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Our last day in Verden was bittersweet.  I loved seeing the grand finale but hated to leave.
I began my last day with a run through the most beautiful forest behind the hotel.  I came across two red dear and a large rabbit as I inhaled the fresh, 65 degree air.  I  got lost and ended up at the RV park for all the riders.  I did that last year also so I have to wonder if somehow I am drawn to that area.  Hmmmmm
Anyway, we arrived at the show grounds just in time to see American, Jennifer Hoffman win the 3 yr old Hanoverian mare championship with Donna Lisa 3.  She had won the qualifying round just two days before.  Such a wonderful mare!  She is by Dancier out of a Wolkentanz 1 mare.
The 3 year old stallion class went to Furst Nymphenburg II (Florencio x De Niro) who recieved a 10 for the canter.  Wow, you should of seen it!  The rider, Andreas Mueller, took a extra victory lap just to show off!
Jennifer wasn't so lucky in the 6 yr old final with my (still) favorite stallion, Florentinus V.  They must have warmed up too long or hard because he came into the ring in a sweat and could barely move.  Such a disappointment.  I am so sorry for Jennifer!
But on to the good news.
Sir Donnerhall II is a personal favorite since Emee owns one of his first sons, Sir Walkabout (who my friends at Walkabout Station bred!).  We watched him warm up Saturday evening and they were struggling.  But, a light bulb went off for his rider, Thomas who is Danish but working with a German trainer and everything changed!  It was fantastic to see him come out today (Sunday) with a whole new approach.  It paid off and he rode a beautiful test to score 8.78 and take the bronze medal.  His trot earned a 9.6!
Emmelie Scholtens rode Borencio to silver with a 9.10.  He was powerful and Emmelie can really ride a test but I have to say, he wasn't my favorite horse.  Lots of knee action and hot temperament to boot.
Then . . . .The moment we all waited for. . . Woodlanders Farouche, last years 5 yr old champion!  Michael rode into the arena in a calm posting trot.  The bell rang and you could have heard a pin drop from this otherwise noisy crowd.
I think we collective held our breath as the pair showed us all what it should be.  They had one hiccup in the first medium trot (I really mean just one stride!) and the crown groaned.  Then there was a slight mistake in one flying change but otherwise, flawless.
Watching this mare reminds me of what dressage is all about.  It looks easy, harmonious and happy.  She moves through her whole body.  She was awarded the gold with a score of 9.88.
More comments to come and . . .
I can't wait til next year!

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