With the start of winter circuits just around the corner, Rene Dittmer is proving he’s one to watch this year at Wellington International and beyond.
The 30-year-old phenom from Stade, Germany has been on a tear since he landed in the States late this summer, and added yet another dominant win to his resume on Saturday night in Wellington in the $226,000 Holiday & Horses CSI4* Grand Prix.
Riding the 10-year-old Holsteiner mare, Corsica X, Dittmer was the first rider to jump clear on Anthony D’Ambrosio’s heavy-hitting 1.60m track. Only three combinations were able to follow his lead: Mckayla Langmeier (USA) and Jiselle NS, Peter Lutz (USA) and Hollerno, and Scott Keach (AUS) and Noble De La Chapelle.
As the pathfinder once again in the jump-off round, Dittmer planned to proceed with caution.
“Of course, for the first round, my plan was to go clear. In the jump-off, I wanted to go fast but not overdo it—just fast enough to put pressure on the others,” he said.
Stopping the clock at 42.32 seconds, he hit the perfect mark, making the most of Corsica’s rideability and growing experience at this level.
“I’ve had Corsica for about a year-and-a-half now,” said Dittmer, who handily edged-out Langmeier in second place on 44.5 seconds, and Lutz in third on 44.77. “She’s been doing amazing this whole year. I’m so happy the owner, Mark Miness, let me ride her and she’s just really taking off.”
This is the third international win in less than two months for Dittmer and Corsica, who took home both welcome stakes at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) and the National Horse Show in Lexington, KY. They’ve also be racking up their fair share of World Cup points, taking second in the $450,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington CSI5*-W, fourth at $226,000 World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W, and a fifth at $181,166 World Cup Toronto CSI4*-W.
At WIHS, the German rider also won the $40,000 Accumulator Costume Class—dressed as a mug of beer, naturally—aboard Burlington Riverland, former ride of Dittmer’s longtime girlfriend, American show jumper Chloe Reid.
In fact, the former rider for Ludger Beerbaum and Meredith Michaels Beerbaum (GER), who now trains with Canada’s Mario Deslauriers, has said he has his eye on a spot at Longines FEI World Cup Finals in 2024. A realistic goal, given that Dittmer currently sits fourth in the standings in the ultra-competitive Western-European League.
And it doesn’t take a statistician to recognize that his numbers are clearly trending in the right direction.
According to Jumpr App, in just 10 rounds at 1.60m with Corsica X, the pair jump clear at a 50% average, finishing in the top-10 56% of the time. What’s more: just one year ago, the German rider earned a total of €24,850 in winnings with Corsica. This year, their prize money total is €223,808, a whopping 9 times what they made in 2022.
In other words, you could say that Dittmer has more than paid for the airfare on his 2023 American holiday. Look for him to wow in 2024.