Gothenburg, Sweden - The 2016 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final got underway Friday afternoon at the Scandinavium Arena with 18 international combinations performing the FEI Grand Prix test. Representing the U.S., Charlotte Jorst and Guenter Seidel produced determined efforts to place 11th and 15th, respectively.
Entering the main arena first for the U.S. was Jorst (Reno, Nev.) and Kastel Denmark’s Kastel’s Nintendo, competing in their first FEI World Cup™ Final. Jorst rode with confidence and produced a solid test to score a 71.114%, placing 11th. The test was highlighted by consistently accurate transitions and expressive one- and two-tempi changes.
“Nintendo felt wonderful today. This is my first go in a competition this big so it is something I’ll always remember,” said Jorst. “My favorite part of the test today was my ones and twos [tempi-changes], especially because I always make mistakes and today they were just on.”
Looking forward to Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle test, Jorst expressed excitement, saying, “The freestyle is my favorite. That’s why I am here and what I love to do. I have beautiful music that puts everyone at ease and in a great mood. It’s going to be fun.”
Going penultimate in the order, Seidel (Cardiff, Calif.) was able to execute a smooth test despite mount Zero Gravity’s enthusiasm for the electric atmosphere in the arena. “He was pretty nervous, but for his first time in that kind of environment he was really good,” said Seidel.
Seidel and Zero Gravity, owned by James and Charlotte Mashburn, showcased brilliant half-passes and quality canter work. The gelding’s excitement was unfortunately most apparent in the collected walk, a movement with a double-coefficient score. The pair ended the day on a score of 69.800%, good for 15th place.
The top of the leaderboard was extremely tight, with the top three finishing within four one-hundredths of a point of each other. The host country athletes took two of the top placings on the leaderboard as Tinne Vihelmson Silfvén and Don Auriello scored 76.500% to place second and Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic scored 76.400% for third. The day belonged to Hans Peter Minderhoud of The Netherlands with Glock’s Flirt; the pair won the class on a score of 76.871%.
Today’s Grand Prix was the first of two tests in the Final; the placings will determine the starting order of the Grand Prix Freestyle, the results of which will determine the 2016 Champion.
Watch the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. local time on FEITV.org.