Opening day of the 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) delivered a poetic win for Germany’s 23-year-old Felicitas Hendricks and Drombusch OLD in the FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic on Thursday. Hendricks and her 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Destano x Dimaggio) claimed their first Big Tour win after Hendricks made her international debut at AGDF in 2015.
The class was a qualifier for the FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle, which takes place under the lights on Friday night during the first of the “Friday Night Stars” series.
Wellington has watched Hendricks climb the ranks, and will again watch her compete during “Friday Night Stars” for the first time in her career. She and Drombusch OLD will again perform the freestyle that won them an individual silver medal at the European Under-25 Championships this past summer.
“I’m always happy to be back here,” said Hendricks, whose AGDF career started when she was a junior and has cued many “firsts” since, including her senior Nations Cup debut – and gold medal for Germany.
Of Drombusch’s reaction to being in Florida for another season, Hendricks noted, “He got off the trailer yesterday and he knew exactly where he was. He was like ‘Okay, I don’t need to be nervous; I’m home.’”
Anna Marek Leads Off for Home Country
Coming off a U.S. team gold medal at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, Anna Marek and her partner Fire Fly started their campaign with a win in the CDI3* Grand Prix, presented by Olympia Footing on Thursday.
The pair that was also the highest-placed individual U.S. combination in Chile was awarded a 70.652% for the victory on opening day of AGDF.
“We’re becoming more of a partnership every day,” said Marek of her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Briar Junior x OO Seven) owned by Janet Simile. “It seems like with each show we go in, I can relax and trust that he’s going to do what I want.”
Marek noted that her number-one goal for the 2024 season is to make the shortlist for the Paris Olympic Games and travel to Europe for the first time for the selection trials.
For more information and results, visit https://gdf.coth.com.