Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg, one of the strongest opponents to defending double-champion Adelinde Cornelissen from The Netherlands, will be first to go in tomorrow’s (25 April) opening competition of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2012/2013 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. The draw for the Grand Prix took place tonight at the Scandinavium Arena, and Langehanenberg and her 13-year-old stallion, Damon Hill NRW, got the least favoured starting spot, while Canada’s Jacqueline Brooks was drawn next to go with D Niro.
A total of 18 horse-and-rider combinations from 10 countries will compete at the 28th FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final which will conclude on Saturday with the hugely popular Freestyle. Competitors have qualified from four leagues around the globe, and Cornelissen is expected to face formidable opposition in her quest for a third consecutive Reem Acra title.
Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak will be third into the ring with Donnperignon in the Grand Prix, but it is fourth-line starter, Dutch compatriot Edward Gal with Glock’s Undercover, who is expected to join Langehanenberg in providing the strongest challenge to Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival who have so dominated the Reem Acra series in recent years.
Germany’s Kristina Sprehe and Desperados FRH are next in line (edit: Desperados sustained an injury in an early morning schooling session 4/25 and will be unable to compete) followed by Denmark’s Sidsel Johansen and Schianto while Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke-Susmelj will run seventh of the nine combinations to compete in the first group of contenders. The Netherlands’ Marlies van Baalen and Miciano will run eighth while ahead Canada’s Jaimey Irwin and Lindor’s Finest will be last to go before the break.
Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno will lead the way when the action resumes, followed by Russia’s Tatiana Dorofeeva and Khorovod, while Sweden’s Minna Telde (Santana) and Norway’s Lillann Jebsen (Pro-Set) then take their turn at pleasing Ground Jury members Andrew Gardner (GBR), Gotthilf Riexinger (GER), Wojtek Markowski (POL), Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA), Elizabeth McMullan (CAN), Gustaf Svalling (SWE) and Maria Colliander (FIN).
With just five left to go, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic HBC will be endeavouring to impress ahead of Ukraine’s Inna Logutenkova and Vian Stallone. But all eyes will be on the third-last partnership, as Cornelissen and her charming chestnut horse attempt to place their stamp of authority on proceedings from the outset.
The penultimate partnership of Isabell Werth and Don Johnson FRH from Germany can be relied upon to put in a strong performance and it is then left to the on-form Swedish partnership of Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello to bring the first of the two deciding competitions to a close.
In a welcome message on behalf of the City of Gothenburg tonight, Lord Mayor Lena Malm said the city has always been open to the world “and remains so. Gothenburg is a gateway to Sweden and we are very proud and excited to host the FEI World Cup™ Finals. The Dressage Final has never taken place here before so we are very excited to have it and we wish the best of luck to all the competitors and send them out a very big welcome!”
A total of 24 million visitors have attended Gothenburg Horse Show down the years and it is hoped that their will be record-breaking attendance figures over the coming days, with 90,000 spectators expected to enjoy the best of top sport.
And that top sport begins with the opening competition of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage final which sees the first rider, Helen Langehanenberg, enter the arena at 12.00 local time tomorrow (Thursday 25 April).
Full details of the Grand Prix startlist here
Don’t miss a piaffe or a pirouette - watch all the excitement on www.feitv.org
Facts and Figures
This is the 28th season of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage series, and the third season of sponsorship by New York fashion designer Reem Acra who has committed to a further three years of support.
18 riders from 10 nations - Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden and Ukraine - will compete at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2012/2013 Final.
The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen and her chestnut gelding Jerich Parzival are seeking to register their third successive series title. Only fellow-countrywoman Anky Van Grunsven has succeeded in recording a hat-trick before. She did it twice during her extraordinary career, first with Bonfire and later with Salinero, who was officially retired at their home event in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands last month.
Sweden’s Gustav Svalling is President of the Ground Jury and the remaining members of the judges’ panel are Andrew Gardner (GBR), Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA), Gotthilf Riexinger (GER), Elizabeth McMullan (CAN), Wojtek Markowski (POL) and Maria Colliander (FIN), while Maja Stukelj (SLO) is the Foreign Technical Delegate.
Reem Acra FEI Hub www.fei.org/reemacra gives access to useful information, including all news releases from the current and past Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage series (see “News and Press”).
FEI World Cup™ Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 28th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup™ Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to Music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup™ Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.
The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here