The United States had a Nation’s Cup Team at Aachen for the first time since 2005 and finished fourth out of eight international teams just out of the medals with a total of 212.57 behind the Bronze Medal Team, the Netherlands 218.957. "In reality it was what I hoped for," USEF Technical Advisor for Dressage Anne Gribbons told DressageDaily. "With the European Championships in the wings they were not leaving us any room for a medal. All our riders made the Special , and we are sure hoping for a good day tomorrow, and for some to go onto the Freestyle." Once again Steffen Peters and Akiko Yamazaki’s Ravel the double bronze medalists at the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games led the way with a fifth place result, 77. 191 assuring them access to the individual Freestyle on Sunday with the top 15 results averaged after the Grand Prix Special on Saturday. At Aachen where the top 12 results were in the 70’s Peters final result was just a .64% lower than third placed individual Isabell Werth.
Guenter Seidel and Dick and Jane Brown’s UII were 17th, with a 68.532. UII's owners were missed in Aachen, as Dick Brown was not feeling up to the long trip from California. Seidel who has been having an positive Euro tour while training with Klaus Balkenhol showed the strengths of the Jazz gelding in the piaffe, but lost some points with some mistakes in the canter changes a result of being a bit bit tight in the back. After a good day schooling on Friday, Seidel will be looking forward to improving his results in the Grand Prix Special hoping to make the top 12 in order to present his freestyle, which was well received in victory at Fritzens.
Todd Flettrich and Margaret Duprey’s Otto were having a lovely test scoring well until the final piaffe/passage transition normally their strongest movement lost momentum dropping their results to a 26th position with a 66.574. Flettrich in his seventh trip to Europe to train with Hubertus Schmidt is just as at home in Germany as in his United States base in Pennsylvania and Florida. Flettrich and Otto drew the first ride for the Grand Prix Special for Saturday, beginnig at 8:30 AM.
Jan Ebeling and the Oldenburg mare Rafalca owned in partnership with Ann Romney, Amy Ebeling and Beth Meyer had the luck of the draw by being the first pair in competition in the class with a field of 36 entries. While there were many lovely moments in the test, which scored a respectable 66.574, Rafalca had an uncharacteristic tenseness in the arena, which resulted in a bigger downfall to others throughout the day. Ebeling’s 28th place however will assure that all US horses will perform in the Grand Prix Special for Saturday.