Salinero Back on Top with Victory at Exquis World Dressage Masters Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
CANNES, France, June 11–Although IPS Salinero is “still learning” the new Grand Prix test which he had only performed twice before the Exquis World Dressage Masters at this French Riviera resort, Anky van Grunsven got him through it in superb form to claim victory Thursday.
Despite a couple of minor questions–“after the extended trot he wanted to do pirouettes instead of two-tempis in the new test”–the Dutch combination showed near the same quality that won them individual gold at the 2008 Olympics. For Thursday’s Grand Prix, they were rewarded with a score of 77.021 per cent. In the nine months since the Olympics, van Grunsven and Salinero have shown only twice, once during the World Cup series in winter and the first week of June at the Dutch National Championships where they came second.
Finland’s Kyra Kyrklund on her Max were second with 71.745 per cent while Denmark’s Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and Rigoletto were third with 71.362 per cent.
Of the 14 combinations that started the third of four events that make up the World Dressage Masters–Palm Beach, Florida, Munich, Germany, Cannes and Hickstead, England, each offer prize money of €100,000 (US$140,000) with a newly created €25,000 (US$35,000) rider bonus added–seven go to the Grand Prix Special to Music Friday night with seven heading to the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle Saturday night.
All of the dressage competitions, as well as the accompanying jumper classes, can be viewed live by streaming video on the Internet site http://www.jumpingcannes.com/live.htm. The Grand Prix Special is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. local time Friday (2100 GMT/5 p.m. U.S. ET), and the Grand Prix Freestyle the same time Saturday.
“I’m really happy although Salinero is not yet in a good routine with the new test,” Anky said. “He is trying really hard.
“He remembers the old test and goes to do what he thinks he should do but I have to tell him, ‘You are wrong. We need to do this now.’
“I am getting to be a teacher again. But by the third day of a show as happened in the Dutch championships we are back together.
“I love riding him, he is so much fun. He is fit and in very good condition so in a short while more he should know the new Grand Prix test as well as he knew the old one.” She expects that to occur in plenty of time for the European Championships in Windsor, England at the end of August.