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Ansgar Holtgers Jr. makes quick work of KASK CSI3* Grand Prix

Monday, 19 February 2024
CSI3* Winter Equestrian Festival 2024 (W6)

Photo © Sportfot. Ansgar Holtgers Jr. & Chanyon, winners of the $140,000 KASK CSI3* Grand Prix. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International 



There was no need for a tie-breaker in the $140,000 KASK CSI3* Grand Prix on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village on Saturday during Week 6 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Eighteen-year-old Ansgar Holtger Jr. (USA) won his first-ever international grand prix as the only clear aboard Chanyon in the week’s featured three-star event. WEF hosts 12 weeks of FEI competition at Wellington International and runs through March 31. 

Anna Catalina “Catsy” Cruz of Mexico set a track that proved tough to master. From a field of 42, Holtgers and his 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Grand Canyon) owned by Gut Einhaus, LLC, led the victory gallop as the only clear of the day. 

Photo © Sportfot. Richard Vogel & OO Seven de l'Equipe placed second. Photo © Sportfot.

“Catsy did a great job both days; the triple combination was the hardest part today and I think that got a lot of people,” said Holtgers, who had to change his planned approach to the combination. “It was a going five, or you had to wait a little in six. Our plan was to do five, but I didn't catch the liverpool quite right and ended up doing six. It was a big track and I got lucky enough to jump clear." 

“I was surprised there were no clears when I went in, and when I came out I was hoping there weren’t going to be,” laughed Holtgers. ”I’m superstitious and don’t usually walk jump-offs, and today I didn’t need to. I’m over the moon with the win. We put so much work into this sport and for it to pay off feels incredible."

The fastest four-fault round belonged to Richard Vogel (GER) and 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion OO Seven de l’Equipe (Diamant de Semilly x Caesar van de Helle). They took second for owner Caroline Mawhinney. Rounding out the podium, Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts was third riding Derby de Riverland, an 11-year-old Selle Français gelding (Kannan x L’Arc de Triomphe) owned by Team Philippaerts and Pierre Cimolai.

Photo © Sportfot. Nicola Philippaerts & Derby de Riverland finished third. Photo © Sportfot.

The winning mount, Chanyon, joined Holtger’s string after jumping to sixth individually in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo for Japanese rider Daisuke Fukushima. “We watched him [in the Games] from home and my parents met in the kitchen that night to make a plan to ask about getting the horse.”

Holtgers recalls the first time he sat on the gelding and describes it as the best feeling he’s ever had on a horse. Today, Holtgers credits a great deal of his success with Chanyon to the dedication of his groom. Chanyon’s caretaker, Miguel Perez, was presented with the $500 Grooms Award by Double H Farm after the victory. 

“He’s been with Chanyon for two years and with me for eight,” said Holtgers. “We’ve built a great partnership. If we didn’t have grooms we wouldn’t be able to do this sport. They make everything possible; they take such good care of the horses and the horses love them. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

Vanessa Hood (USA) finished sixth with Cascalretto in Saturday's grand prix after a fourth-place finish on Thursday in the Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup qualifier. The two finishes helped Hood to secure the Martha Jolicoeur Leading International Rider Award, presented together with Michael and Wendy Smith. 

International competition continues at WEF with the Lugano Diamonds CSI5* during Week 7. 


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