Gothenburg, Sweden - The 2016 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final came to a conclusion Sunday afternoon at the Scandinavium Arena, as 18 combinations performed their Grand Prix Freestyles in front of the Ground Jury of Gustav Svalling, Susanne Baarup, Evi Eisenhardt, Anne Gribbons, Susan Hoevenaars, Irina Maknami, and Mariette Sanders van Gansewinkle. Charlotte Jorst and Kastel's Nintendo led the way for the American duo, placing 12th. Guenter Seidel and Zero Gravity faced challenges with the atmosphere, placing 18th.
Following Friday's Grand Prix performance that earned them a score of 71.114%, Jorst (Reno, Nev.) and Kastel Denmark's 2003 Dutch Warmblood stallion, Kastel's Nintendo, entered the ring this afternoon as the fifth combination in the order. The pair performed their Freestyle featuring the songs 'Time to Say Goodbye' by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman and 'Fight Song' by Rachel Platten. In its debut Final, the pair finished the feature class in 12th place on a score of 73.232%.
"It was so fun. I was very happy with that [test] being my first time in an arena like that. He is such a great horse and I am so happy with him," said an exuberant Jorst.
Jorst, who has only been riding at the top levels of the sport since 2012, rode her first Grand Prix Freestyle in FEI level competition just two years ago. Relating the highlights of today's test, Jorst said, "I was really happy with how confident I feel about my changes. They have been something I have been challenged with in the past. For someone who has never done a single one until two years ago, it was a big learning curve and something I really had to work on. Now they are just there and it makes me so happy."
Entering the arena first for the U.S. was Seidel (Cardiff, Calif.) and James and Charlotte Mashburn's 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding, Zero Gravity. In Friday's Grand Prix, Zero Gravity was a bit overwhelmed with his first trip into an electric indoor arena and scored a 69.800%. Unfortunately, the gelding was not able to overcome his nerves after a polite clap from the audience at his entrance and performed a tense test to score a 67.464%.
"After the clapping he just felt so explosive, but considering that, he actually pulled together a lot of the movements okay," said Seidel.
Even through the moments of tension, the pair was able to beautifully execute the tempi-changes. The gelding has only been competing at the FEI level since 2015 and gained valuable experience this week in his first FEI World Cup Final™.
The day belonged to Hans Peter Minderhoud of The Netherlands, who earned a score of 82.357% with Glock's Flirt to claim the 2016 Champion title. Finishing in second place were Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén of Sweden and Don Auriello on a score of 81.429%. Third place went to Jessica von Bredow-Werndl of Germany with Unee BB, scoring 80.464%.