Holland’s Imke & Sunrise Shine In Second Straight World Cup Win, Isabell Very Close 2nd
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MECHELEN, Belgium, Dec. 27–Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Hunter Douglas Sunrise on Sunday claimed their second straight FEI World Cup event, and Isabell Werth was a close second on Warum Nicht FRH in her first competition after a six-month break to give birth to a baby boy.
The Dutch combination posted a score of 82.200 per cent, just 0.550 per cent ahead of Isabell and Warum Nicht on 81.650 per cent. Four of the judges placed Imke on top with one, Jenny Loriston-Clarke of Great Britain, giving the nod to Isabell. The Netherlands’ Jeanette Haazen and Nartan were third on 77.850 per cent.
Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival, were hot favorites to win the Grand Prix Kür after winning the Grand Prix a day earlier. Parzival getting his tongue over the bit changed everything and they finished with 68.800 per cent in 11th place, but enough points to share the top of the West European League leaderboard.
This latest result Imke, achieved on only her second outing in the current series, rockets Schellekens-Bartels up to third place in the league table with 40 points, just one point behind her compatriot Adelinde who shares the top spot with Germany’s Monica Theodorescu on a score of 41.
“My mare was even a bit sharper, in a good way, than she was last week,” Imke said, referring to her victory at Frankfurt last week. “There were so many good riders and good horses here today, I thought to be honest that I would be doing well to be in the top three, especially since Isabell is back, but I was a bit sharper myself, too!”
Schellekens-Bartels knows, however, she cannot afford to rest on her laurels.
“Only three Dutch riders will be allowed to compete in the Final at Den Bosch,” she said, “so we all really have to fight hard for the marks and to take a place at the Final.”
Imke and Sunrise were on the Dutch 2009 gold medal European Championship team and the 2008 Olympic silver medal squad.
Isabell, at the age of 40, gave birth to Frederik just two months ago and her six-month suspension for doping was completed only four days before Sunday’s World Cup qualifier. The multi-Olympic medalist continues to astound the dressage world.
Isabell and Warum Nicht were at the top of the leaderboard with two riders left to go.
Looking fit and well just months after the birth of her baby boy, she felt she rode better in Saturday’s Grand Prix.
“I made some canter mistakes today, they were my fault,” she said.
But she was very happy to be back in the competition arena. She was still riding two weeks before giving birth and was back in the saddle two weeks afterward.
“In all I was not riding for about four weeks and I couldn’t wait to start again,” she said. “I have to ride–it’s an addiction!”
Although she has not competed in six months her results before that kept her in third place on her 2008 Olympic team gold medal horse, Satchmo, in the latest FEI Rider Rankings covering 12 months to the end of November. On Warum Nicht she was ranked 53rd.
Adelinde and Parzival went into the competition as firm favorite, having won the Grand Prix on Saturday.
Luck was not on her side Sunday. The big chestnut gelding put his tongue over the bit when she brought him back to walk halfway through the ride. Even though she managed to produce some very nice work from him the partnership was severely marked down. Dutch judge Jan Peeters, said afterward, “that’s the sport. Adelinde did all the right things when it happened but she had to lose marks.”
They were scored at 68.800 per cent to finish in 11th place. They won this same event a year ago.
- Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
It is the sixth of nine in the West European League, the most competitive of all the regional series leading to the Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, in March. All six of the qualifiers so far have been won by Dutch combinations, two by Anky van Grunsven and Salinero, two by Imke and Sunrise, one by Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas and one by Adelinde and Parzival.
2009/2010 FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE – WEST EUROPEAN LEAGUE STANDINGS after Round 6
1. Adelinde Cornelissen (NED), Monica Theordorescu (GER) – 41
3. Imke Schellekens-Bartels (NED) – 40
4. Jeanette Haazen (NED) – 39
5. Edward Gal (NED), Matthias Alexander Rath (GER) – 35
7. Anky Van Grunsven (NED) – 34
8. Aat Van Essen (NED) – 32
9. Hubertus Schmidt (GER_ – 27
10. Patrik Kittel (SWE) – 26
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Sunday 27th December Class: 4