The look, the victory, Denoix and Katharina Hemmer

The five-star Grand Prix Special at the International Festhallen Reitturnier Frankfurt was a special kind of dressage thriller. In the end, the victory belonged to Katharina Hemmer and Denoix PCH with 76.659 percent. The second start in Frankfurt, the second victory and the second time with a new personal best - the 29-year-old rider from Hubertus Schmidt's stable has left her great mark on the five-star tour in Frankfurt. Benjamin Werndl and Famoso secured second place with 75.745 percent ahead of Dr. Svenja Kämper-Meyer on the home-bred Amanyara M came third with 71.702 percent.

Incidentally, all three horses jumped into the big sport via the festival hall: Denoix was in the NUREMBERG Burg Cup final at the age of seven, at that time still under the saddle of Hubertus Schmidt, Famoso and Amanyara were both finalists in the Louisdor Prize. Benjamin Werndl had to be amazed by his World Championship partner Famoso in the Grand Prix. The 14-year-old was clearly frightened twice. In the special, the two of them put in a very good round, with a short hesitation in the first piaffe and a small mistake in the canter change a two jumps. Famoso had an eight-month break from tournaments this summer, got back into the sport nationally a few weeks ago in Gut Ising and celebrated a great comeback on the international grandstand with this special in Frankfurt. Hardly anyone expected that Hemmer and Denoix could top that – but they could. They started well and expressively and continued to improve throughout the test. The pair began with passages that were graded 7 and 7.5, and on the final line the grades even went up to 9. As the test progressed, the couple, who only started together this year, became more and more courageous, brought more and more expression and dynamism into the individual lessons and made no technical mistakes. “We started off a bit shy,” summed up the winner. “The scenery was different again, the hall was even fuller than at the Grand Prix and Denoix definitely noticed that.” A brief faltering in the first traversal, a little tension in the walking tour and then... “off The moment we piaffed from a walk, he was fully with me, fully focused." After the two of them had ridden, the festival hall cheered, the tension visibly fell away from the rider and then the decisive look follows: "The look in the face by Hubertus (Schmidt) is still more important than the result,” smiled Hemmer. “He beamed and gave two thumbs up.” Hemmer's childhood idol, Isabell Werth, came fourth in the test today. Her eleven-year-old mare Superb was full of energy and drive, which the multi-winner couldn't control at all times today. She wore it with a smile and is really looking forward to the future with the dynamic mare.
Thoughts on the 50th tournament birthday of…

Benjamin Werndl, dressage rider, team bronze at the 2022 World Championships:
“I associate many beautiful events with the Frankfurt tournament. Dalera and Jessi (his sister Jessica von Bredow-Werndl) won the Louisdor final here, I was second with Famoso. This was a very important tournament for Famoso in order to make the leap into the big sport. This year it's his return to action after his injury break. Frankfurt is a very exciting tournament, well organized and with a wonderful atmosphere.”
Ingrid Klimke, dressage rider, team bronze at the 2022 World Championships:
“I was already a pioneer at the NUREMBERGER Burg-Pokal when my father presented the Burg-Pokal here for the first time. Since then, it has been my goal every year to qualify for the Festhalle because Frankfurt is simply one of the most beautiful tournaments ever. Christmas begins with the Frankfurt Festhallen Tournament.”
• Monica Theodorescu, head coach dressage:
“For me, the Frankfurt tournament means: wonderful memories! I once won the NUREMBERGER Burg Cup, I once won the Grand Prix here and I also won the Special here many years ago. Well, I have great memories of riding and of course the atmosphere here in the festival hall is very special. The Christmas atmosphere and the spectators being so close – it’s extraordinary.” (KiK/pe&pa)

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