Russia’s Inessa Merkulova & Mister X Scores 82.240% IN Moscow CDI3* That Upsets Olympic Rankings
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MOSCOW, Feb. 26, 2016–Russia’s Inessa Merkulova on the flamboyant Mister X scored 82.240 per cent at the inaugural Maxima CDI3* Grand Prix Friday, in awards to Russian riders that could upset qualifying for the summer Olympic Games with just one week to the deadline.
The score for Inessa and the 12-year-old Trakehner gelding was the highest in the world for the Grand Prix since Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro was individual champion at the 2015 European Championships.
Marina Aframeeva riding Vosk for Russia and also owned by Inessa was awarded 76.780 per cent that could help move the pair up to second place in their geographic group and thus drop Poland’s Beata Stremler on Rubicon of Poland from Olympic contention as well as Inna Logutenkova who has been competing in Western Europe trying to earn an Olympic start for Ukraine.
Inessa on Avans, a second horse she competed, placed third on 70.000 per cent.
The last competitions around the world before the Mar. 6 deadline for individual qualification for Rio de Janeiro are being monitored by the International Equestrian Federation’s Judges Supervisory Panel but it is not known if one of the panel’s members was in Moscow.
The monitoring was implemented to try to prevent nationalistic judging to fill one of the 60 starting places for dressage at Rio. Ten teams that have directly qualified take up 40 of those places as well as four individuals from earlier events.
Inessa Merkulova and Miser X, whose previous best Grand Prix score was 76.765 per cent at Hamburg, Germany last June, was at the top of the rankings for the group that includes Russia but the second spot allocated for that region was a closely fought with Poland’s Beata Stremler on 924 points, Ukraine’s Inna Logtenkova on 911 points and Russia’s Marina Aframeeva on 905 points. The three combinations are ranked high enough that at least one pair has a chance of taking one of the six places to be awarded from the open Olympic standings.