History Written in Aachen: The Netherlands Wins Nations' Cup Dressage

Text copyrighted Astrid Appels/Eurodressage - Photos by Astrid Appels and PhelpsPhotos.com

History was written today at the CDIO Aachen in Germany. For the first time ever, the Dutch dressage team has beaten its arch rival Germany in a Grand Prix team competition. Just like at the 2005 European Dressage Championships, which the Germans dominated, the difference between the first and second place was minimal, but this time the orange equipe prevailed. The Dutch riders led the team ranking with a 0.334 percentage point difference to Germany.

The United States Team who set the standard on the first day with Steffan Peters and Floriano (71.333) finished in bronze medal position. Anchor rider Leslie Morse and her DWB stallion Kingston (x Voltaire) who were last to go in the class, fell short of averaging over the 70% mark knew her horse was out of character. Kingston had stopped sweating, something he does even in the chilly temperatures of the stormy day, was not 100%, although her gave her everything he had.

Anchor rider for Holland was, Olympic Gold Medallist Anky van Grunsven who won the CDIO Grand Prix class on the Hanoverian gelding Salinero (Salieri x Lungau). In a change of team strategy, Van Grunsven was not the last to for her team, but went ahead of Edward Gal and Geldnet Lingh (KWPN by Flemming) who finished sixth overall.

Van Grunsven's feel for riding her horse is beyond comparison and she can accentuate her horse's strengths as well as she can cover up its weaknesses.

Full report - Aachen On The Scene Coverage with Astrid Appels on Horsesdaily.com