Belarus Riders Dominate World Cup Central European League

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By LOUSIE PARKES

Sviatlana Loika and Katsiaryna Varchenia from Belarus are joint-leaders of the FEI Central European World Cup Dressage with the regional final scheduled for Zagreb, Ukraine at the end of the month to determine which combination will go to the Final in Sweden in April.

Eight qualifying legs took place in the Central European region, with riders also permitted to take points from the Western European legs at Stuttgart, Germany and Stockholm, Sweden last November. The series began in Zhashkiv last May, where Austria’s Stefan Peter won with Don Walesko ahead of the Ukraine’s Inna Logutenkova who filled both second and third places partnering Vian Stallone and Don Gregorius respectively.  Loika and her top ride, Gulbis, managed a fifth-place finish this time out to slot in behind Yassine Rahmouni on Floresco NRW from Morocco.

However, Loika moved up to third place at the following event in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia last June where the host country’s Alexandra Korelova and Baikal stood atop the podium with Katsiaryna Varchenis and Redford 2 in runner-up spot. The big guns came out for the third leg at Lipica, Slovenia where Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke Susmelj and Smeyers Molberg held sway over Italy’s Valentina Truppa who would go on to make a big impact later in the year in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League series.

Frenchman, Arnaud Serre and Helio took third at Lipica ahead of Germany’s Matthias Kempkes and Corado, but at Bmo-Panska Licha in the Czech Republic a few weeks later, Poland’s Katarzyna Milczarek and Ekwador headed Sebastien Duperdu from France with Passe Partout.  Austria’s Karis Kosak and Lucy’s Day finished third while Germany’s Martina Hannover-Sternberg and Ratino H filled the fourth spot.

Russian riders reigned supreme in Moscow in early September where Tatiana Dorofeeva and Khorovod pipped fellow-countrywoman Alexandra Korelova and Baikal, but Loika’s points accumulation was steadily building with third spot here ahead of Russia’s Ksenia Morozkina on Absolutely Fabulous while Loika’s Balarusian counterpart, Varchenia, finished fifth.

At Wroclaw, Poland later that month a number of the Western European League contenders lined up once again, and it was Krinke Susmelj who took the pole position ahead of Canada’s Pia Fortmuller on Orion.  Milczarek had to settle for third with Florencia B.  The Netherlands’ Marlies van Baalen and BMC Miciano slotted into fourth with Sweden’s Roe Mathisen and Bocelli in fifth while the well-traveled Polish partnership of Michel Rapcewizz and Randon took sixth spot.

Just three lined up at Minsk in Belarus in late September where Varchenia improved her position with victory riding Redford ahead of Loika and Gulbis while Russia’s Morozkina and Absolutely Fabulous took third behind the Belarusian partnership who, by now, were already on level-pegging for top spot in the series.

Lyndal Oatley’s victory for Australia with Sandro Boy at Kaposvar in Hungary last October therefore caused them no concern.  Milczarek and Edwador lined up second here ahead of Fortmuller and Orion in third and Kosak and Lucy’s Lady in fourth.  However it was a huge day for Lyndal Oatley who recorded her very first Grand Prix victory with a personal-best score of 76.525 per cent.

And the significance of Oatley’s performance was borne out when the 32-year-old German-based rider who hails from Sydney was offered a wild-card entry to the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final 2012/2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden next month.

FEI Central European World Cup ™ Dressage League 2012/2013 :
1. Katsiaryna Varchenia BLR – 60
1. Sviatlana Loika BLR – 60
3. Katarzyn Milczarek POL – 57
4. Tatiana Dorofeeva RUS – 43
5. Ksenia Morozkina RUS – 40
6. Alexandra Korelova RUS – 37
7. Inna Logutenkova UKR – 28
8. Yulia Vinnitskaja RUS – 23
9. Halina Zotava BUL – 19
9. Grete Barake EST – 19