CORNELISSEN PIPS WERTH IN A THRILLER AT AMSTERDAM by Louise Parkes
Amsterdam (NED), 22 January 2011 – In one of the toughest battles so far this season, Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival held on to win the seventh leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage series in Amsterdam, The Netherlands today. Winner of yesterday’s Grand Prix, the Dutch star was firm favourite going into the competition. But Germany’s Isabell Werth pushed her all the way with a great performance from Warum Nicht while Sweden’s Patrick Kittel and Watermill Scandic finished a close third.
Underlining the quality of today’s competition, just over six points separated the top seven riders and it is clearly now shaping up to a classic finale in Leipzig, Germany in three months time. Kittel showed however that the result may not necessarily be decided between the traditional protagonists from Holland and Germany. On today’s form, he will be chasing the Swedish dream of measuring up to the third-place finish of Jan Brink and Briar at the 2006 final in Amsterdam and even pushing for the ultimate accolade achieved by Louise Nathhorst and LRF Walk on Top on her home turf in Gothenburg back in 1998.
REEM ACRA SERIES RE-COMMENCES IN AMSTERDAM TOMORROW – Cornelissen favourite after victory in today’s Grand Prix
Amsterdam (NED), 21 January 2011 – The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen looks set to take the seventh leg of the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage season by storm when the series re-commences on her home turf in Amsterdam tomorrow after partnering the fabulous 14 year old gelding Jerich Parzival to a clear-cut victory in today’s Grand Prix at the Dutch fixture. Cornellisen had an advantage of more than four percentage points over runner-up Patrick Kittel riding Watermill Scandic for Sweden, and all five judges – Holland’s Mrs. E. Mouw and Mr. W. Ernes, Mr. J. M. Roudier from France, Belgium’s Mr. J. van Daele and Great Britain’s Mr. S. Clarke – put her in No. 1 spot.
With only three further qualifying legs remaining before the final which kicks off in Leipzig, Germany at the end of April the pressure is mounting with every round, and Amsterdam attracted a strong line-up of 20 top dressage contenders. The top-15 from today’s Grand Prix have qualified for tomorrow’s Freestyle and amongst the seven flying the host nation flag will be Hans Peter Minderhoud who secured maximum points at the sixth leg in Mechelen, Belgium in December. This morning, however, he had to settle for eighth place with IPS Tango, while it was team-mate Sander Marijnissen who produced the second-best Dutch result when slotting in just ahead of him in seventh, riding Moedwil.
Koos de Ronde did it again. The Dutch golden team member of Kentucky has won the FEI World Cup Driving competition in Mechelen for the third time in a row. De Ronde beat Hungary’s Jozsef Dobrovitz with an exciting fast and clear round to put the pressure on last-to-go and wild card driver Boyd Exell. But the World Champion from Australia was unable to stay clear and left the arena with 15 penalty points. When the scores were finally tallied, De Ronde was declared the deserved winner.
Charley is back After wins in 2008 and 2009 in the Nekkerhal just 140 kilometres from his home in The Netherlands, Koos de Ronde was determined to be the best again in Mechelen. Koos was very pleased to be able to use his black horse Charley in the lead of his team again after having to replace him at Budapest due to injury. De Ronde put his team in the highest gear from the start and was the only driver with two clear rounds.
Too generous Boyd Exell, who had received one of the three wild cards from the organisers, was last to go in the Winning Round after a very fast first round. Koos had asked him to be generous before he went into the fully packed arena, but Boyd explained afterwards that he had not planned to be that generous! Boyd, who had swapped his leaders around, went too fast in tight places and knocked three balls down.
KUERTEN KEEPS THE BELGIANS AT BAY ON THEIR HOME TURF AT MECHELEN by Louise Parkes
Mechelen BEL, 30 December 2010 – Ireland’s Jessica Kuerten fended off a powerful challenge from the host nation contingent to scoop maximum points in the eighth leg of the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series at Mechelen in Belgium this afternoon. From a starting field of 38 only four went into the second-round jump-off, and the 41 year old German-based rider snatched victory when second-last to go against the clock riding Lady Georgina Forbes’ Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois.
“It was a very special win, and I feel quite emotional,” Kuerten said afterwards. “We really wanted to win, we were unbelievably motivated and we had to go very fast to beat Gregory Wathalet. Winning this and the Queen’s Cup on Tuesday has made it a fairytale week!” she added. Belgium’s Wathalet took runner-up spot with Sea Coast Cortes C while his fellow-countrymen Jos Lansink (Casper Van Spieveld) and Niels Bruynseels (NASA) filled third and fourth places respectively as the home riders put on a great show in front of their own crowd in the packed Nekkerhal Arena.
GAL REIGNS SUPREME WHILE MINDERHOUD TAKES MAXIMUM POINTS AND SALZGEBER FORGES AHEAD ON LEADERBOARD by Claartje van Andel
Mechelen (BEL), 28 December 2010 – The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and his mare Sisther de Jeu simply did what they set out to do at the sixth leg of the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage series in Mechelen, Belgium today when following their victory in the Grand Prix with the same result in the Freestyle. As Gal is the title defender and does not receive points in his starts, his partner, Hans Peter Minderhoud, claimed maximum points when runner-up with the mare Exquis Nadine. And Ulla Salzgeber, winner at both Kaposvar in Hungary and at Frankfurt in her native Germany this season, finished third with her chestnut mare Wakana to forge a strong lead at the top of the series leaderboard.
Gal was relieved and happy with the win. He took the rather inexperienced mare Sisther de Jeu to Olympia in London and now to Mechelen. “She is very sensitive and is not used to a lot of noise and to the crowds, but she is learning to behave better, and to relax – this definitely will be her future,” the 40 year old rider said with confidence. His Freestyle music is just like the famous Freestyle of his former ride, the stallion Totilas which has now been sold to Germany. The score was created by Dutch musician Joost Peters, who is married to Dutch dressage rider and trainer Mischa Koot, and the music cast a mysterious spell over the movements of Sisther de Jeu who began to really show what she can do during the test.
SALZGEBER REIGNS SUPREME AS GERMANY DOMINATES by Claartje van Andel
Frankfurt (GER), 19 December 2010 – Germany’s Ulla Salzgeber and her reliable chestnut Herzruf’s Erbe won the fifth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage series in the festive surroundings of the Frankfurter Festhalle in Frankfurt today. The victory was the more remarkable as Salzgeber had not been able to practice her Freestyle in a full size arena of 20 by 60 meters before the competition. The German dressage star is in the middle of moving her training facility closer to her yard in order to have more fields surrounding her stable and training centre, so she was delighted with today’s result. German riders filled the top three places and five of the top six slots on their home turf today, Denmark’s Princess Nathalie Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein preventing them from achieving a total white-wash when slotting into fourth.
“All the German team colleagues of the WEG were competing here, so I am too proud of this win!” said Salzgeber after a very well-concentrated test in which the trot-work was a particular highlight. Her “Boney M” musical score has been used before with her former dressage super-star, the great Rusty with whom Salzgeber was crowned champion at both the FEI World Cup Dressage finals in Aarhus and ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 2001 and 2002. The German rider feels it is also very fitting to Herzruf’s Erbe.
EMOTIONAL MICHAEL WHITAKER WINS COVETED OLYMPIA CROWN by Louise Parkes
London GBR, 19 December 2010 – Emotion ran high as Great Britain’s Michael Whitaker celebrated his spectacular victory in today’s seventh leg of the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series at Olympia in London. The 50 year old Yorkshire-born rider was almost speechless with delight after seeing off a class field that included second-placed Irishman Billy Twomey and World No. 1 Kevin Staut from France who had to settle for third. Whitaker choked back the tears in a post-competition TV interview – “The draw had a lot to do with it,” he said modestly, but this did little justice to the skill with which he steered his 10 year old gelding home to an explosion of applause from the ecstatic home crowd.
“The best man won here today,” declared Twomey, whose former mentor, Whitaker, has watched the Irishman steadily climb up the rankings this season. “They say form is temporary, but class is permanent!” Twomey added, paying the ultimate compliment to the man who started him on his road to success.
UNDER-ESTIMATED Course designer Guilherme Jorge from Brazil admitted that he had under-estimated the quality of today’s 37-strong field. “I don’t build very often here in Europe and I know the level of the competition is very high – I should have built bigger. The jumping here has been really amazing,” he said.
THERMAL, CA (December 17, 2010) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that the 2011 Desert Circuit in Thermal, California will host three qualifying events for the 2011 European Youngster Cup Jumper Series’ new Super Final, which will be held in Leipzig, Germany during the FEI World Cup Finals this coming April.
The European Youngster Cup, also known as the EY-Cup, is a series for ambitious, top young riders born after January 1, 1985 that culminates in a Finals held each December in Germany. This is the first time that riders will have the opportunity to compete at a Super Final during FEI World Cup Finals and the first time that the United States will host qualifiers for the event.
The United States Equestrian Federation has just finalized the qualifying specifications for this highly-popular international show jumping event and has selected HITS Thermal to produce one of the four qualified North American riders that will be eligible to compete at the EY-Cup Super Final.
London, 15 December 2010 – A group of children from one of London’s most disadvantaged boroughs got an early Christmas treat today (Wednesday 15 December), when they were invited by Hollywood fashion designer, Reem Acra, and the governing body for horse sport, the FEI, to attend one of the sport’s premier events in London.
The London International Horse Show at Olympia, venue for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage, is one of the most glamorous events on the FEI calendar and is attended by members of the British Royal family and other high profile celebrities.
Today, children from the Ebony Horse Club charity got a chance to experience some of that glamour – from one of the best seats in the house.
International fashion designer Reem Acra, new sponsor of the FEI World Cup Dressage, invited the children to experience the magic of world-class Dressage whilst enjoying dinner in the sponsor’s hospitality suite.
The group also met one of the UK’s leading Dressage riders Laura Bechtolsheimer, who recently won three silver medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.