Omaha World Cup Lineup Almost Set With USA Hopes High For 3 Starts

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Isabell Werth and Emilio. © 2017 Pelle Wedenmark/dressage-news.com

Mar. 2, 2017

The lineup of 18 riders for the World Cup Final in Omaha is almost set with three events still to go on both sides of the Atlantic, but high hopes the United States will get three of those starts.

German super star Isabell Werth leads the European invasion with plans to bring her Olympic team gold and individual silver medal mount Weihegold OLD with a perfect qualifying record as well as top ranked in the world. Her third 80 per cent club horse Emilio will be on standby, if necessary, as Isabell goes for her third annual championships based on the Freestyle. Her other two victories were on Fabienne a quarter-century ago and Warum Nicht in Las Vegas 10 years ago.

Laura Graves and Verdades, her Olympic team bronze horse and on whom she is ranked No. 4, has clinched a start in Omaha Mar. 27-April 2.

With performances that have earned Laura of Geneva, Florida and her 15-year-old KWPN gelding two scores of 80 per cent at Grand Prix in the past month the pair are given a shot at becoming the third American World Cup champion. The other two previous championship pairs as the World Cup heads to the 32nd final were her coach, Debbie McDonald on the now retired Brentina in 2003 and Steffen Peters on Ravel in 2009.

Kasey Perry-Glass, now based in Wellington, Florida and her Olympic mount Dublet on whom she is ranked 17th in the world, could cement their place in the final at the World Cup event at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The pair have one score but need another to take the second spot allocated to North America.

Steffen Peters on Rosamunde already has two scores and although awaiting the results of Kasey and Dublet could still make it to the final if Kasey does not score high enough or as a third American with their world ranking of No. 23.

With the confirmation of Maria Florencia Manfredi on Bandurria Kacero as the first Argentina to earn a start at a World Cup Final, the Americas could have four representatives.

Those that appear to be assured a start in Omaha with Wellington still to go this weekend, Burbank, California and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands next weekend are:

Isabell Werth of Germany
Kristy Oatley of Australia (qualified in Europe)
Carl Hester of Great Britain
Fabienne Lütkemeier of Germany
Marcela Krinke Susmelj of Switzerland
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl of Germany
Judy Reynolds of Ireland
Inessa Merkulova of Russia
Hanna Karasiova of Belarus
Wendi Williamson of New Zealand
Maria Florencia Manfredi of Argentina
Hans Peter Minderhoud of the Netherlands, titleholder
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Kasey Perry-Glass and/or Steffen Peters of the United States depending on the results at Wellington
At least one more from Western European League plus extra starting places