Surprising Rankings at CDI-W Maastricht (NED)

Monica Theodorescu Finally Tops The Field

The CDI World Cup Qualifier of Maastricht produced strange rankings in both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle. The MECC Indoor Arena of Maastricht has always been the distracting scene for horses. Spooky and tense dressage mounts constituted again the regular cast for the 2002 edition of the CDI-W Maastricht, The Netherlands.

The Grand Prix was surprisingly won by Monica Theodorescu aboard Renaissance Fleur. Scoring 70.04%, Theodorescu placed first with her dapple grey Trakehner mare by Tuareg. Even though Theodorescu had a strong ride with traversal movements as highlights, her victory was essentially granted due to the mediocre performance of Anky van Grunsven with Gestion Salinero.

Theodorescu, who won the World Cup Finals in 1993 and in 1994 aboard Ganimedes, has never been in the spotlight since 1997. Her performances with Arak xx, L'Etoile and Renaissance were nice, but never earth-shattering. However, it seems that Renaissance Fleur will finally put her back on the map.


Come Back for Gestion Silvano N

Come Back kids Ellen Bontje and Gestion Silvano N finished second in the Grand Prix. With a 69.60%, an a-typical score for the pair whose World Cup qualifier entry is already a-typical, Bontje has ridden her very first test since the fiasco at the 2002 World Equestrian Games, where Silvano N did not pass the vet check. In Maastricht, the combination seemed fit and, despite a few small mistakes in the canter, the two-some has not performed worryingly below their level. Van Grunsven saddled a very tense Salinero and was unable to soothe him in his Grand Prix test. The 68.40% score and seventh place came as result.

More odd rides and rankings came from Dutch Marlies van Baalen and Idocus. Although being a top three scorer at the World Cup Qualifier in Berlin, now the 67.24 and 10th place at Maastricht kept the young but talented combination from floathing. Also, German Heike Kemmer and Albano had to deal with reality. The former German A-team combination has unable to reconnect with the top since 2001 and with 66.40% and a 12th place they still have much work ahead of them.

The difficult to ride Cocktail offspring, Broere Jazz, was not his usual self in Maastricht. Despite the fact that the liver chestnut licensed stallion often gets nervous and tense, he just became unhandable at Maastricht. Tineke Bartels, who is a sensitive and accomplished rider, could not get Jazz to do his moves. Three times he refused to piaffe and at the end he wouldn't even do an extended trot. "I really do not know what is going on with him. I'm used to him being nervous, but I never had to deal with this kind of refusal before. It really puzzles me," Bartels explained.

Gestion Salinero Heir to Bonfire's Throne?

Every year, a new heir to Bonfire's throne is appointed by Van Grunsven herself and the critics. First, it seemed to have been Gestion Idool, then the talented Gestion Joker appeared on the scene but the weight of the "AVG" crown and scepter were to heavy for him to bear. Taking a closer look on Van Grunsven's 2002 achievements, it now seems that Gestion Salinero is the new dauphin in Anky van Grunsven's realm.

Formerly owned by Coastriders, the epitheton ornans of American Tess Guilder, the liver chestnut gelding Salinero is now property of Van Grunsven herself thanks to a trade with show horse Bertolucci. Salinero, a Hanoverian gelding by Salieri has all the potential to be a top scorer but lacks the routine. Adrenaline in the Grand Prix could not be transformed in dressage movements, and the score dropped to 68.40%. In the Grand Prix freestyle, however, the duo were N'Sync and calmed by the music, Salinero rose to the expectancies of judges, rider and audience. With 77.49%, the claimed victory and valuable points for the World Cup Standing - Western League.

Fleur and Jarwo, Runners Up in the Freestyle

The panel of judges placed Monica Theodorescu with Renaissance Fleur second in the Grand Prix freestyle. Scoring 76.30%, Theodorescu came close to Van Grunsven's winning mark. In third position was Dutch rising start Antoinette Falandt aboard Jarwo. Falandt's dark bay Grand Prix horse Jarwo is one of Olympic Ferro's first offsprings and is up till now his most successful get in competition. Falandt and Jarwo (pictured) were selected to participate in Maastricht by Chef d'Equipe Gishlain Fourage who sees A-team potential in this combination.

In the CDI Prix St Georges class, "stuck-in-the-PSG" routinier rider Bart Bax scored a magical 70.50% aboard his gorgeous Krawall (by Focus). Bax, who has been competing this horse in the Prix St Georges since 1999, left Dutch young rider prima donna Joyce Heutinck with Berkel I Dancer (by Candyboy) and Anky van Grunsven aboard Gestion Ictenos (by Sir Chamberlaine) behind him. Van Grunsven made her very first FEI show appearance with the young Trakehner Ictenos since their last rendez-vous with the arena at the Zwolle Stallion Show in 2000. With 69.05% Ictenos seems to master the PSG exercises with ease.

Bart Bax went on the win the Intermediaire I freestyle, which only 6 combinations attended. Scoring 71.91%, Bax and Krawall defeated former World Young Horse Champion Laurentianer, who's back on his feet again after a short period of injury. The elegant duo Marlies van Baalen and Laurentianer (by Lauries Crusador xx) put 71.81% on the score board.

by Astrid Appels of
Images courtesy/copyrighted: Jacques Toffi/Arnd Bronkhorst

Related Links
Scores CDI-W Maastricht at
Monica Theodorescu and Renaissance Fleur
Gestion Salinero and Anky van Grunsven, A Newly Acquired Duo