Anabel Balkenhol & Dablino Capture Stuttgart CDI4* GP Special, Back on World Cup Hunt
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
STUTTGART, Germany, Nov. 18–Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino FRH, who competed as an individual combination at the Oympics this summer, captured the CDI4* Olympic Grand Prix Special Sunday in a ride that she said puts them back in the hunt for a place at the World Cup Final next April.
The 40-year-old daughter of German Olympic gold medalist and former U.S. dressage coach scored 75.933 per cent with Austria’s Victoria Max-Theurer still developing the partnership with Blind Date second on 75.022 per cent and Dorothee Schneider and Forward Looking third on 72.200 per cent. The order of finish was the same as in the Grand Prix Saturday.
Anabel said that the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Wanda x Wanderbursch II) has recovered after being out of competition and “now has his whole strength back and so much more power.”
Anabel said that Dablino was a bit tense at the start of the ride that caused some “teeny mistakes” but the horse felt great.
She is working on a new freestyle, leaning toward a classical theme to match Dabino’s size and power.
World Cup qualifiers penciled in for the pair are Amsterdam, Neumünster, Germany and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, but final decisions may depend whether Matthias Alexander Rath decides to ride Totilas in the events.
Countries in the Western European League of the World Cup are limited to three combinations. Both Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW and Kristina Sprehe and Desperados, two combinations from the silver medal German Olympic team, are ranked 6th and 3rd respectively while Anabel and Dablin are ranked 9th.
Totilas has been competed only twice so far this year, at Hagen’s CDI4* and the German Championships. Matthias reported he came down with the viral infection mononucleosis and was unabe to compete at Aachen, Germany and was not selected for the Olympic team. He has since switched trainers, now working with former Dutch national coach Sjef Janssen instead of his father, Klaus Martin Rath.
Matthias announced earlier this year that the World Cup Final was a goal of his for 2013.
Vici Max-Theurer was riding Blind Date in only his third show since taking over the rider in August.
She said she was happy with the performance of the Hanoverian mare who scored a double victory at Oldenburg last week and the two second place finishes here.
|Data of competition:|
|Judges:||(E)||Dr.D.Schüle (GER)|| Total prize money: