Germany Extends Unbeaten Nations Cup Run Under Revamped All-Grand Prix Format in AGDF 7

Feb 22, 2024 - 8:46 PM

By Alice Collins for Wellington International 

The Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup was the feature competition on Thursday, February 22, to kick off week seven of the 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. Four flags lined up in the Nations Cup CDIO3* Grand Prix, with Germany taking the gold medal for the fourth consecutive year with 213.369 points. The silver was awarded to the Dutta Corp-sponsored US team with 210.978 points, while Sweden’s tally of 198.956 points secured the bronze. Canada finished fourth. AGDF hosts seven weeks of CDI competition over three months and runs through March 31.

Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup podium finishers Germany, USA and Sweden with Tuny Page of Stillpoint Farm and FEI Foreign Judge Michael Osinski. Photo ©

The Nations Cup format has been simplified for the first time since the series first came to Wellington in 2014. Formerly, countries could put forward horse and rider combinations at small tour or big tour, but the new format requires all competitors to compete at grand prix level. The placings are now decided by adding up the top three scores from each team’s riders — both Germany and the United States fielded four team members, while Sweden and Canada had three members apiece. The CDIO Grand Prix Special and Freestyle classes this weekend will be individual contests under the overhauled format. 

Felicitas Hendricks & Drombusch OLD. Photo ©

The 23-year-old Felicitas Hendricks spearheaded the German charge, topping the Grand Prix individually with 72.087%. She was bolstered by team mates Anna-Christina Abbelen (70.825% on Sam Donnerhall) and Frederic Wandres (70.456% on Total Recall), as well as Michael Klimke whose 67.565% on Uwe Kappel’s 12-year-old Domino 957 was the drop score for the winning nation. He was also the Chef d’Equipe. 

Hendricks, who was also on last year’s winning Nations Cup team on her senior squad debut, said, “It’s a great honor to be back on the senior German team. I had a fantastic team with great teammates and team spirit. The scores are reflecting our improvement, but it’s not just about the scores. I was able to do a more detailed test today than last year, so we improved our Grand Prix for sure.

“There are still things to work on and we’re far from being perfect, but we keep working on it,” she added of Drombusch, her own 13-year-old gelding by Destano. “This season can’t really be going any better for me. It’s a great honor to be showing this horse in this fantastic ring. He’s so happy to be showing, and that’s the best feeling in the world when they’re willing to give their all in the ring. So whenever a mistake happens, you know that’s on me.”

The 36-year-old Wandres was riding Jemma Heran’s 12-year-old Totilas x Sandro Hit gelding Total Recall for the very first time in competition after borrowing him specifically for the Nations Cup.

Frederic Wandres & Total Recall. Photo ©

“When we saw that we have to bring four grand prix horses, that meant for us we really have to bring four good ones,” explained Wandres, who rides for Hof Kasselmann. “I have Bluetooth here with me, but I have another plan with him, so I asked Jemma, our Australian friend, if I can maybe have the ride on Total Recall and she directly said yes. I really liked this test ride and there is a lot more in that horse.”

Like Hendricks, Abbelen was also representing Germany for the second year in a row.

“Sam is really strong in all the extensions like the extended trot, extended canter,” said the 28-year-old. “He has a great passage, and I really could celebrate my half-passes. I’m super honored to be on this team and it’s always fun because we know each other from home. We all come from the same region in Germany, from the Münster area.”

Anna-Christina Abbelen & Sam Donnerhall. Photo ©

The silver medal winning U.S. team of Jan Ebeling on Jubi’s Tenacity (70.087%), Kevin Kohmann on Dünensee, Erin Nichols with Elian Royale (69.565%, a new career-high score), and Jennifer Williams riding Joppe K (68.652%) was led by Chef d’Equipe Christine Traurig in their first team outing of the 2024 competition season.

Kohmann, who is 35, finished second individually on Diamante Farms’ 15-year-old Dancer gelding, providing the US with a valuable 71.326%, and notching up a new personal best with the horse in the process.

“I’m super thrilled to be in a situation with these guys, some old teammates,” said Kohmann, who represented Germany on Nations Cup teams at AGDF until he switched nationalities three years ago. “Today my half-passes were great and the pirouettes were super.

“Every show I feel more comfortable riding these movements and push a little bit more. Every time it’s a bit better. To be the anchor rider for my team made me so proud. And to get the top score? I’m just thrilled,” he added.

Michael Klimke & Domino 957. Photo ©

The bronze medal winning Swedish team consisted of Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén (70.5% on Devanto), Caroline Darcourt (70.152% on Lord Django) and Christina Devine (58.304% on Slæbækgåard’s Santino).

Tuny Page of sponsor Stillpoint Farm said, “It was an honor for my family and my stable family to commit to the sponsorship for the Nations Cup right from the beginning. It’s an incredibly important competition. Some riders here are incredibly experienced, and for them this is fun and they bring a lot of strength, but it also gives opportunity to others that haven’t been on a team before, and I think that’s really important, and it’s one of the reasons we support it. Plus this is a beautiful place, and the management is fantastic.”

Pape’s young stallion impresses in the CDI3*

A healthy start list of 19 competitors stepped forward for the CDI3* Grand Prix, sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings. From the penultimate draw, Great Britain’s Susan Pape shot to the top of the leaderboard with 71.391%, 2.6 percentage points clear of the eventual runner-up, Pablo Gómez Molina (ESP). Molina rode Cristina Danguillecourt, Javier Bacariza and Yeguada de Ymas SL’s 11-year-old San Amour Hanoverian gelding Servus Ymas to 68.783%. Yvonne Losos De Muñiz clinched third, riding her own and Sylvia Ines Muñiz Losos’ 19-year-old KWPN mare to 68.326%. The mare by United was the oldest horse in the class.  

Susan Pape & Harmonys V Plus. Photo ©

Pape’s performance on her own and Harmony Sporthorses’ 10-year-old Vivaldi stallion — the equal youngest horse in the class — was the unanimous winner from all five judges. The score could have been even higher if not for a mistake in the one-time changes, which garnered fours across the board. There was a generous sprinkling of eights on the impressive Oldenburg’s score sheet, including for the halts, the extended walk and in the canter work.

“For his age he doesn’t have so much mileage in grand prix, so I’m very happy,” said Pape, who will return to her German base in two weeks. “The pirouettes were really nice and he was in a good frame. He felt confident even though he’s not been doing grand prix for very long. 

“I did have a blip in the ones and it was totally my mistake, but other than that he was so concentrated in the ring. There’s still lots to improve, but I think the quality is there once he has more strength.”

Susan Pape & Harmonys V Plus presented as winners of the CDI3* Grand Prix, sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings, by Dr. Diane Fellows and Judge at C Katrina Wüst. Photo ©

Pape has been riding the V-Plus since he was four, and their partnership is gelling well.  

“He really is with me — except for the jog, where he’s not very nice — but other than that he’s such a sweetheart,” enthused Pape, who trains with her husband Inge and Gareth Hughes. “You depend upon your horse as a partner. Everybody has to stay healthy and the training needs to get to the point where you can be really confident about everything, but V-plus is definitely in a really good way.” 

Dressage resumes on Friday, February 23, with daytime and evening competition, including for Juniors, Young Riders and the Lövsta Future Challenge, an Intermediate II class for developing grand prix horses. Both the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle and the Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle showcase classes take place during the gala evening dubbed “Friday Night Stars” under the lights. For more information and results, visit


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