ANNA MERVELDT WINS IRISH FIELD DRESSAGE RIDER OF YEAR AWARD FOR RECORD EIGHTH TIME

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Anna Merveldt and Coryolano at Munich in 2011. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Anna Merveldt has won the Irish Field Dressage Rider of the Year Award for a record eighth time.

The Italian-based rider took second place with Coryolano in the Grand Prix Special at the Munich World Dressage Masters show in May. She followed that by qualifying again for the Grand Prix Kür in Aachen, Germany, in July, the only Irish rider ever to have achieved this distinction.

In her bid for Olympic qualification Anna set a new Irish record when scoring 75.72 per cent to place second in the Grand Prix Kür in Vienna last November.

The points gained in Austria saw her break into the top 50 in the FEI World Dressage rankings. This is the key to Anna’s ambition to compete as an individual for Ireland at the London Olympics this summer. She is the only Irish rider to have reached an Olympic final when placing 11th with Rapallo in Barcelona in 1982.

Anna was injured when a car drove into her vehicle as she left her yard in Milan last November. A broken rib below her left arm was diagnosed and on medical advice she had to stop riding to avoid the risk of puncturing a lung. The Irish rider has since made a full recovery and will return to competing her 16 -year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding Coryolano before the end of February.