Equestre Internationale News
World Cup Dressage Qualifier
Mechelen, Belgium, 29th December 2003
Spirit of Song accompanies Salinero to victory
van Grunsven showed she is back on top form with a resounding
victory in the FEI World Cup Dressage Qualifier in Mechelen. The
Dutch ace rode her young talent Gestion Salinero to victory here
last year, but disaster was to befall her weeks later when injuries
sustained in a fall at home put paid to her competitive hopes
for much of the year. Here this year, the nine-year-old Salinero
exhibited a new level of accomplishment and surety in a breathtaking
performance to a new freestyle programme L'Esprit Chanson designed
by Cees Slings and Viktor Kerkoff. The whole package could only
be described as brilliant.
Grunsven, the reigning Olympic champion who won the World Cup
a record five times on her wonderful partner Gestion Bonfire,
has now risen to third place in the season's rankings, and is
on course for a place at the final in Dusseldorf (April 1-4 2004).
Edward Gal and Gestion Lingh, also trained by Anky's partner and
trainer Sjef Janssen, second place rewarded a new level of concentration
and partnership for this comparatively inexperienced but talented
partnership. Gestion Lingh's extended trot showed real brilliance
and while he had every reason to be sensitive, as he can be, in
this huge atmosphere and in front of a sell-out crowd, he put
his trust and co-operation with his rider.
Antoinette Falandt in third place on Jarwo, followed by Sven Rothenberger
and Marlies van Baalen, Mechelen proved the place where the tide
of Dutch fortune turned. The team failed to come home with a European
medal, but as the New Year dawns with Athens on the horizon, prospects
for a strong Dutch contribution to the World Cup Final on the
way to Olympic heights are looking very rosy, given good fortune.
the home crowd too there was hope for the future as Belgium's
Jeroen Devroe turned in a promising performance for seventh place
behind top Swiss rider Christian Plaege.
next FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier takes place in Amsterdam,
The Netherlands (Jan 29th - Feb 1st 2004)
(including full results and latest