Dutch Win Aachen Under-25 Team Competition

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Marrigje Van Baalen on BMC Kigali and Danielle Heijijkoop on Siro in the Under-25 team victory gallop. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

AACHEN, Germany, July 15–The Netherlands won the increasingly popular and highly competitive Under-25 team competition Friday at the prestigious World Equestrian Festival, while Spain’s Morgan Barbançon riding Anky van Grunsven’s IPS Painted Black was the claimed individual honors.

The Dutch team made up three riders with one score that can be discarded, comprised Danielle Heijkoop on Siro, Diederik van Silfout on Luxform’s Popeye and Marrigje van Baalen on BMC Kigali. The competition was in the 5,000-seat Deutsche Bank stadium that was about two-thirds full.

Their score in the team test at Intermediaire II was 135.395 with Germany second on 135.263, Denmark third on 134.447 and Sweden fourth on 133.184. The U.S. was invited to send an individual or a team but did not do so.

BMC Kigali, who is now 19 years old, was the five-year-old world jumping champion with Albert Zoer. The horse’s mother was Finesse, who was ridden by jumper rider Emile Hendrix on the Dutch team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Kigali is one of the rare horses that has competed Grand Prix in both dressage and jumping.

His team mate, Siro, is a half-brother to Totilas.

Spain's Morgan Barbançon and IPS Painted Black. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Spain did not have a team in the competition, but Morgan and Painted Black, a 14-year-old gelding by Gribaldi, scored 72.000 per cent.

Anky competed Painted Black in two World Cup Finals and is coaching Morgan.

The individual final at Grand Prix will be held Saturday.