With the Olympic Games in Sydney approaching rapidly, each European dressage nation is rushed into announcing its Olympic Dressage Team. With the final qualifiers only being over for just few weeks, the most important teams, able to grab a team medal, have been selected.
After the Dutch Championships and the national competition in Kootwijk, Chef d'Equipe Jurgen Koschel pointed out Anky van Grunsven (Bonfire), Coby van Baalen (Ferro), Arjen Teeuwissen (Goliath) and Ellen Bontje (Silvano) as Dutch team members. Chef d'equipe Madeleine Winter-Schulze and team trainer Klaus Balkenhol made their decision right after the CHIO Aachen: Nadine Capellmann (Farbenfroh), Isabell Werth (Gigolo), Ulla Salzgeber (Rusty) and Alexandra Simons-De Ridder (Chacomo) are the ones who will fly to Sydney to defend the gold medal for home country Germany.
Lars Petersen on Blue Hors Cavan, Lone Jorgenssen on FBW Kennedy, Jon Pedersen on Esprit de Valdemar and Anne van Olst on Dempsey are the Danish ones assigned to go at least for bronze.
The Danish team, tipped as possible bronze medal winners at the forthcoming Games, was only announced one week ago or it had to deal with a major setback. Blue Hors Cavan, Denmark's number one dressage horse had to be operated on a testicle fracture. The dark bay approved Hanoverian stallion is recovering well and is currently kept in quarantine in Lingen, Germany. Nevertheless, alternate rider Morten Thompson has been asked to fill in Petersen's position, as it will be unlikely for Cavan to be back in shape for the Olympics.
The British Olympic Dressage Team is shaped by Richard Davison (Askari), Kristy Mepham (Dikkiloo), Carl Hester (Gullit) and Emile Faurie (Tiamo Trocadero).
Photo: Lars Petersen on Blue Hors Don Schufro at the 2000 CHIO Aachen
Text by Astrid Appels of Eurodressage.com