FALSTERBO, Sweden - The Exquis World Dressage Masters, established on both sides of the Atlantic in its second year as the world's richest lineup of dressage shows, starts its first €100,000 (US $126,000) CDI5* at the famous Falsterbo Horse Show Thursday with riders from six nations scheduled to perform in the Grand Prix.
Anky van Grunsven, the winningest competitor in the World Dressage Masters since the inaugural test event at Cannes two years ago, on IPS Painted Black will lead a squad of three combinations from The Netherlands in seeking to add a fifth title to the two she won at Palm Beach and two at Cannes.
A strong Swedish squad of the four most likely combinations to represent the nation at this year's World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, German Olympian Ulla Salzgeber on Wakana and Anja Plönzke on Le Mont d'Or as well as the USA's Catherine Haddad on her increasingly successful Winyamaro, Evi Strasser of Canada on Quantum Tyme and the top two riders from Poland are scheduled to start in the €10,000 Nürnberger Versicherungdgrupper Grand Prix presented by Agria.
The €30,000 Moorland Grand Prix Speciual Svenskt Dressage Derby presented by Agria is scheduled for Friday and the €60,000 Exquis Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Axel Johnson Gruppen will be held Saturday.
The Axel Johnson Group joined as one of the prime sponsors to make Falsterbo the fifth event in the schedule that was made up of Palm Beach in the U.S., Munich Germany, Cannes and Hickstead, England. Each event carries total prize money of €100,000 plus a circuit long WDM Rider Award of €25,000 (US $35,100).
The Falsterbo show also features the FEI Meydan Nations Cup series of the top jumping nations.
WDM Rider Rankings
Rank Rider Nation Events Points
1. Isabell Werth GER 1 630
2. Valentina Truppa ITA 1 570
3. Anja Plönzke GER 1 565.5
4. Mathias Alexander Rath GER 1 555
5. Anne van Olst DEN 1 495
6. Stefan van Ingelgem BEL 1 480
7. Michal Rapcewicz POL 1 450
8. Jeroen Devroe BEL 1 405
9. Daniel Pinto POR 1 390
10. Johan Zagers BEL 1 375
11. Dane Rawlins GBR 1 345
12. Rogerio Clementino da Silva BRA 1 315
13. Luiza Novaes Tavares de Almedia BRA 1 315
Note: In the case of tied points, the best individual result in Grand Prix will be decisive.
Rules can be found on www.worlddressagemasters.com. The finale in Munich in 2011 will carry double ranking points.