Team The Netherlands Capture Lead in Aachen Nations' Cup Dressage

Friday, July 16, 2010

Aachen press release, edited by Eurodressage - The Dutch team confirmed its role as favourites in dressage as the current leaders of the Nations' Cup Dressage at the 2010 CDIO Aachen in Germany.

“I take every day, step by step,“ the Dutch national dressage coach, Sjef Janssen, stated at the CHIO Aachen, the World Equestrian Festival. “We have done our homework well and the competitions of the three team riders went very well, but they could have been even better,“ commented the ambitious trainer. All the same “good“ was more than sufficient to take the lead in the CDIO Dressage Nations' Cup. Germany lies in second place behind the Netherlands in the current classification – for the first time ever the Grand Prix Special is also included in the Nations´ Cup ratings.

Totilas and Edward Gal were the winning pair in the CDIO Grand Prix test. With a score of 83.86 percent the World Cup winner clearly dominated the competition. The pitch-black KWPN stallion was awarded the highest possible score of 10.0 for the half-pass to the left and a passage.

“Riding into the stadium here to the enthusiastic applause of the crowd is a real goose-bump feeling. The spectators applauded even before we started performing, as if Totilas and I had already won. Of course this increased the tension slightly, but in fact Totilas can handle that very well,“ reported Edward Gal.

The ten-year-old son of the Trakehner stallion, Gribaldi, who died suddenly early this year after suffering a rupture of the aorta, with whom Edward Gal also competed at the Soers several years ago, is writing history in the dressage sport. He already set a world record by winning gold in the freestyle of the 2009 European Championships with a score of 90.75 percent, only to top it again shortly afterwards in London with 92.5 percent, a score that had never been achieved before.

“Here in Aachen Totilas showed slightly too much forward motion in the piaffe and later he engaged his hindquarters too much. But as long as that is everything, I’m satisfied,“ said Edward Gal.

Adelinde Cornelissen ranked second on Jerich Parzival with a score of 78.541 percent, ahead of the British rider Laura Bechtolzheimer on the Danish gelding, Mistral Hojris (77.447 percent).

Scoring 75.836 percent Isabell Werth was the best German rider with her Olympic horse, Satchmo. “It was a good ride with great half-passes, but there is room for improvement. Of course the mistakes in the two-tempi flying changes cost her a lot of points,“ said the German national dressage coach, Holger Schmezer. Germany travelled to the Soers with a young team: In addition to Germany’s most successful dressage rider, Isabell Werth and the 25-year-old German Champion, Matthias Alexander Rath, Christoph Koschel made his debut on the team with the 11-year-old Finnish-bred Donnerhall son Donnperignon.

“Christoph Koschel confirmed our expectations here. He also lived up to the pressure of competing in the Nations' Cup team for the first time here in Aachen,“ stated Schmezer. The team newcomer Christoph Koschel, who runs a competition yard in Hagen together with his father Jürgen Koschel, finished sixth with Donnperignon.

“I am very pleased with our result, I opted for a safe ride today and already had a very good feeling during the opening salute. Pepe has still got enough in reserve,“ said the winner of the 2009 Hamburg Dressage Derby. The overall result for the Netherlands was first, second and fifth place; the German riders finished fourth, sixth and seventh.

“Matthias Alexander Rath didn’t risk much today and unfortunately also made some mistakes. I wish he would have shown a little more assertion when the difficulties occurred in the piaffe on the centre line,“ noted Schmezer. The sensitive Sion son often goes on strike in the last piaffe on the centre line. “We don’t know why ourselves. Sterntaler only ever does it during the actual competition, never at home or on the warm-up arena,“ reported Rath.

It was also the premiere for Anabel Balkenhol in the Dressage Nations' Cup, however her score didn’t count for the team classification, since only the first three riders scores count. She was placed eighth overall with the ten-year-old De Niro son.

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