April 2, 2007

Finalists Rolex World Cup™ Final Dressage getting prepared

FEI Dressage

The world’s premier city for exciting entertainment Las Vegas, will once again be the backdrop for the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Finals in both jumping and dressage.
After Warsaw (Poland), ‘s-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands) one week ago and Burbank (USA) last weekend the finalists for the World Cup Final™ in Las Vegas are getting prepared.

Some bad luck in advance prevents Australian finalist Matthew Dowley who arrived in February in Germany at Jürgen Koschel’s stables to prepare for the World Cup™ Final to make the trip to Las Vegas. His mare Cinderella was diagnosed with another growth attached to her lower right eyelid. Veterinarians advised rider Matthew Dowsley and owner Claudia Harper against going to the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Las Vegas, to avoid further stress and to be able to start surgery. Matthew, Cinderella’s owner Claudia Harper and their support crew are extremely disappointed, but the welfare of the horse is uppermost in their minds.

Bad luck to American Günther Seidel occurred when he had to withdraw his 16 year old grey Bavarian gelding Aragon for the US finals. After having passed the veterinary inspection, Aragon injured himself later in the day when bucking and jumping on his way back to the stables.
For the Swiss team the Olympic qualification and the European Championships in Italy are the first objective for 2007 and Salieri and Silvia Iklé are an essential part of this. Therefore the Swiss Equestrian Federation and Silvia Iklé decided not to compete in Las Vegas. However this cleared the way for Swedish Jan Brink and stallion Briar to compete.
Wild cards for European competitors were granted by the FEI to British Wayne Channon and Portuguese rider Daniel Pinto.
Equine Canada announced that on March 21 the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada released a binding decision on the complaint lodged by Canadian Dressage rider Evi Strasser of Saint-Adele, QC. As a result of the Arbitrator’s binding decision, allowing Strasser’s complaint, it was determined that Brooks was not eligible to compete in the Canadian League Dressage World Cup Final in Toronto, therefore, making Strasser the declared winner.
Fortunately enough for Jacqueline Brooks, she was granted with a wild card by the FEI Dressage Committee and thus will compete as well.

Steffen Peters, Courtney King and Leslie Morse will be joining Germany-based Catherine Haddad who was already granted with a wild card in Las Vegas as members of the U.S. Dressage Team. The three were the top finishers in the U.S. League Finals for the Dressage World Cup™, held during the Festival of the Horse in Burbank.
Steffen Peters and the 17-year-old Westfalen gelding Floriano (by Florestan), members of the bronze medal team at the WEG in Aachen, took first place with an impressive score of 78.70%. Chairman of the judges Canadian Cara Whitham feels Steffen Peters is one of the most elegant male riders in the world in this moment. He surely will give his fellow male finalists a good challenge! Cara Witham expressed, “Steffen is so elegant and light in his hands. For me he especially is the master of half passes and pirouettes. With any horse he performs those lectures impressively well. I loved the power and grace of 17 year old Floriano, going stronger than ever. A remarkable performance and winner!”
Steffen Peters was too happy with his win and promised to polish a few points in the forthcoming period to be even more competitive at the World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas in two weeks.
For Cara Whitham the performance of the runner up stallion Idocus and Courtney King was a pleasant surprise too, showing much more power than the pair used to show in the past, “I can see in their performance that Courtney loves the horse dearly and they are really a coming back combination after the interval of the horse in Europe. In their choreography some flowing and difficult lines Courtney managed to look very easy. It’s a safe and consistent pair now.”
Rounding out third and receiving the last wild card for Las Vegas was Leslie Morse and Tip Top 962, a 13-year-old Swedish stallion by Master 850. Tip Top now will be the second horse to compete in the Rolex World Cup™ Final that is sired by Grand Prix-stallion Master, as Kyra Kyrklund’s Max coming from Europe is sired by Master as well.

Title defender Anky van Grunsven has refrained from her wild card and stays at home happily together with her new baby daughter Ava Eden and two and a half year old son Yannick Janssen. She is looking forward to meet her dressage colleagues again in the outdoor season.
Isabell Werth having won three qualifiers in Maastricht, Neumünster and ‘s-Hertogenbosch has very strong cards for the win in her hands, partnering Warum Nicht FRH nicknamed Hannes owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze. Danish medallist Andreas Helgstrand and his mare Blue Hors Matiné will bring in some excelling feminine movement power. Hanoverian mare Sunrise partnered by Dutch Imke Schellekens-Bartels shared the first position in the final rankings of the European Qualifiers with Isabell Werth. They will no doubt move the hearts and the ears with their original composition especially made by piano virtuoso Wibi Soerjadi. But all European contenders, Americans and Canadians can look forward to a strong and tough Final, bringing the best out of their horses and themselves.
In 2005, the FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage Finals were held in the same location simultaneously for the first time in history. Las Vegas, here we come again for the Rolex World Cup™ Finals!

Finalists Rolex FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final

Western European League:
2 Isabell WERTH, GER / Warum Nicht FRH
3 Andreas HELGSTRAND, DEN / Blue Hors Matiné
4 Kyra KYRKLUND, FIN / Max
5 Edward GAL, NED / Group 4 Securior IPS Gribaldi
6 Tinne VILHELMSON, SWE / Solos Carex
7 Laurens VAN LIEREN, NED / Hexagon’s Ollright
8 Jan BRINK, SWE / Briar 899
Central European League:
1 Iryna LIS, BLR / Problesk
CAN League:
1 Evi STRASSER / Quantum Tyme
USA League:
1. Steffen PETERS / Floriano
2. Courtney King / Idocus
Wild Cards/Additional riders granted a starting place by the FEI Dressage Committee:
1 Jacqueline BROOKS, CAN / Gran Gesto
2 Leslie MORSE, USA /
3 Daniel PINTO, POR / Galopin de la Font
Additional riders from Western European League:
4 Catherine HADDAD, USA / Maximus JSS
5 Wayne CHANNON, GBR / Lorenzo CH
Reserve riders:
1 Marlies VAN BAALEN, NED / BMC Relevant 5 / BMC Kigali
(only if NED rider retires)
2 Jeroen DEVROE, BEL / Paganini


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