FEI World Championships 2022 - Battle for Dressage Team Title About to Begin
Friday, August 5, 2022
Posted by Louise Parkes
The stage is set and it's all-systems-go at the ECCO FEI World Championships 2022 in Herning, Denmark where Dressage gets underway tomorrow morning at 11.00 local time with Switzerland’s Gilles Ngovan first into the arena in the Grand Prix which will decide the fate of the Blue Hors FEI Dressage Team title.
A total of 93 athlete/horse combinations will line out over two days of super-hot competition in the team event. And in the draw conducted by Technical Delegate Janet Lee Foy from the USA and President of the Ground Jury, Denmark’s Susanne Baarup this afternoon, the places on the starting grid were decided.
Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland, Austria, Ireland, Poland, France, Spain, Belgium, Great Britain, Australia, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and USA will compete in that order, and America’s Ashley Holzer and her 12-year-old mare, Valentine, will bring the first-day action to a close just before 20.00.
The hosts are hotly tipped for success, and first into the arena for Team Denmark will be the recently-married Nanna Merrald Rasmussen who will be 16th to go with Blue Hors Zack, while compatriot Carina Cassøe Krüth and Heiline’s Danciera will run 43rd of the 46 opening day contenders.
On Sunday it will be Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Marshall-Bell who will be first to fly the Danish flag before Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour and Vamos Amigos wrap it up for the home side. Laudrup-Dufour has been in spectacular form of late and looks set to be the one to beat all the way through the Championships which conclude next Wednesday, 10 August, with the always popular and much anticipated late-night Grand Prix Freestyle.
Of course equestrian sport is always unpredictable and Team Germany, with a massive tally of 12 world team titles to their credit, will be doing everything they can to maintain their dominance while the Swedish team are in confident mood.
Swedish Chef d’Equipe, Bo Jenå, is optimistic for his side’s chances. "It’s always hard, but for sure we will do our best to take a medal, we have planned for that!" he said today.
“We have been training and competing and started very well this year. We did a few more shows than we normally do because it’s a short way for us to travel to Denmark - it was way more last year going to Tokyo. Our horses are in very good shape and we had a nice pre-camp at Patrik Kittel’s place last week so we are all feeling good!”, he added.
Riding Touchdown, four-time Olympian Kittel is joined in the Swedish side by Jeanna Hogberg (Astoria), Juliette Ramel (Buriel KH) and Therese Nilshagen (Dante Weltino OLD).
Winning the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ 2022 has also been a big boost to the Swedes. “We used the series as a build-up to these world championships, it was a really good way of testing our riders”, Bo Jenå explained. Sweden has only once been on the Dressage World Championships Team podium, in Rome (ITA) back in 1998, but hopes are high and Jenå believes his team have what it takes to make it happen again.
“I think it’s a very open - the Danish team are the favourites for sure this time but after them there are many countries that can fight for the medals and we are among them!”, he said.
Amongst the 93 starters in the team event will be 19 individual riders vying for a top-30 finishing spot in order to qualify for Monday’s Grand Prix Special before the top-15 will then go through to Wednesday night’s Grand Prix Freestyle.
The excitement is about to begin so don’t miss a hoofbeat...