's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands - The standard was set early this afternoon at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, as a field of 18 performed the Grand Prix test at the Indoor Brabant. The two American entries of Shawna Harding and Jan Ebeling closed out the first leg of the 2012 Final, riding in the 16th and 18th spots respectively. Harding (Aiken, SC) appeared with her own Come On III in their second Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final and rode a tactful test. The 13-year old Danish Warmblood was rewarded for fluid trot half-passes and solid gaits. A mistake in the two-time changes cost the pair in an otherwise pleasant performance. "Shawna had a commendable ride; she got every drop from the horse," said USEF Dressage Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons, "It was a clean and solid test with the horse nicely on the aids. She got everything out of the horse." Harding placed 13th with a score of 68.055.
Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) and Amy Ebeling's Rafalca had a few costly mistakes that kept them from landing higher up the leaderboard. They scored a 65.258 to finish in 17th place.
Both U.S. riders were penalized two points for failing to enter the ring within the allotted 45 seconds after the bell was rung.
Defending champion Adelinde Cornelissen won the first leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final after scoring 78.024 with Jerich Parzival. The Dutch rider endured an anxious evening Thursday, after the gelding was sent to the holding box at the Horse Inspection, he was re-evaluted this morning and deemed fit to compete. Placing second in today's Grand Prix was Germany's Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW with a score of 76.125. Valentina Truppa and Eremo Del Castegno of Italy scored 75.106 for third place.
The Grand Prix Freestyle begins at 2 p.m. CEST Saturday. Ebeling will ride at 2:30 p.m. CEST and Harding will begin her test at 2:40 p.m. CEST.
Watch live action from the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final on http://www.feitv.org.
Follow the 2012 U.S. Dressage Team; http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2012Dressage/
Details about the Finals are available at http://www.indoorbrabant.com/