The much anticipated first ‘Friday Night Stars’ evening of musical freestyle competition at the 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL brought impressive performances on a balmy night in front of packed stands during Lloyd Landkamer Memorial week.
In the week’s highlight class, the FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the podium finishers all came from the final three combinations, spearheaded by a spellbinding performance of power and grace from Germany’s 23-year-old Felicitas Hendricks. She rode her own 13-year-old Drombusch OLD (Destano x Dimaggio) to 78.49%, the pair’s second highest score to date.
Riders from the USA filled the remaining two places, with Anna Marek and the 14-year-old Fayvel (Zizi Top x Houston) setting a new career high of 77.715%, far exceeding their previous best of 75.235%, set in Ocala in December. Kevin Kohmann secured third place from final draw on Diamante Farms’ Dancier x Davignon gelding Dünensee with 76.305%.
Fresh from her team and individual gold medals at the under-25 European Championships, Hendricks put on a masterfully mature display with Drombusch, her partner of seven years.
“This is huge for me because I did my first senior classes here last year and I never thought that I would be here in this position today,” beamed Hendricks, who has been a regular at AGDF since her debut season as a junior in 2015. “I was just happy if we got through the grand prix, and now I’ve won this class — it’s unreal.”
AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur said, “Felicitas is a perfect example of what Global can do: she came here in 2015 as a junior, and left as number-one junior in the world after the season. Now she’s back here winning grand prix. You cannot compare that to anywhere else in the world, which is what makes it really special here.”
For more information and results, visit https://gdf.coth.com.