This month, it all comes down to two shows for the Dutch Olympic candidates. The Dutch Equestrian Federation is holding two Dutch Olympic Selection trials which count directly for the nomination of the official team for the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. The trials are at CDI De Steeg, this weekend, and CDIO Rotterdam in two weeks.
Anky van Grunsven and Imke Schellekens-Bartels have already assured a spot on the team, the fight is definitely on for the third spot which is most likely going to be between Hans Peter Minderhoud and Adelinde Cornelissen.
Minderhoud and the chestnut Trakehner bred mare Nadine (by Partout) were members of the gold medal winning team at the 2007 European Dressage Championships in Turin, Italy, but their score average has been overclassed this year by Adelinde Cornelissen on the chestnut Dutch warmblood gelding Parzival (by Jazz). Cornelissen became the 2008 Dutch Indoor and Outdoor Dressage Champion and has been consistently scoring round 72-73% in the Grand Prix.
Three more riders from the Dutch Olympic long list will not participate in the Olympic qualifier at De Steeg. Kirsten Beckers' keur stallion Broere Jazz (by Cocktail) is not fit, while Marlies van Baalen's Kigali (by Wolfgang) has a bruised hoof. Stephanie Peters cancelled her entry with Jeff because of a minor injury, but the pair is expected to show again at the final qualifier in Rotterdam.
Van Grunsven considers the CDI De Steeg, also known as Outdoor Gelderland, as a test event where she will train her horse in competition. In the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf she already announced her show strategy for this weekend: not necessarily to ride a fault free Grand Prix, but to train her horse in the competition ring.
"It could very well be that I will have to correct Salinero in the show at De Steeg, or maybe I'll try out something new with him, if the situation presents itself. Normally, you never do such a thing during a championship or at a big show, because you want to ride as error-free as possible," Van Grunsven wrote in De Telegraaf. (Read More)
Karin Offield and Lingh Arrive in The Netherlands
American Karin Offield has arrived in The Netherlands with her renowned KWPN licensed stallion Lingh (by Flemmingh x Colombus). She will be competing at the CDIO Rotterdam and is currently training with Van Grunsven in Erp, The Netherlands. "I had a great time at Anky van Grunsven's last winter and felt right at home in the European dressage world. That's what I want," Offield told the KWPN press office. "I have said to the U.S.A. farewell for now."
CDI-PJYR Bonn: Rothenberger, Müller, Winkelhues Win
Sönke Rothenberger, Thea Felicitas Müller and Katharina Winkelhues were the grand champions of the CDI-PJYR Bonn. They won the individual kur to music finals on Sunday. Sönke Rothenberger was unbeatable in all three pony classes with Deinhard. Junior rider Müller has been taken the German dressage scene by storm winning silver at the Preis der Besten and now the kur in Bonn. Young rider Katharina Winkelhues won on home turf aboard Rubina. The show, which is organized at the Winkelhues' stables, is run by the ARC Bonn equestrian society . (View Scores)
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