Denmark’s Chances Boosted to Qualify Four Combinations for 2016 Olympics

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Agnete Kirk Thinggaard on Jojo AZ. © Annette Boe Ostergaard/FEI
Agnete Kirk Thinggaard on Jojo AZ. © Annette Boe Ostergaard/FEI

LAUSANNE Switzerland, Dec. 3, 2015–Strong performances by Agnete Kirk Thinggaard on Jojo AZ boosted the chances of Denmark qualifying four horses and riders for a dressage team at next summer’s Olympic Games, according to the latest International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings released Thursday.

The rankings issued less than 100 days before the March 6, 2016 cutoff to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Games showed no changes in national combinations qualifying for the 10 spots available in seven geographic groups.

However, for six places awarded to the highest placed combinations except for teams already qualified and the group qualifications, Agnete and Jojo moved to the top of that list. The Danish pairs of Anna Kasprzak on Donnperignon and Mikala Gundersen on My Lady head their geographic group that provides for two qualifying places.

Judy Reynolds of Ireland on Vancouver K was standing second on the open individual list, Valentina Truppa of Italy on Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno third, Daniel Bachman of Denmark on Blue Hors Loxana fourth, Gonçalo Carvalho of Portugal on Batuta fifth and Fanny Verliefden of Belgium on Annarico sixth.

Dressage has been allocated 60 starting places in Rio, the most ever, but 40 have already been allocated for 10 teams directly qualifying, each with up to four combinations–Brazil, as host, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Australia, United States, Spain, Sweden, France and Japan. Four individual places have also been awarded, leaving 16 starting slots up for grabs until Mar. 6.

However, the standings for both the geographic groups and individual rankings could be upset closer to the end of qualifying with about 36 competitions still available for riders to earn points.

The biggest concentrations of qualifying competitions in 2016 are Florida’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival with seven qualifiers at five shows and three in Belgium the final week.