Competitors from Europe, USA Arrive for Munich’s Pferd International
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
MUNICH, Germany, May. 12–Competitors from across Europe and the United States began arriving Wednesday for Pferd International highlighted by the Exquis World Dressage Masters CDI5* that will feature the globe’s top two combinations.
Edward Gal and the superstar black stallion Moorlands Totilas and Jerich Parzival, the gelding who could barely be ridden at a show until Adelinde Cornelissen took him to the top in the world, will face a strong international field led by Germany’s Isabell Werth, the 2009 WDM champion.
Olympians Ulla Salzgeber and Hubertus Schmidt of Germany, Victoria Max-Theurer of Austria, Denmark’s Anne van Olst and Ireland’s Anna Merveldt will also be competing for €100,000 (US$126,600) in the Exquis World Dressage Masters and €25,000 (US$31,660) in the Nürnberger WDM Rider Ranking.
This is the second year of the world’s richest lineup of dressage competitions with €100,000 on the line at Palm Beach, Florida; Munich; Cannes, France, and Hickstead, England. Discussions have also been held to expand the circuit to Scandinavia and Brazil.
Edward and Totilas, the reigning World Cup champions, are favored to take the rider ranking purse, but with double points at stake the pair will have to produce the kinds of performances that have seen them create world records at Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle. This is only their second appearance in Germany since starting Grand Prix, the first being at Stuttgart six months ago.
The WDM Grand Prix starts Friday, with the Grand Prix Special on Saturday and the Grand Prix Kür.
The CDI3* that is held simultaneously with the WDM–some riders will be able to qualify for the five-star–begins Thursday and combinations include Chris Hickey and Cabana Boy and Adrienne Lyle and Wizard from the United States.
Adrienne, 25, of Ketchum, Idaho, is competing in Europe for the first time in preparation for the selection trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. She showed at Hagen two weeks ago.
Adrienne, who is riding Wizard, the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy Thomas, has been accompanied by her coach, Debbie McDonald, throughout the five-week trip. She has also been working with former U.S. coach, Klaus Balkenhol.
“I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world–I get to wake up every morning and go work with Klaus Balkenhol and Debbie McDonald!!” she said.
Both the CDI5* and CDI3* will be broadcast live on the Internet by clipmyhorse.de