First World Cup Final for Moorlands Totilas, Starts Thursday

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‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, Mar. 23–The 25th annual FEI World Cup Final opens Thursday with Dutch superstar Moorlands Totilas ridden by Edward Gal competing for the first time in the only worldwide series in dressage championship.

Fifteen horse and rider combinations from nine nations representing Europe, Australasia and South America will compete for the title of World Cup champion.

For the first time in the history of the event no North American is in the starting lineup.

The 2009 champion, Steffen Peters and Ravel of the USA opted not to defend the title so as to focus on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky beginning in September and the first time the championships held only every four years will be in the U.S.

Ravel and Steffen Peters at 2009 World Cup in Las vegas. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ravel and Steffen Peters at 2009 World Cup in Las vegas. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nine-time champion Anky van Grunsven also is not in the Final as she did not qualify for The Netherlands.

The World Cup began at this Indoor Brabant Horse Show 25 years ago.

The concept for a competition with a Kür to Music as a highlight was the brainchild of Joep Bartels of The Netherlands after he watched the 1984 Olympic champions Dr Reiner Klimke and Ahlerich demonstrate an impressive series of one-tempi changes while precisely keeping time to the Olympic theme tune.

This year, his daughter, Imke, is competing on Hunter Douglas Sunrise.

Some riders resisted a World Cup with a Kür as a highlight as a competition designed to distract attention from classic dressage.

However, the freestyle has gone on to become the popular showcase at the European Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games.

Very few mares competed in the World Cup until recently. Two mares have finished at the top – the Westphalian-bred chestnut Fabienne (sired by Feuerschein), ridden to victory in 1992 by Isabell Werth, and the Hanoverian-bred Brentina, the winning ride of America’s Debbie McDonald in 2003.

Geldings have had the greatest success. Among them:

* the first winner in 1986, the light and elegant Marzog, competed by Denmark’s Anne-Grethe Törnblad-Jensen;

* the impressive and strong Corlandus in 1989, ridden by Margit Otto-Crepin of France;

* Andiamo, who was sold by Switzerland’s Otto Hofer together with his musical freestyle score to Sven Rothenberger of Germany in 1990;

* Ganimedes, ridden by Monica Theodorescu in 1993 and 1994 and the first to break the 80 per cent barrier;

* the amazing piaffe and passage-miracle Bonfire ridden by Anky van Grunsven to five titles;

* the elegant and light Walk on Top ridden by Sweden’s Louise Nathhorst in 1998;

* Rusty ridden by Ulla Salzgeber in 2001 and 2002, the horse that had only one Freestyle to music score during his competition career that ended at the Olympic Games in 2004 – the immortal Carmina Burana;

* the powerful and energetic Hanoverian Warum Nicht FRH, winner in 2007 for Isabell Werth;

* Ravel, the first American-owned horse ridden by Steffen Peters to win on American soil in Las Vegas in 2009, and

Anky van Grunsven and Salinero. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Anky van Grunsven and Salinero. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

* Salinero in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008, making Anky van Grunsven the record-holder with nine wins in 24 years.

Anky not only holds a record number of World Cup title, she also holds the record for the highest score ever received in a Final, 87.75 per cent ridden in 2006 in Amsterdam.

Anky also holds the record for the most varied musical scores from the specially-composed “Bonfire’s Symfonie”  to the James Bond-theme, the theatrical West Side Story to the tango, and her most recent highlights l’Esprit Chanson and Dance of Devotion.

Entries for the FEI World Cup Final

‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Grand Prix – Thursday, Mar. 25

Grand Prix Kür – Saturday, Mar. 27

AUS    Australia
PARBERY, Brett    Victory Salute

AUT    Austria
GMOSER, Peter    Cointreau

BEL    Belgium
DEVROE, Jeroen    Apollo van het Vijverhof

BRA    Brazil
ALMEIDA, Luiza    Samba

DEN    Denmark
SAYN-WITTGENSTEIN, Nathalie zu    Digby

GER    Germany
KOPPELMANN, Carola     Le Bo
RATH, Matthias Alexander     Triviant-UNICEF
WERTH, Isabell    Warum Nicht FRH

NED    Netherlands
CORNELISSEN, Adelinde    Jerich Parzival
GAL, Edward    Moorlands Totilas
SCHELLEKENS-BARTELS, Imke    Hunter Douglas Sunrise

POL    Poland
MILCZAREK, Katarzyna    Ekwador
RAPCEWICZ, Michal    Randon

SWE    Sweden
KITTEL, Patrik    Watermill Scandic H.B.C.
VILHELMSON-SILFVEN, Tinne    Favourit