Falsterbo (SWE), 8 July 2011 – It was a case of “mission accomplished” for the German team at Falsterbo, Sweden today when they won the fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup 2011 and consequently rocketed up the series leaderboard to third place. In a thrilling competition that saw the defending double-champions share runner-up spot with the host nation as, at last, the pendulum of good fortune began to swing back in the direction of the French, the Dutch had to settle for fourth ahead of the Irish in fifth while the USA clinched sixth place.
The withdrawal of Tim Stockdale and Fresh Direct Kalico Bay left the British vulnerable in the second round and in seventh at the end of the day despite otherwise consistently good performances. And while the Belgians finished eighth with a big score of 47 faults on an afternoon they will probably not care to remember, it was an even more difficult day for the Danes who finished last and are now so far behind at the bottom of the league table that it seems nothing can save them from relegation in their debut season of top-level Nations Cup jumping. Punished in the first round by the elimination of anchorman Thomas Velin who seemed at odds with his long-time ride Godsend du Reverdy, their chances were completely crushed when Tina Lund’s Qrispy D Ive Z simply refused to take part in the second round.
LEVEL PEGGING The Germans and Swedes were in the lead on level pegging with just four faults apiece at the end of the round one, followed closely by the Irish carrying eight and then the French with 12, the Dutch with 13, the USA with 15 and the British with 16 faults on the board. Denmark and Belgium were already trailing the field with 25 and 27 faults respectively, the 34 faults collected by last-line-rider Jan Vinckier (Ursela) seriously compromising Belgian chances. But to say he was unfortunate second time out would be a complete understatement. The triple combination – vertical, oxer, vertical – at fence eight was the bogey of the day, but Ursela had lowered only the previous oxer before she slipped on landing over the second element of the treble and slid to a stop in front of the third. Persistent rain throughout the opening round had necessitated the movement of some fences to better ground, but it still proved increasingly challenging as the competition progressed.
Lausanne SUI, 1 July 2011 – The eight-leg FEI Nations Cup 2011 series reaches the halfway stage when it resumes, after a four-week break, at Falsterbo, Sweden next Friday (8 July), and with The Netherlands holding a solid lead at the top of the league table. Once again this will be a nine-nation contest as the host country is entitled to compete despite being relegated to the Promotional League last season. They cannot earn Top League points, but the Swedes could well pull off a big result because they won here on their home turf last summer and they have been fighting hard, and very successfully, in this year’s Promotional League series. They may well be on their way back to the elite level of the sport.
Swedish Chef d’Equipe, Sylve Soderstrand, named his side earlier this week and it includes the young lady who set the Gothenburg leg of last season’s Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series alight with a superb winning performance. Riding the Cruising mare Midtown du Tillard, 24 year old Angelica Augustsson became an overnight sensation when producing a devastating turn of speed in the 12-horse jump-off which left Australian star Edwina Alexander and German ace Ludger Beerbaum in her immediate wake. Beerbaum was moved to comment afterwards, “This is the cream – it doesn’t come better than this, and we will remember today for a very long time.” And Augustsson will be in the distinguished company of Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Peder Fredricson. It seems the Swedes really do intend to make an impression next Friday afternoon.
SUPER-CONFIDENT The Dutch will be feeling super-confident after their back-to-back double of victories in Rome (ITA) and St Gallen (SUI) which have ensured their 4.5 advantage at the head of the leaderboard. Team manager Rob Ehrens said from the outset that he wanted to do most of the hard work early this season to ease the pressure closer to the FEI European Championships in Madrid in September – and it has worked like a dream. He is, however, still taking a strong squad that includes Piet Raymakers Jr, Leon Thijssen, Maikel van der Vleuten, Vincent Voorn and Albert Zoer.
Anja Plönzke of Germany is atop the latest Nurnberger World Dressage Masters Rider Rankings after the first two of five CDI5* events on the 2010-11 lineup in which Nurnberger Versicherungsgruppe awards €25,000 (US$31,800) to the winner.
So far this year in the events which count toward the award, the finished 2nd in the Grand Prix and 3rd in the Grand Prix Special at Cannes, France and 3rd in the Grand Prix in mid-June and 4th in the Grand Prix Freestyle at Falsterbo, Sweden last week.
Her results accumulated 1,090.5 points, with Poland’s Michal Rapcewicz in second place on 855 points and Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands in third place with 765 points.
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 10 — Anky van Grunsven gave a display of her trademark Queen of the Freestyle when she rode IPS Painted Black to victory in the Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Kür presented by Axel Johnson Group for her fifth WDM CDI5* title in two years of the richest lineup of competitions on the globe.
Competing in the inaugural €100,000 (US$126,400) WDM at the Falsterbo Horse Show and her first time at this summer beach resort, Anky and the 13-year-old stallion posted a score of 82.40 per cent. The freestyle that was presented by Axel Johnson Group had total prize money of €60,000 (US$75,800) with first place earning €16,000 (US$20,200).
Germany’s Ulla Salzgeber and the 10-year-old mare Wakana showed none of the spookiness from shows earlier this year and placed second on 75.90 per cent with Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven and Favourit awarded 75.40 per cent. They were the hometown favorites of the enthusiastic Swedish crowd that numbered 3,000 paid spectators and many hundreds more who crowded every available place around the arena in sunny weather with temperatures above 80 degrees (27C).
Falsterbo (SWE), 9 July 2010 – On an afternoon of dramatically fluctuating fortunes, the host nation of Sweden sprung a big surprise as they swept to victory in the fifth leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup on their home ground at Falsterbo today. It was against all the odds, because they had previously picked up only two points in the series and seemed to be staring relegation in the face at the end of the season. But in typically stubborn style they didn’t let the pressure overwhelm them, and three first-round clears ensured they would always be in contention while it was their Olympic silver medallist, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, who clinched it for them in the end.
The Netherlands finished a strong second, also shaking off some distressingly poor results in previous legs of this super-tough Meydan FEI season, while Spain and France divided third, Ireland and the USA shared fifth place and Great Britain had to settle for seventh this time out. Switzerland finished eighth after only just managing to squeeze into the second round and, in another real turn-up for the books, the German team were sidelined at the end of round one along with the unfortunate Polish side that suffered elimination.
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 9 — Germany’s Jonny Hilberath who has been competing Amüsant internationally for just four months notched their first victory Saturday by winning the inaugural €30,000 (US$37,860) Moorland Grand Prix Special Dressage Derby presented by Agria as part of the Exquis World Dressage Masters.
Jonny and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Elisabeth Max-Theurer and competed once internationally by her daughter, Victoria, almost two years ago scored 69.292 per cent despite mistakes in both the one- and two-tempi changes. The Netherlands’ Christa Laarakkers and Divoza Horseworld Ovation finished second with 67.250 per cent and hometown favorite Charlotte Haid Bondergaard on Lydianus was third on 66.292 per cent.
For Jonny and Amüsant’s first WDM, and the first time the Falsterbo Horse Show has included the prestigious CDI5* in its competition schedule the win earned them €9,500 (US$12,000) while Christa, who competed at WDM in Palm Beach earlier this year, earned €7,000 (US$8,830) and Charlotte €5,500 (US$6,940).
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 8 — Anky van Grunsven, the most successful rider in the Exquis World Dressage Masters, on Thursday rode a newly recovered IPS Painted Black to victory in the Grand Prix of the first €100,000 CDI5* competitions staged by the Falsterbo Horse Show.
Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven, one of Sweden’s most popular dressage stars, gave the big crowd that turned out to support the event good cause to applaud even more enthusiastically than they did for all the riders when she and the 11-year-old Favourit turned in a performance that placed them second.
Anky and the 13-year-old stallion Painted Black was the unanimous choice by the judges for first place in the Nurnberger Versicherungsgruppe Grand Prix presented by Agria with a score of 75.234 per cent with Tinne and Favourit posting marks of 71.957 per cent. Germany’s Anja Plönzke and Le Mont d’Or, competing in their fourth WDM CDI5* event so far this year–Palm Beach in the USA, Munich, Germany and Cannes, France in addition to Falsterbo–was third on 68.723 per cent.
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 7 — The Exquis World Dressage Masters, established on both sides of the Atlantic in its second year as the world’s richest lineup of dressage shows, starts its first €100,000 (US$126,000) CDI5* at the famous Falsterbo Horse Show Thursday with riders from six nations scheduled to perform in the Grand Prix.
Anky van Grunsven, the winningest competitor in the World Dressage Masters since the inaugural test event at Cannes two years ago, on IPS Painted Black will lead a squad of three combinations from The Netherlands in seeking to add a fifth title to the two she won at Palm Beach and two at Cannes.
A strong Swedish squad of the four most likely combinations to represent the nation at this year’s World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, German Olympian Ulla Salzgeber on Wakana and Anja Plönzke on Le Mont d’Or as well as the USA’s Catherine Haddad on her increasingly successful Winyamaro, Evi Strasser of Canada on Quantum Tyme and the top two riders from Poland are scheduled to start in the €10,000 Nürnberger Versicherungdgrupper Grand Prix presented by Agria.
FRENCH STILL IN FRONT AS SERIES ARRIVES IN FALSTERBO
Falsterbo (SWE), 6 July 2010 – The defending champions from France still hold the whip hand as the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup series moves to Falsterbo in Sweden this Friday. Full of flair and confidence they blazed a trail through the first-half of the season with a spectacular hat-trick of wins, and they hold an eight-point lead over Great Britain in second place going into the last four rounds of the eight-leg series.
After a superb victory from the all-girl team in Rotterdam three weeks ago the USA has improved to third with just 3.5 points separating them from the British, while Germany lies fourth, just 0.5 points further adrift. The Spanish team, newcomers to this top level of team jumping, have shown themselves more than equal to the task and in fifth place hold a single-point advantage over the Irish in sixth. But neither of these nations can afford to rest on their laurels.