Dressage & Jumper Horses Arrive from Europe to VIP Welcome for 1st World Cup in Omaha

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Weihegold OLD that with Isabell Werth is No. 1 in the world, being led by a hazmat-suited groom into the World Cup Final venue in Omaha. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

OMAHA, Nebraska, Mar. 25, 2017–Thirty-seven dressage and jumper horses arrived from Europe for the first World Cup Final to beld in this American heartland city shrouded in cold and rain but a welcoming police escort and media coverage of the style accorded visiting dignitaries.

Weihegold OLD, the horse on which Isabell Werth is ranked No. 1 in the world, Carl Hester’s Nip Tuck and Edward Gal’s Glock’s Voice were among the 12 dressage horses that made the 10-hour flight from Amsterdam to make the first landing of foreign horses in at Omaha.  John “Pete” Ricketts, Nebraska’s governor whose family owns the Chicago Cub baseball team, came out to the airfield renamed Epperley International to mark the World Cup, to thank the Dutta Corp. and others involved in the transportation of the horses.

Bianca being led out of the aircraft container for the World Cup Final as the mount of Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat who is seeking his third consecutive title after winning in 2015 and 2016. © 2017 Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com

Glock’s Flirt ridden by Hans Peter Minderhoud was pulled from the flight when the horse went lame just hours before leaving the Netherlands that “totally devastated” the Olympic rider as he could not defend the title the pair won in 2015. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl’s Unee BB suffered colic and was also withdrawn.

Three American combinations, Laura Graves on Verdades ranked No. 4 in the world, Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet that were on the U.S. Olympic bronze medal team last year, and 2009 World Cup champion rider Steffen Peters with Rosamunde arrive in the next two days. So, too, will Bandurria Kacero that with Maria Manfredi will be the first Argentine ever to compete in the annual championship that marks its 32nd year.

Containers each holding two horses being unloaded at Omaha after the flight from Amsterdam on the Qatar Airways Boeing 777. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The first two dressage combinations to be unloaded were Dejavu ridden by Wendi Williamson the first New Zealander to competed at a dressage World Cup Final and Rustique competed by Mai Tofte Olesen of Denmark.

Dejavu, competed by Wendi Williamson of New Zealand, stepping out of the aircraft container at Omaha. The horse flew from New Zealand to Europe to stay for a couple of weeks before coming to the World Cup Final, by far the longest journey for any horse in the champinship. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Rustique setting foot on American carpet to go to the World Cup Final venue. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Alan Davies, whose celebrity status as the groom for Valegro and many other dressage and jumper horses, being interviewed as he awaited the arrival of Nip Tuck, ridden by Carl Hester. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Although Glock’s Flirt is absent, the Netherlands is represented by Edward Gal and Glock’s Voice and Madeleine Witte-Vrees and Cennin.

Glock’s Voice heading to his stall at the World Cup venue where he will be joined in the next couple of days by rider Edward Gal, a World Cup champion on Totilas in 2010. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Madeleine Witte-Vrees leading Cennin after the flight from Europe for the World Cup Final. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Xama dos Pinhais ridden by Brazil’s João Victor Marcari Oliva may show signs of travel on his blanket but not on the stallion’s mane. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Du Soleil ridden by Kristy Oatley of Australia. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Mister X seems happy as the Russian stallion, ridden by Inessa Merkulova, arrived for the World Cup Final. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com