Last Qualifying Competition for 2011 World Cup Final Starts

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Kathleen Raine and Breanna. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

BURBANK, California, Mar. 31–Kathleen Raine on her Breanne won the CDN Grand Prix Thursday in kicking off the Festival of the Horse as the last qualifying competition for the 2011 World Cup Final in which dressage will share the stage with World Cups in jumping, driving and vaulting for the first time ever.

Kathleen of Murrietta, California, rode the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare by Brentano II and owned by Kathleen and Jennifer Mason to a score of 66.809 per cent with Leslie Webb of of Bakersfield, California, on the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding Harmony’s Sandro by Sandro Hit and owned by Harmony Sporthorse of Kiowa, Colorado on 65.319 per cent and Canada’s Joni Lynn Peters of Armstrong, British Columbia, on her Travolta, a Canadian Warmblood gelding by Olympic Ferro on 59.419 per cent.

The Festival of the Horse at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center is the last of eight competitions in the North American League that includes Canada and the U.S. The other three leagues, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Pacific, have finished their qualifiers and those who received invitations to the Final are now preparing for the only annual global championships that will be held in Leipzig, Germany, April 27-May 1. German-based American Catherine Haddad and Winyamaro successfully qualified in the Western European League based on results in the U.S. that are directly transferrable and in Europe.

The North American League has been somewhat muddied this year. The NAL is entitled to two slots at the Final.

The combination leading the standings so far, World Equestrian Games U.S. team member Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida  has announced she will not compete her stallion Calecto V in Leipzig, preferring to take part in a European show tour later in the year.

Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, California, is second in the rankings having completed the two required qualifiers with a combined score of 73.188 per cent, and is entered for this weekend’s show. He plans to go to Leipzig with Rafalca, the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare by Argentinius owned by his wife, Amy.

Guenter Seidel of Cardiff, California, won the first of the two California World Cup qualifiers on Dick and Jane Brown’s U II, the 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Jazz on which he won the U.S. Developing Horse Championships in 2009, but has decided not to seek a place in the Final and is not entered in the Freestyle Sunday. Instead, the pair will show in the Grand Prix and the Special, which earn no qualifying points.

Guenter competed in the qualifiers to show his support for the World Cup shows on the West Coast after there were none in 2010. Plus, he is returning to the show ring after a riding injury in Germany which kept him out of competition for nine months. He, too, plans to compete in some major European shows in the summer.

Barring any unexpected last-minute developments, Shawna Harding of Aiken, South Carolina, and Come On III, her 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Come Back II.

Elisabeth Austin of Williston, Vermont, could be a a wild card entry if one is offered, as she ranks next behind Shawna and has won accolades for her youth–she is 26 years old–and Olivier, the 15-year-old KWPN stallion she competes, was bred and is owned by her mother.