Great Britain’s Susan Pape achieved top-ten placings in strong company at the prestigious Hagen CDI4* in Germany recently, British Dressage has reported.
This year the theme was ‘Horses & Dreams meet France’ .
Riding Harmony’s Don Noblesse (Dancier x Don Davidoff), a 12-year-old black stallion owned by Harmony Sporthorses, Susan achieved ninth in the Grand Prix for Special on a score of 71.63% followed by 10th in the Special with 70.66%. Both classes were won by the home nation’s Sönke Rothenberger and Cosmo 59 at their first show since a fire destroyed the Rothenberger family’s training centre at the end of February.
“I’m very pleased with him [Don Noblesse],” commented Susan following her return home to Hengststation Pape in Hemmoor, North Western Germany, where she’s based with husband Ingo Pape. “I’m very happy. The horse has gained so much more strength and although there are still areas where he can improve, he gave me a very good feeling. He’s a marvellous horse, and my favourite of them all.”
As a five year old, Harmony’s Don Noblesse reached the finals of the Bundeschampionate and was subsequently bought from the PSI auction. He stood in the finals of the prestigious Nürnberger Burgpokal and in the Louisdor Cup for upcoming Grand Prix horses and finished third in both classes. In 2017, in his first Grand Prix season, he earned several wins and high placings to get selected for the Nations Cup in Rotterdam.
Following a year out after Rotterdam, the breeding stallion has come back stronger than ever, as was evidenced with two plus-70% Grand Prix Special scores at Wellington in Florida where Susan bases herself for two months of every year. “And he’s not even at his peak yet,” she says. “He’s a strong horse and it’s a nice feeling knowing that there’s more to come.”
Susan, who trains with her husband Ingo and Michael Klimke, moved to Germany in 1982 and enjoyed several years under the tutelage of the great Herbert Rehbein and his wife Karin, rider of the legendary dressage stallion Donnerhall. “I did my apprenticeship and worked with Karin Rehbein for seven years. It was an incredible time, grooming for Karin and the great Donnerhall, and it was there that I met my husband.”
She accredits many of her top ride’s qualities to his Donnerhall ancestry. “I can see and feel Donnerhall in Don Noblesse. The strength in the body…the talent for collected work…the way of collecting. There are so many similarities. He has a very good mind also. It doesn’t matter what stall he’s in at a show, or flying, so long as he has something to eat, he’s fine.
“I’m delighted to ride such a horse and thankful for the opportunity they [Harmony Sporthorses] give me to ride these horses.”