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's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands - The United States' two representatives produced solid, fun Freestyle tests this afternoon at the Indoor Brabant in the final round of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final. Jan Ebeling and Shawna Harding utilized the lessons learned in Friday's Grand Prix to produced better performances; both riders witnessed improved marks from the Grand Prix to the Freestyle. Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) put the mistakes of the previous day behind him and displayed an improved rhythm to score 69.875 for 15th place. Riding Amy Ebeling's Oldenburg mare, Rafalca, Ebeling stayed perfectly in tune with the up-tempo music throughout his ride. The pair had a dramatic finish to their test with piaffe on the centerline and culminating with one-handed piaffe into the salute. A slight spook following the two-time changes performed on the rail was one of few mistakes in a pleasing effort.
"I'm very happy with my test today, there were little mistakes in the twos but that's difficult on the rail there, there was a little spook. But it's not an Operating Room in there; it's a live arena. And we got more exposure and next time we'll be better." Ebeling, competing in his third Finals, always enjoys the experience of these Championships and was pleased he was able to get improvement today.
"I was disappointed with yesterday. I really lost focus and she sensed that and made mistakes. Today we were able to redeem ourselves." Said Ebeling, "It's always an honor to be here and represent your country. These shows are unbelievable, the jumping, the audience are all great. It's really wonderful being here."
Shawna Harding (Aiken, SC) followed Ebeling into the ring with her own Come On III and performed an enjoyable Freestyle. The highlights of the test were a relaxed walk-tour and bold canter lengthenings performed to a selection of classic rock songs. They scored 68.821 for 16th place.
Holland's Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival defended their Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final title after scoring 86.250. Second was Germany's Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW with a score of 85.214, while Valentina Truppa and Eremo Del Castegno rode to a score of 81.232 for third place.
Both U.S. riders leave 's-Hertogenbosch with a wealth of experience and have benefitted from their 2012 Final experience.
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