I agree with Mercedes. I loved Matine, she was a very happy, willing horse. But she still had so many obvious "green" horse (if you really want to call it that), and movements or even basics that still needed further training. She was only nine, I would have loved to see furthur development.
...And I think Andreas could benefit from attaching fishing weights to his heels and having his spurs taken away for a month.
They still deserved that win in the freestyle, though. Even for the errors they had, the choreography was great with so many risks taken, the musical choice was fitting (and actually flowed together and made sense!), and just the spark and energy all around was so much more enticing.
I definitely would prefer watching Andreas over Anky any day, but he's not my favorite. His free walk is much better than Anky's, who often presents a horror show of a walk (or Salinero, who wasn't even able to halt properly!). I think he was pushing that horse particularly for age 9. Before he competed with her, I would have liked to see him work on her collection more because she still isn't using her hind 100%.
Yes, Matinee was definitely young in that event. I have always thought that Andreas Helgstrand seems like a very tactful rider though, and that he did very well with her and vice versa. She really was a lovely mare. It's a great pity that she didn't get to compete in the WEG 2010. I would have been ecstatic to see her there. She really was one of my favorite dressage horses ever, it would have been a true privilege to see how she matured. I have to say, even after she injured herself, I was very excited about the prospect of foals from her. Now that she has passed on, I'm not sure what to be excited about in the dressage world anymore. I have great tickets to the Kur at the WEG, but I'm sort of wondering why I'm going now. Sure, it would be interesting to see Andreas Helgstrand on his new stallion, Carabas. It hadn't really occurred to me previously that Rollkur was accepted among Grand Prix riders, now I feel I will have to be suspicious of all of those riders (except Andreas Helgstrand, as I know that one of the signs of a Rollkur-trained horse is that they don't swish their tails, and we all know that Matinee was the queen of tail-swishing), it's truly unnerving to think that the riders we have all been taught by championships to look up to, use these horrific methods. Not that I'm that surprised. Riding a horse at all could be construed as cruelty...sometimes I wonder if I'm on the wrong side of that argument.