It’s a very rare phenomenon in the international dressage world to see a judge give a 10 for a movement, but FEI judge, Ann Cizadlo, gave two of those highest possible scores to Kevin Kohmann and the gorgeous stallion Five Star in a Prix St. Georges test in Wellington, FL, in July.
“Five Star is an extremely impressive dressage horse, and Kevin is doing an excellent job with that horse. The test I watched was the best I had ever seen him ride. I cannot wait to see where these two go in the very near future. It should be extremely exciting,” commented Cizadlo.
Through the roof
It’s been almost a year since Kevin Kohmann got the ride on Five Star. The approved Dutch Warmblood stallion (Amazing Star x Jazz) was imported from Europe as a 9-year-old by Equitas LLC at the end of the summer in 2019.
“When we first got him, I began riding him more regularly to get him ready for Olga Hartsock-Ozerova to compete him in the Small Tour,” says Kohmann. Hartsock-Ozerova showed the fancy stallion successfully, but at the end of the short 2020 winter season, the team surrounding Five Star made the decision to have Kohmann train him full time. “The goal is to teach him the Grand Prix movements and to get him confirmed enough for Olga,” says Kohmann. “But we also decided that he has to continue showing while we are working on that.”
Five Star exceeded all expectations when Kohmann was training him over the past months. “This summer is when he really started to develop and over-achieve. I think the higher degree of collection needed for the Grand Prix just helped us so much overall. Five Star’s scores and performance went through the roof,” smiles Kohmann.
Ann Cizadlo couldn’t agree more with Kohmann’s assessment. “What I saw in July was quite impressive,” says the FEI judge and trainer. “In dressage, we look for quality gaits, and I was able to give him a 10 on his extended walk as well as his extended canter. The extended walk shows the amount of purity of the gait as well as the elasticity and suppleness of the horse’s body, and this horse was exceptional in that department,” explains Cizadlo”
“As a performance judge, I also evaluate the horse’s ability to perform the movements, often in challenging sequences, which make the horse transition from high energy and powerful extended movements back to softer energy, collected movements. I was also quite impressed with this horse’s ability to so fluidly and easily perform the movements in sequence with effortlessness. Often, horses become tense and resistant in parts of the tests, and this horse did not, which can be attributed to his willing attitude and trainability.”
Cizadlo rewarded Kohmann and Five Star with two 10s in that particular test. “I gave one for the extended walk, because he was able to demonstrate the purity of the gait along with the utmost relaxation, swing, use of his body in an extended frame, yet free from any negative tension. He showed an excellent example of elasticity and suppleness in his muscles. When I can’t see anything that I would want to change, I feel it is excellent and deserves a 10,” says Cizadlo.
“The other movement that received a 10 from me was the extended canter. Again, he showed the ultimate balance between the purity of the gait, relaxation, power, reach, swing, elasticity, and suppleness of the muscles, all in uphill self-carriage. It was what I envision as an excellent extended canter, and therefore I gave it a 10! I can still see both of those movements clearly in my head, and when I can remember the movement after the show, it clearly made an impression!”
As a 5- and 6-year-old Five Star’s talent was already recognized in Europe. The liver chestnut stallion did very well at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Germany and Holland. Both years he ended up in the top five, and in 2016 he even won a silver medal.
Kohmann totally agrees with the assessment of the judges back then in Europe. “If you could draw a picture of a beautiful stallion, it would look just like him. I think everybody agrees on that. Besides that, the gaits of this horse are unreal,” says Kohmann.
“What I care about most in a dressage horse, though, is rideability, and Five Star is incredibly easy to ride. He is very comfortable, sensitive, and willing. Even after breeding, Five Star is a real gentleman with Olga and me,” says the German-born rider. “At shows, he is the same horse as he is at home. Five Star’s mind is what I would wish every horse had. He always gives you 100 percent.”
Available for breeding in the U.S.
Currently, Kohmann has one Grand Prix horse, and for Five Star the highest level is visible on the horizon. “My expectations regarding Five Star are incredibly high,” says Kohmann. “He has been impressive from the moment we got him. He has the mind, the gaits, the rideability, and the looks. In Europe, he is already pretty famous for how well he did in the World Championships for Young Dressage horses.”
The incredible potential of the stallion, not only as a performance horse but also as a sire, made Five Star’s owner group, Equitas LLC, decide to offer Five Star for breeding. “We think there is no other stallion like him in the United States,” says Kohmann. “He has the best bloodlines with Flemmingh, Jazz, and Ferro in his pedigree, and he has all the talent in the world. Five Star was already a successful breeding stallion in Europe, so it is an amazing opportunity for American breeders to have a stallion like him available for breeding here in the U.S. His owners are already huge supporters of the sport in this country, and to make a stallion like him available for our breeders is just another sign of how supportive they are of the sport and of the American breeders. Five Star will be available for breeding through www.majesticgaits.com.”
The sky is the limit
As far as Five Star’s dressage career, the Grand Prix is on the horizon. “Our first goal was to get high scores in the small tour, which we did,” says Kohmann. “In the meantime, I am training the Grand Prix movements with him, and I train to get him more established for Olga. Our next step is to compete him in the national Grand Prix and then to get him ready for the international Grand Prix level,” expects Kohmann. “In the meantime, fingers crossed, I should have my U.S. citizenship by the beginning of next season, and honestly, I think from here the sky is the limit.”
Kevin Kohmann came to the United States 14 years ago, when he turned 18 years old. Before that, he received an extensive education following the thorough German dressage system. “My family is a horse family and we had our own barn. My mom has been breeding horses from before I was born,” says Kohmann, who officially became the youngest professional rider ever in Germany when he just turned 18.
In his own business, Kohmann Dressage, that he runs out of Diamante Farm in Wellington, FL, the German rider trains horses from 3 years old up to Grand Prix level. “I’m really grateful and proud that I got to work with some of the best dressage trainers in the world, like Dieter Bruhn, Hubertus Schmidt, Udo Lange, Oded Shimoni, Juan Matute, and Volker Moritz,” says Kohmann. “They helped me become the rider I am today.”