American Lina Uzunhasan on Donna Ray Posts Triple Victories at Inaugural Dutch Topsport Dressage

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Lina Uzunhasan and Donna Ray. © Arnd Bronkhorst/www.arnd.nl

EXLOO, Netherlands, Oct. 29, 2017–Lina Uzunhasan, the Dutch-based American rider, and Donna Ray swept the three Young Rider competitions at the inaugural Dutch Topsport Dressage at Exloo, Netherlands.

Lina and her nine-year-old Dutch mare scored 71.535 per cent  to win the opening Young Rider team test with 15 competitors from five nations at the Hippic Center. Germany’s Lisa Breimann on Der Prinz was second on 70.877 per cent.

The 18-year-old Lina, who started riding for the United States at the beginning of this year, took the individual test with a score of 72.061 per cent from the three-member international ground jury on Saturday. The Netherlands’ Lisanne Zoutendijk on Kostendrukkers Ringo Star was second on 71.447 per cent.

Although Anky van Grunsven, the Dutch superstar, was not on hand to coach Lina as she usually is, the American combination took the freestyle Sunday on 75.625 per cent for a sweep of the young rider competitions. Lisanne and Ringo Star were runner-up on 73.708 per cent.

“It was really nice today with the music,” Lina said after the freestyle. “I love this test but it was almost six months ago that we had done our last freestyle. I could focus very well, both on my horse and on the music. And I had to because Donna was still sharp.

“It also gave me confidence that we did it without Anky being there. Normally she helps me at the shows but not this time and then I tend to get nervous.”

Mistakes in the three rides, she said, showed there was room for improvement.

Lina competed Donna Ray in the European Junior Championships for Turkey in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

She plans to move to the Under-25 division in 2018.