Great Britain Wins Rotterdam Dressage Nations Cup, Holland 2nd
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, June 20–Led by the double Olympic gold medal partnership of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro making their first return to the competition arena this year, Great Britain won the dressage Nations Cup Thursday with the Netherlands second and Sweden third.
Charlotte and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding was the only combination of the seven teams to breach 80 per cent with a score of 82.191 per cent.
The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover placed second individually on 79.660 per cent to lead his team to the reserve title in the second of four Nations Cup events in a pilot program to add excitement to dressage. Holland won the first event at Vidauban, France a month ago.
Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén and Don Auriello were third on 75.766 per cent that moved Sweden into third place in the team competition. The other placings: 4. Denmark, 5. Germany, 6. France and 7. Belgium.
After two events, the Netherlands stands atop the Nations Cup rankings with 23 points, Sweden is second with 19, Great Britain third with 15 and France fourth with 13.
Two more events remain in the series–the World Equestrian Festival CDIO5* in Aachen, Germany next week and a CDI3* at Hickstead, England the first week of August.
Thursday’s result was a repeat performance of the British team’s last appearance at Rotterdam, in 2011 when the team that included Carl and Charlotte won their first European Championship gold medal.
And although the Olympia Horse Show in London in December was their last competition, the 27-year-old British rider said that Valegro soaked up the atmosphere, posing for photos and acting like the celebrity he knows he is.
“Obviously,” she said, “a few bits and pieces in there I need to sharpen up on.”
By the time of the European Championships in Herning, Denmark in August she expects that Valegro will be at the top of the form that captured world record scores in the Grand Prix and the Special as well as Olympic and European Championships gold.
“When it gets to those big championships. we will be where we need to be,” she said, adding, “the point is to go there to win the gold.”
Carl, who led the scoring with 71.532 per cent up to the last handful of rides, slotted into fourth place with Fine Time that he described as a “very safe, very sane older gentleman’s horse” performing in only his fourth Grand Prix.
Wim Ernes, the Dutch coach, singled out Edward’s ride on Undercover as the highlight of the Dutch team’s performance.
“We knew it would be difficult to beat the Olympic gold medal horse,” he said. “Having him here was really challenging for us.”
Edward Gal rode Glock’s Voice in the first Grand Prix Special to win the CDI3* Special with a score of 77.063 per cent, Charlotte Dujardin riding Uthopia was second on 72.979 per cent and Carl Hester on Dances With Wolves was third on 72.250 per cent.