Kevin Kohmann Crowns 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival Week 7 With Emotional Grand Prix Special Individual Gold

Kevin Kohmann Crowns 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival Week 7 With Emotional Grand Prix Special Individual Gold

The second and final set of individual medals was awarded in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* Grand Prix Special on Saturday of week 7 at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, Florida. The on-form American rider Kevin Kohmann was overcome with emotion to stand atop the podium bedecked with the gold medal on an idyllic, warm and sunny afternoon. AGDF hosts seven weeks of CDI competition over three months and runs through March 31.

Michael Klimke rode Uwe Kappel’s 12-year-old Domino 957 (by Den Haag) to 67.766% and the silver medal. At just 20 years old, Erin Nichols earned bronze riding Premiere Sport Horses’ 15-year-old Glock’s Johnson gelding Elian Royale to 67.128%.

“It was super standing up there — I’m speechless right now,” said Kohmann, who switched nationalities from his native Germany three years ago. “This is my second time riding a Nations Cup for the US and I had tears during the anthem.

“I am so thrilled to have won even though today wasn’t really the test that I wanted it to be,” he added of the small mistakes that crept into their performance. “He had a bit more go, so we’re going to change the strategy for our next warm-ups, for day number two especially. It seems that the horse has so much energy, which is great, but it was too much today for me to manage through the test, so we missed the suppleness and looseness that we normally have.”

The 15-year-old Dünensee’s story with Kohmann began a decade ago when his now wife Devon Kane bought the horse for herself as a five-year-old.

“He kept growing and growing, then I ended up with him because I’m a tall, strong guy,” explained the 35-year-old rider. “Then he went to a bunch of other tall, strong guys — and then almost 10 years later he was back with me. I still have the first sales video I made with him, he was already doing his tempi changes.”

When Kohmann picked up the son of Dancer’s reins again in early 2023, he wasn’t convinced that he could adequately show Dünensee, but he was persuaded by his wife and trainer Christoph Koschel, who also rode the horse for a period.

“A year ago, I didn’t believe that I could show the horse; I couldn’t ride one clean line of changes at home, but Devon and Christoph told me, ‘Yes you can, just do it.’ We went out there and they were right, it was good enough. From that moment on, we started trusting each other. Now I walk into the barn and his ears are straight forward, it’s so nice. He’s the sweetest horse on the planet.

“I didn’t think we could even ride a test, and now we’ve done Nations Cups and will probably do the World Cup this year; I don’t know what the limit is. This horse is going to stay in the family forever now, he’s earned his spot,” added Kohmann, who plans to compete the horse in next week’s FEI World Cup™ qualifier.

Personal bests were the order of the day in the Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Iron Spring Farm, which featured an all-female podium line-up. Winner Susan Pape (GBR) added to her stellar results this season with her own and Harmony Sporthorses’ 10-year-old Vivaldi stallion by taking the spoils with 72.936%.

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