Belarus’s Hanna Karasiova & Arlekino Win Moscow World Cup Freestyle to Earn Invite to Paris Final

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Hanna Karasiova and Arlekino. File photo. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

MOSCOW, Dec. 3, 2017–Hanna Karasiova on Arlekino won the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday to earn an invitation to their second championship final along with Inessa Merkulova on Mister X.

The Belarus rider and the 11-year-old Lavian gelding scored 72.075 per cent for the win in the last of 11 qualifiers in Central Europe that cemented their standing to earn one of two places reserved at the final to be staged in Paris in April.

Russia’s Inessa Merkulova who was competing her Mister X at the Top Ten in Stockholm had already accumulated enough points to assure the pair an invite to their fifth straight World Cup final, placing the pair among a only a handful of combinations to perform in so many in the 33-year history of the championship centered on the musical performance. Anky van Grunsven on Bonfire and Isabell Werth on Anthony were among those who did so.

Belarus’s Volha Ihumentsava and Ed Khardy, a 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion, placed second on 70.065 per cent a day after capturing the Grand Prix.

Hanna placed third on Zodiak on 69.275 per cent.

A total of 18 riders and horses will be invited to the final in Paris next April, nine from Western Europe, one from the Pacific/Asia area, two from North America, a non-league combination, a wild card, a home athlete and the defending champion, which is Isabell Werth on world No. 1 Weihegold OLD taking the title in Omaha last April.

Central Europe was the first region to complete qualifiers.

Results: Moscow CDI-W GPFS-2