Imke & Sunrise Get Xmas Cheer in Frankfurt World Cup Event
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FRANKFURT, Germany, Dec. 20–Inke Schellekens-Bartels and her Olympic and European Championship mount Hunter Douglas Sunrise gave themselves a Christmas present Sunday by winning the Frankfurt International Horse Show World Cup qualifying competition.
The Dutch combination finished at the top of the order in a mirror image of the finishes in Saturday’s Grand Prix: Imke and Sunrise 81.45 per cent, Germany’s Monica Theodorescu and Whisper 77.90 per cent and Denmark’s Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein on Digby 77.50 per cent.
Monica and Whisper are on top of the West European League standings after competing in three of the five World Cup events held so far. A total of nine lead up to the Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosh, The Netherlands, at the end of March.
All five of the qualifiers have been won by Dutch combinations, two by Anky van Grunsven and Salinero, one by Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival, one by Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas, and the latest, by Imke and Sunrise.
“For one week at least I am going to be at the top of the World Cup Dressage table – I’m feeling pretty good about that!” Monica said.
It was Schellekens-Bartel’s precision and attention to detail that gave her the edge.
Ground Jury member, Peter Holler from Germany, said afterward, “it was an almost perfect Freestyle and the spectators were spellbound during her ride. The horse is in super condition, the half-pass and piaffe were excellent and Imke’s riding was really stunning – she was the very clear winner. They did not make one mistake”.
He said that Theodorescu had “some tiny little mistakes” but that her horse’s piaffe has shown “great improvement.”
Imke, 32, said she was feeling under pressure to accumulate some points.
“Hunter Douglas Sunrise had a long break after the European Championships and Frankfurt is our very first World Cup show so this is the perfect result,” she said.
She joked about it tough being a Dutch dressage rider these days because her compatriots keep going out and breaking world records – “Edward Gal is in a league of his own but the toughest thing right now is to finish ahead of Adelinde and Anky.”
Sunrise is “feeling very happy and very fit and that makes me feel good too!” said the rider who followed her 2008 Olympic team silver medal with team gold at this summer’s Alltech FEI European Dressage Championships at Windsor, England.
The FEI World Cup™ Dressage series continues with the sixth leg at Mechelen, Belgium next Sunday.
The organizers at Mechelen have announced that Isabell Werth will be making her return to the competition arena there after six months off and following the birth of her baby boy, Frederik.
FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE – STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 5 AT FRANKFURT (GER) – Provisional:
1. Monica Theodorescu – 41
2. Adelinde Cornelissen, Matthias Rath, Edward Gal – 35
5. Anky van Grunsven – 34
6. Hubertus Schmidt – 27
7. Peter Gmoser – 25
8. Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, Jeanette Haazen (, Aat Van Essen – 24
11. Imke Schellekens-Bartels, Tinne Vilhelmson – 20