with Nespresso. “We are just going to see how it went here, and I went quite well. So, we will just carry on gaining some more experience with him and going to some more CDI’s I guess.” The British rider, who’s based in The Netherlands and riding at Van Olst Horses is very grateful. “I’m in a very nice position, it’s amazing all the horses I get to ride. A very lucky position and it’s great to come out to shows like this and give the horses experience to prepare for the really big ones.”

Special for Especial
“Tomorrow will be the Special with Especial. We just want to give him more experience and more confidence in the ring, because he’s so talented anyway. So he just need to get a little bit more relaxation in there so it comes together”, Charlotte concludes.

Podium 3* Freestyle
The second place was won by the Swedish Malin Wahlkamp-Nilsson and Zackson. The 10-years-old son of Blue Hors Zack scored 76.020%. Carina Scholz and Quinto became third, scoring 72.470%.

Results 3* Grand Prix Special
The 3* Grand Prix Special was a special class as well. It was again Alive and Kicking and Charlotte Dujardin who took the win. This time with a score of 75.192%. The 9-years-old daughter of All At Once shows once again her quality. Semmieke Rothenberger and Flanell (s.Apache) came in second with a score of 74.426%. The German rider did a very good job ending between such great names. Patrik Kittel and Jovian took the third place with a score of 73.298%.

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – Alive and Kicking
CDI Lier 2024
© DigiShots


Photos: Digishots

CDI Lier as part of the way to Paris for Dante Weltino and Therese Nilshagen

The field of participants leaves nothing to be desired at CDI Lier. The 4* Grand Prix was filled with 38 competitors and the audience could once again enjoy fantastic combinations. The master himself, Dante Weltino, left a good impression and showed he is in shape at 17 by winning the Grand Prix.

“Our big goal is the Olympic Games. This show was part of the way to go there. We hope to find the perfect practice during a few shows, to hopefully be in the Swedish team. That would be a dream”, gloats Therese Nilshagen. Participating at Paris would be the second Olympic Games for this Swedish top duo.

“He really likes the attention in there”
This was the first international show this year for Dante Weltino. “I came in and the first part of the test he was a little bit introvert and a little bit tense. But I think it got better and better, the canter was really good and after the canter I felt ‘Ok now we can start the test’. I’m very proud and happy with him.” He didn’t look introvert or shy at the prize giving. Therese laughs: “He was really excited in the prize giving, he knows what to do and he really likes the attention in there.”

Impressive son of Dante Weltino
The number three of today was a son of Dante Weltino, Jagerbomb of Becky Moody. They scored 72.543%. How is it to meet offspring of Dante Weltino at the competitions, especially at Grand Prix level? “That makes us so proud, Dante proves himself as a really good stallion and produces Grand Prix horses, that’s super. I was really really excited and happy, and it was also a very good round of Becky, so congratulations. I think she will have a very good future with this horse.” Between Dante Weltino and his son came the German Dorothee Schneider and her Dayman 4 (s.Daily Deal), scoring 73.522%.

Olympic legend Kyra Kyrklund shares her wisdom in Sunday’s clinic

On Thursday, we already enjoyed an interesting clinic of the dressage legend Kyra Kyrklund. Did you miss it? Then we’ve good news. Sunday, right after the Grand Prix Special, Kyra will give another dressage demo.

And we have a first in Sunday’s clinic, Jorinde Verwimp will show her new ride Jedaï de Massa. This former French vice champion as a 6-years-old and former horse of Catherine Dufour entered Jorinde’s stable not that long ago.

“In Sunday’s demo we will have a more advanced horse towards Grand Prix, than on Thursday. My basic thing is, that I work on the basics. If you can’t do it slow and if you can’t do it in walk, you won’t be able to do it in trot or canter or piaffe”, explains Kyra Kyrklund.

So don’t miss a thing and join the clinic on Sunday, right after the Grand Prix Special around 2.10PM. Tickets are available at the door, no need to buy them in advance.

Charlotte Dujardin: “I’ve never won a couch before!”

The 3* Grand Prix of yesterday evening was filled with highlights. One after another international championship rider rode into the arena and the Grand Prix was full of harmonious rides. Charlotte Dujardin managed to win the 3* Grand Prix with her newest Grand Prix trump card, Alive and Kicking (by All At Once). This class was offered by Henders & Hazel / De Sutter Naturally.

Henders & Hazel had an additional surprise for the winner of this class, as Charlotte Dujardin was allowed to choose a luxury sofa from the Henders & Hazel collection. “I’ve never won a couch before”, she reacts enthusiastically. The choice seemed quickly made. “What a lovely prize, this is really cool,” Charlotte said to chairman Wim Verwimp. “It’s my first time in Lier, but what an amazing show. The stables and facilities for the horses are fantastic, the arena is perfect and there’s a lot of space to train the horses. I definitely come back next year.”

Photo: Digishots

Charlotte Dujardin, Alive and Kicking in Lier

What an amazing Grand Prix it was. We were blown away by the amazing horses and great riders. The Olympic riders dominated the class tonight full of debutants. It was former Olympic Champion Charlotte Dujardin who topped the stage, winning her international Grand Prix debut with Alive and Kicking, scoring 75.043%.

“I’m very proud on my horse. I really didn’t know how it would go today to be honest. She has never done this before. Lots of experienced Grand Prix horses here and it was a big strong class with a lot of horses in it”, explains Charlotte Dujardin. The 3* Grand Prix consisted of 41 competitors.

“I couldn’t ask for much more”
“I really came here to gain experience. It’s the first show for this season. The main job for me as a rider, was to give her confidence to go in there and have a nice time. And I think she did do that. The last center line was complete my fault, she halted at X so many times, so she thought she was finished, and I was like ‘oh no we keep going’. It was completely my fault. But apart from that I’m so happy, I couldn’t ask for much more.”

Audrey Hepburn
Alive and Kicking danced through the arena, like a real ballerina. “She is lovely, she is the kindest, sweetest horse. She loves my daughter Isabella, she’s so good with her and so friendly. You can cuddle her all day. I bought ‘Audrey’ when she was four. I never have ridden the Grand Prix Special with her, so I’m curious how it will go. She is always trying, her trainability is amazing and she has got always enough engine to keep going. She’s a lovely mare and so kind. She’s like a ballerina, a real Audrey Hepburn.”

Future looks bright for Kittel and Jovian
All eyes where today on Patrik Kittel and his super star Jovian. The two-fold World Champion made his international Grand Prix debut today and showed off his quality. This pair made a massive impression and showed real good parts, the future looks really bright. Their test was awarded with a score of 73.739% and a third place. The reigning World Champion Charlotte Fry became second, scoring 74.283% with Nespresso.


Win for Tommie Visser: “I think she’s going to be my best horse”

After three days dedicated to the youth, it is now time for the seniors. This morning at 9 a.m. the first combination of the 1* Prix St. Georges rode into the arena. As many as 41 combinations participated in this class, in which the Belgians proved to be supreme. Tommie Visser, who exchanged his Dutch nationality for Belgian nationality last year, rode the Desperado daughter Karma Begijnhoeve to victory in the Prix St. Georges with 71.823%.

“Winning is always fun, of course. This is the third test I’ve ridden with her, and the first time internationally. She actually did really well. It’s a beautiful setting here, it’s always a wait of see how the horses react, but she did well”, Tommie Visser responded enthusiastically afterwards.

Successful exchange
“We bred her ourselves. Rob rode her first, but we swapped. I rode Quinten and Rob rode Karma first, and now I ride Karma and Rob rides Quinten. Karma is a sensitive mare, and I like that. So then we thought of swapping. And it turns out really good, I really like the mare”, Rob laughs. “She turns nine this year. I’m already training her a little further at home. She is actually doing everything from Grand Prix. I think she is going to be my best horse. Sunday I will ride the freestyle, I have never done that with her before. I brought her along for the experience, so I’m very curious about Sunday. We’re going to try to ride a nice test again”, Rob concludes.

British and Belgian on 2 and 3
The first starter of the day was Belgian Eline Borrey de Coninck, she rode the 11-year-old Destano son Dollars to 70.912% and the third place. With a score of 71.265%, Britain’s Jessica Dunn came second with her Dan Its Carston (by Durable).


Kittel’s student Luca Sophia Collin triumphs in U25 Freestyle

It was a delight today! The horses were ridden with great harmony and relaxation by the youth riders. Today’s highlight was the U25 Freestyle, this class was won by the German Luca Sophia Collin and her fantastic Fuhur 6 (s.Fürstenreich).

With a great score of 76.758% Luca Sophia stood out by more than 2,5% and secured her second victory of this week. “He’s been injured the whole last season, so I’m really really happy he’s so good on track”, is her first reaction. And she has got some loving words about her partner in crime. “He’s a really sweet guy to be honest. If I you do a mistake he’s also like ‘it’s ok, let’s do it again’. This is our first season together, we have had a few competitions before. He’s a good teacher and became Swedish Champion with my trainer, Patrik Kittel. I’ll definitely come back next year, it’s so nice to be here. The atmosphere is super nice.”

3* Grand Prix debut
Fuhur 6 isn’t the only horse Luca Sophia brought to Lier. Tomorrow she will make her 3* Grand Prix debut with her former U25 horse Ferrero D (s.Tuschinski). “He’s a little bit more a special horse, but he is really fun. I’m not expecting anything, but it will be fun. I’m excited to make my debut at Grand Prix level.”

Results U25
The Belgian Amber van den Steen became second in today’s Freestyle with her horse Fame (s.Ampere), scoring 74.142%. The Freestyle of the Dutch Rowena Weggelaar and Don Quichot (s.United) was rewarded with 73.550% and a third place.

Junior successes
A third, second and now a first place for the German Alix von Borries, she didn’t expect to win at all today. “It’s only my second international competition in general, with her, for me, so I’m very very happy and grateful.” Feingefuehl (s.Fuerstenball), Alix her mare, dances into a score of 75.700% and secured the win. “She really has her own opinion, she’s a real mare, but when you have her on your side, she just does everything. It was amazing today, she felt really good and I love my music.” Kebie Raaijmakers and her Kevita (s.Negro) ending up second, scoring 74.558%. Followed by Clara Cordes Arnkjaer from Denmark, she scored 73.808% with Brianna (s.Boegegaardens Boney M).

Young Riders
After a third and second place earlier this week for Amanda Lindholmm and Tiramisu (s.Tailormade Temptation), they were unbeatable in today’s Freestyle. With a score of 75.267% they lead the lap of honor. Followed by yesterday’s winner Lana-Pinou Baumgürtel and Zinq Emma (s.Escolar), scoring 72.692%. Tuesday’s winner Wynja Eriksdotter Rubin and El Diablo completed the stage and became third with a score of 71.750%.


A free music composition of To The Music for winner of the 3* Grand Prix

This is going to be exciting! To The Music will do live mixing of the freestyle music during the 1*, 3* and 4* Freestyles And.. the winner of the 3* Freestyle gets a freestyle composed by To The Music.

To The Music will award a free music composition to the winner of the 3* Grand Prix. Established in 2005 by brother and sister, Stefan and Barbara, To The Music has solidified its presence as a key player in the world of freestyle dressage music. Based in the Netherlands, we’ve become a sought-after destination for riders looking for distinctive and personalized compositions.

Specializing in crafting unique dressage music experiences, we prioritize authenticity in every note. Our commitment to this authenticity is encapsulated in our tagline, ‘Composed with Pride.’ At To The Music, we adopt a collaborative approach, engaging our clients throughout the entire creative process. By sending regular samples, we ensure that the music resonates with the individuality of each rider. Recognizing the nuanced difference between riding at home and in the arena, we persist with edits until it’s pitch-perfect – all part of our comprehensive service.

Beyond just music, To The Music is dedicated to enhancing your freestyle journey. Join us, and together, let’s craft a soundtrack that seamlessly complements your ride. Authentic tunes tailored to your rhythm.