Anky & Salinero Dominate Lyon for 2nd Straight World Cup Win
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LYON, France, Oct. 30–Anky van Grunsven and Salinero dominated the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle at the Equitá Horse Show Friday night, the second straight title in the first two of the nine events making up the West European League series.
The pair scored 82.000 per cent to follow up their win at the inaugural qualifier at Odense, Denmark two weeks ago.
Germany’s Monica Theodorescu on Whisper placing second on 76.450 per cent with Denmark’s Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein on Rigoletto 2 in third place on 75.500 per cent. The Dane’s strong showing came after their debut in the indoor season opener on her home turf at Odense two weeks ago which was spoiled by the gelding’s nervousness leading to the pair’s retirement in the Grand Prix.
In the Grand Prix on Thursday, Anky and Salinero scored 77.021 per cent with Theodorescu and Whisper placing second on 72.085 per cent with Great Britain’s European Championships superstar Laura Bechtolsheimer on Andretti H placing third on 69.702 per cent.
Anky’s victory came after compatriot Edward Gal withdrew after an accident with his mount, Sisther de Jeu, a Gribaldi mare, leaving van Grunsven the clear favorite.
The Dutch combination received a standing ovation from the 5,500 spectators as she took her lap of honor.
“I’m very happy now,” Anky said afterward. “But I was a bit worried in there because Salinero was getting a bit hot. I thought I might not finish my first extended trot because he was getting so strong he almost took off on me, and I didn’t need to ask for the extended canter because he did it all on his own!
“He was a little tense in places, but overall I’m very happy, and I have to say I was even more happy with the Grand Prix yesterday.”
The large, enthusiastic crowd and bright lights were a big challenge for Nathalie Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein who was last into the arena. The super-sensitive Rigoletto was initially tense in the buzzing atmosphere, and she was hoping that she would not find herself in the same position as she did on her last outing when she was forced to retire.
However the 13-year-old Danish Warmblood eventually relaxed “and he was so much better this time, I was very satisfied with how he went,” she said.
Both Anky and Nathalie commented on the relatively small field of starters.
With Gal’s withdrawal there were just nine in the competition “and it is a pity” said the winner, “because this is such a lovely venue.”
FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE STANDINGS AFTER SECOND LEG AT LYON
1. Anky Van Grunsven – 34
2. Jeanette Haazen, Monica Theodorescu – 24
4. Peter Gmoser, Tinne Vilhemson Silfven – 20
6. Hans Peter Minderhoud – 19
7. Edward Gal, LPierluigi Sangiorgi – 17
9. Cora Jocobs – 16
10. Jean Philippe Siat, Patrik Kittel – 15
The next event in the West European League is in Stockholm Nov. 28-29.
|Grand Prix Freestyle HERMES
FEI WORLD CUP DRESSAGE