Denmark Moves Closer to Olympic Team Qualification With Latest Rankings
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Strong results from Mikala Münter Gundersen on My Lady and Daniel Bachmann Andersen on Blue Hors Loxana moved Denmark closer to qualifying a team for the 2016 Olympic Games, based on the latest rankings released Friday.
Russia’s Inessa Merkulova on Mister X remained atop the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) individual rankings with Denmark’s top combination of Anna Kasprzak on Donnperignon in second place and Austria’s Victoria Max-Theurer on Blind Date ranked third. Anna has not competed since the European Championships in August after her breast bone was broken when kicked by Donnperignon but is entered for the World Cup event in Odense, Denmark later this month.
After failing at last month’s European Championships to capture an Olympic team slot next summer, Denmark launched a campaign to qualify at least three individuals to form a “composite” team.
Mikala and My Lady, based in Wellington, Florida, posted a personal best Grand Prix score at a U.S. CDI last month that boosted the pair to fourth in the standings, up from sixth place the previous month.
Daniel and Loxana remained in the sixth spot, with Marcela Krinke Susmelj of Switzerland on Smeyers Molberg in fifth.
Australia, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Spain Sweden and the United States will field teams at Rio de Janeiro next summer, filling the 10 team slots allocated directly for the Olympics.
Canada, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea won individual places at team qualifying competitions.
Riders have until March 6 next year to seek to rank high enough, using the four best results from the year-long qualifying process.
Twelve individual places allocated to specific geographic regions are still available to individuals, as are six places through the rankings.
The rankings as of Sept. 30: