29 September 2023

World Championships for Pairs Le Pin: Martin Hölle leads the rankings

The dressage of World Championships for Pairs is over. After no one managed to get below 50 penalty points yesterday, the jury seemed to score a little easier today. Reigning World Champion Martin Hölle leads the rankings with a difference of almost five penalty points.

Many nice scores appear on Hölle’s protocol. For example, the jury was unanimous about the extended trot, the semicircle on the left and the semicircle on the right. He received only eights for those movements from the five-member jury. The last extended trot across the center line and the halt was also textbook. He received four nines and an 8.5 for that. The total score: 36.92 penalty points. A good start for the young Hungarian, who has already won the World title for the past three years.

Martin Hölle wins the dressage
Photo: Melanie Guillamot

Big differences

Frank Grimonprez (FRA) also did a good job today. He scored 41.45 penalty points and is in second place. Kristof Osztertag (HUN) completes the podium with his good score of 48.46.

The differences in the top three seem large, but anything still can happen in the always difficult Le Pin au Haras marathon. Course builder Gabor Fintha has provided sufficient challenge, especially in obstacles 1 through 4. “There are a few E and F lines that run straight through the obstacle. As a result, the pace in those obstacles has to be reduced slightly at the beginning, but later you can increase it again”, says Stan van Eijk, the best Dutchman in dressage.

Stan van Eijk best Dutchman

We ask him about his test. “If you had asked me in advance whether I would be happy with this, I would certainly have said ‘Yes’. I have not had an easy season due to some changes in the team, but I am certainly happy with my score and the placement,” he says with satisfaction. “The footing today was a little heavier than I expected. It wasn’t bad, don’t get me wrong. But as a result I noticed that my left horse, the newer Don Briano, lacked some strength and confirmation. It certainly didn’t go too bad and I’m satisfied with my test, but the pair was a little brighter in their work the last days. I had hoped to be able to show that today.”

“And do you know what it is? Martin is, as often, at the very top. Grimonprez is quite close to that and then there is a group quite close together. That’s great, isn’t it? In addition, with our fourth place in the Nations Cup, we are not in a bad position. Tomorrow’s marathon is tough, but that is also allowed at a championship like this. The horses are fit, the course is tough and I have a good feeling about the obstacles. We did quite a few international competitions this year, which were not very easy. So I know that the horses are fit and strong enough. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, we’ll see!”


With the two great results from Martin Hölle and Kristof Osztertag, Hungary takes the lead in the Nations Cup. Thanks to the result of Franck Grimonprez and Francois Dutilloy (eighth), France is now in silver. Germany completes the podium of the intermediate rankings with the scores of Marco Freund and Anna Sandmann. Today they finished in fourth and fifth place. The Netherlands is in fourth place in the rankings due to the results of Stan van Eijk and Erik Evers.

The marathon will be held tomorrow. Kalman Babo (ROU) will start first tomorrow morning at 9:00 am.

Click here for the photo album from Thursday

Click here for he photo album from Friday

Click here for the results and the starting order of the marathon