Russia’s Mister X & Inessa Merkulova Make Biggest Jump to 80% From Previous Best Than Any Other Combination

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Inessa Merkulova on Mister X. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Inessa Merkulova on Mister X. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Mar. 3, 2016

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Mister X ridden by Inessa Merkulova of Russia made the biggest jump into the elite 80 per cent level from their previous best Grand Prix score than any other combination in the history of dressage, according to International Equestrian Federation (FEI) records .

Inessa and the 12-year-old Russian-bred Trakehner gelding were awarded 82.240 per cent in the Moscow CDI3* last week. The previous best score for the pair in a Grand Prix was 76.460 per cent at a World Cup event in Minsk, Belarus last October.

The difference in the scores of 5.78 was greater than any other combination since Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands on Salinero first breeched the 80 per cent level in 2006.

Differences for other combinations included Uthopia ridden by Carl Hester on Britain’s 2012 Olympic gold medal team with 80.872 per cent that was 5.553 higher than their previous best.

Fellow team member Laura Tomlinson on Mistral Hojris scored 82.571 per cent at the 2010 World Games that was 4.469 over the previous best of 78.042 per cent in January of 2010.

Anky van Grunsven and Salinero creating new Grand Prix world record of 81.33 per cent at Rotterdam in 2006. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Anky van Grunsven and Salinero creating new Grand Prix world record of 81.33 per cent at Rotterdam in 2006. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Totilas when ridden by Edward Gal in the pair’s first result above 80 per cent–84.085 per cent at the 2009 European Championships–was 4.34 over the pair’s 79.745 per cent at Hickstead, England a month earlier.

German star Isabell Werth on Weihegold OLD posted 80.020 per cent that was 4.100 above their previous best of 75.920, both this year.

Jerich Parzival and Adelinde Cornelissen, Netherlands team mates of Edward and Totilas, logged 80.638 per cent in their first 80 per cent mark, 4.085 better than their previous high of 76.553 per cent.

Damon Hill NRW and Helen Langehanenberg, Steffen Peters on Ravel, Isabell Werth on Bella Rose, Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro, Edward Gal on Undercover and Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH recorded differences ranging from 1.957 to 2.714.

The FEI, governing body of international horse sports, reported Wednesday that its Dressage Committee reviewed the results of the Moscow competition and the participation of a judge who had conducted training of the competitors four months earlier.

The FEI upheld the result and found the judge acted within the rules.

With eight qualifying competitions around the world this week before the Mar. 6 deadline, the scores of other riders competing for individual Olympic places kept alive the controversy over qualification procedures and results.

Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH performing their best ever Grand Prix Freestyle to win the 2015 European Championship individual silver medal. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH performing their best ever Grand Prix Freestyle to win the 2015 European Championship individual silver medal. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

World No. 1 Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH is competing at Dortmund, Germany but as her nation is already qualified she is riding to be on the German team. The duo’s four Grand Prix scores are all below the 82.240 per cent awarded in Moscow.

Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro, No. 2 in the world, is scheduled to compete at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain and she, too, is riding to be on her team as Britain is qualified for Rio. The pair hold the Grand Prix world record of 87.460 per cent set at the Christmas 2014 London Olympia event.