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photo courtesy of Dressage Ireland
Anna Merveldt-Steffens Wins "Irish Field" Dressage Rider Of The Year Award

Senior Irish International rider, Anna Merveldt-Steffens
is the winner of the prestigious "Irish Field" Dressage Rider
of the Year award for the second year in a row.

Despite only one international outing in the first six months of
2001 due to the foot and mouth restrictions, when placing
seventh in the Grand Prix Speciale at the Munich CDI** last
May, Anna Merveldt-Steffens put in a top class performance
to qualify for the individual final at the European Dressage
Championships in Verden,Germany. Riding the hannovarian gelding
Darius she easily qualified for the Grand Prix Speciale from
a field of fifty starters on the opening day. With only fifteen
places on offer for the Grand Prix Kur (individual Final) on
the last day of the championships Anna maintained her
good form to qualify and go on to place fourteenth
in the final individual classification. This was the best performance
by an Irish rider at a championships since she herself placed
sixth in the World Equestrian Games eight years ago.

With Darius out of action later in the year Anna brought out
her trainer Johann Hinnemann's westphalian gelding Fosbury
and what a memorable debut it turned out to be. Having placed
fourth in the Grand Prix on the opening day of the Stadl Paura
CDI*** in Austria last November they saved their best for the
final day when Fosbury produced a stunning test in his first
Grand Prix Speciale to place second. A top ten finish at the
Oldenburg CDI*** a fortnight later followed by a third place finish
in the Speciale at Munich Indoors in December rounded off a
good year for the Irish rider confirmed by her return to the top
fifty in the FEI/BCM World Dressage Rankings. Anna has qualified
to represent Ireland at the World Equestrian Games in Spain next

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