Euro Update: Open Letter from Former Olympic Riders on the Swiss Olympic Upheaval

With great interest we have read the reader's letter "Great Disappointment" by Mr. Christoph Ringier as well as the statement of Mr. Jürgen Koschel in Pferwoche, the issue of January 16, 2008. Mr C. Ringier has been a long time, generous and versatile sponsor of the Swiss dressage sport. Mr. Jürgen Koschel was the national team trainer and has announced his resignation after he heard about the withdrawal of Switzerland from the Olympics. We fully share the opinions of both.

It is incomprehensible that Silvia Ikle delayed her decision to withdraw both her horses Salieri and Romario from Olympic participation until begin January 2008. She has taken away every possibility for other team members and for owners and sponsors to come forth with a new Grand Prix horse. The rule says that a horse, which wants to go for an Olympic berth, has to be in Swiss ownership before 31st December 2007. It is unfair towards the FEI, the Olympic committee, and the foreign teams which still have the possibility to qualify.

The rash decision of the Swiss Equestrian Federation not to send a team to Hong Kong without Silvia Ikle, is very disappointing for the other team riders. They have also trained and prepared for the Olympics. It is the goal and dream of every rider to participate at the Olympic Games. Of course we would have no chance there for a top team placing without Ikle, but there are also other nations which can not rely on one top rider in their team. (Read the entire open letter)

Van Grunsven Wins Third World Cup Qualifier of the Season

For the second year the piano virtuoso Wibi Soerjadi was in Amsterdam to witness the performance of the Freestyle he composed. And for the second year he could celebrate the win! Last year Imke Schellekens-Bartels was the winner, this year Anky van Grunsven took the lead with her new kur to music.

The chairman of the judges Wim Ernes praised the riders. As the tension always builds up towards a final, a very strong field of competitors had entered the Amsterdam Horseshow. “The first three were of a very special level. Anky, Imke and Kyra, they all were top of the bill. However they were followed by a strong second part with good competition, Ernes commented.

“After a bit of an insecure start due to the very enthusiast but noisy crowd and some flashlights, I felt very happy with my horse Salinero and my test, my debut for the Dutch of my new Freestyle”, Anky van Grunsven said.

Just like in Mechelen, Imke Schellekens-Bartels became the runner up twice. Today she blamed herself totally for the mistake in the second pirouette. “I made an expensive mess around the second pirouette. Hunter Douglas Sunrise is not to blame, she gave me a great feeling. Another thing I noticed is the rhythm of the canter and my music. The canter is starting to change a bit. Probably we have to work a little on that in the Freestyle.”

Chico's Champ, Price Highlight of the 2008 Verden Winter Auction

With an auction sales price of 72,000 €, the Chico's Boy x Ariston-son Chico's Champ (breeder: Heinz-Peter Steiner - exhibitor: Claus Pax) was the top priced horse of the Hanoverian Winter Auction on January 26, 2008 in Verden, Germany. A well-known Lower Saxonian training and show stable purchased the bay dressage stallion.

121 Hanoverian horses were sold at an average auction sales price of 13,495 € which is the second best result ever achieved at a winter auction. 64 horses were sold abroad. Customers from Sweden bought nine horses, eight horses will travel to France and Spain, seven to Italy. It was the first time that two horses were sold at the phone to Iran.

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Related Links
Euro Update: Swiss Dressage Riders Cause Upheaval
Anky van Grunsven Lands Eighth World Cup Title