This film documents the successful journey of Klaus Balkenhol (trainer to the US dressage team) and the team riders during the summer of 2006, culminating in the winning of the coveted bronze medal at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany.
The documentary covers daily training during the five weeks of preparation prior to the competition, views behind the scenes, and exciting moments in the warm up arena just prior to the medal winning performance. It begins with the process of selection and once the team is finalised, then intensive training commences at Klaus Balkenhol's yard.
It's a pleasure and a privalege to watch Guenter Seidel and the fabulous Aragon, who Klaus found as a show-jumper when giving a clinic in Eastern Europe. Aragon is stunning and razor sharp, reacting off the tiniest aids and Gunter rides him with amazing poise and stillness. Steffen Peters and Ravel, winners of the 2009 World Cup, are simply poetry to watch. He's big and powerful and performs with ease - the classic model of a dressage horse. The same can be said of Bretina, a stunning mare also found by Klaus and initially produced by him. Bretina is ridden by Debbie McDonald and they too are past World Cup winners. Watching the warmup at Aachen offers a stark contrast in the approach of top riders some riding classically and others using the controversial Rollkur. The difference is startling!
This DVD has both English and German language options for you to choose from when you view and is in PAL format.
Running time: 1 hour 2 minutes
"I bought Klaus Balkenhol's 'Foal to Grand Prix' Parts 1 and 2, plus his life story DVDs and enjoyed them so much I thought I would complete the set with the rest of the Klaus videos available on Horse Hero. I also have the book (Riding with Sympathetic Hands) which accompanies the DVDs. Klaus is such an understanding man. Although there are not "how to do it" style DVDs, his knowledge and understanding of the horses shine through and you gain valuable insight to his training methods. Even horses with problems are included, so its not just the finished horse or the non-problematic horse that is discussed. Long may Klaus live to give others the chance to experience his outstanding way of training horses. I would recommend these DVDs to anyone!" Jeanette Beevor-Reid