Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro 2nd Last to Go in World Cup Grand Prix, USA’s Tina Konyot & Calecto 1st
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LYON, France, April 18, 2014–America’s Tina Konyot on Calecto V will be first into the arena when the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final gets underway with the Grand Prix in Lyon, France Saturday.
The Grand Prix is the first of two competitions in the 2013/2014 championship decided by Sunday’s Freestyle and defending champions, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, will go seventh of the 18 starters. Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro will be second-last to go, right ahead of the Florida-based Mikala Münter Gundersen on the American-owned My Lady as last into the arena
Denmark’s Nanna Skodberg Merrald is listed second for the Grand Prix but her 13-year-old gelding, Millibar, must first pass reinspection Saturday morning having been held over during Friday’s first veterinary check.
Despite holding the Olympic and European titles as well as all three world records in Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Freestyle, the world No. 1 combination of Charlotte and Valegro face a significant challenge as she rides a Freestyle test for the first time in the World Cup Final debut for the pair.
“This will be the first time for people to see it and we want to get it as good as we can and show Blueberry’s (Valegro’s) highlights and strengths,” she said. “It’s a difficult task but it’s a lovely piece and Carl (her trainer and mentor Carl Hester) loves it!” She decided that Olympia in London last December would be the last performance of the patriotic music that won the pair Olympic and European gold.
Tom Hunt created the new musical score.
“Carl decided on the floorplan and I’ve been working with Tom on the music,” she said. “I’ve worked harder on this new piece and I’ve been phoning and emailing him every day to get it where I wHelen Langehanenberg, meanwhile, is staying cool about any threat to the title she won last year.
Since holding aloft the World Cup a year ago, the German rider said, “I only had it in my hand that one time, but what a year it has been. Now every time I compete with Dami I go ‘wow, that was perfect,’ and he just keeps coming up with better and better scores.”
She said she is looking forward to the competition getting underway. “We are going to enjoy it and give our best, we can’t force it–we will try to keep the lightness and we will be fighting every inch of the way.”
Riders have gathered from around the globe for this year’s Final.
The international veteran, Mary Hanna traveled all the way from Australia but it wasn’t the easiest of passages– her 13-year-old gelding, Sancette, lost a shoe during the flight to Europe and stood on one of the nails. Carol Newby, the horse’s groom, noticed it almost right away and pulled out the nail before the foot became infected.
“But he was lame for almost two weeks after we arrived and it was a worrying time,” Mary said. Based with Sweden’s Patrik Kittel, the husband of Mary’s Australian Olympic team mate Lyndal Oatley in Germany, she has worked hard to get Sancette back in shape. “Fortunately he’s fine now and going really well again,” said Mary who is drawn 11th place tomorrow and whose goal is a personal best score.
The Netherlands’ Edward Gal, World Cup champion in 2010 with Totilas, will be sixth into the ring with Glock’s Undercover and is relishing the opportunity to demonstrate the improving 13-year-old gelding. “He just keeps getting better every time he competes and I just hope he does his job and continues to improve here again this weekend,” Edward said.
The order of go for the Grand Prix starting at 1500 local (2 pm British time, 9 am U.S. Eastern Time):
|bay 16y.S /Come Back II/Rastell/DWB/USA41206/ Tina Konyot|
|dbay 13y.G /Milan/Liberty Dane/DWB/102QB20/ Helle Merrald|
|3.||515||Smeyers Lazander||Krinke Susmelj,Marcela||SUI|
|chest 13y.G /Solos Landtinus/Lebensmann/DWB/DEN40387/ Meyer Irene|
|bay 10y.G /Egeus/TRAK/102YZ81/ Merkulova,Inessa|
|black 15y.G /Gribaldi/Hemmingway/KWPN/102NZ55/ D.Heykoop & T.E.G.van Grunsven & J.|
|black 13y.G /Ferro/Donnerhall/KWPN/103MH20/ Ghpc Holding Bv|
|7.||507||Damon Hill NRW||Langehanenberg,Helen||GER|
|dchst 14y.S /Donnerhall/Rubinstein I/WESTF/GER26971/ Becks,Christian|
|8.||516||Don Auriello||Vilhelmson Silfven,Tinne||SWE|
|bay 12y.G /Don Davidoff/White Star/HANN/GER43436/ Lövsta Stuteri / Antonia Ax:son Joh|
|9.||509||El Santo NRW||Werth,Isabell||GER|
|bay 13y.G /Ehrentusch/Rythmus/RHEIN/GER44504/ Madeleine Winter-Schulze + Isabell|
|10.||504||Noble Dream Concept Sol||Boblet,Marc||FRA|
|black 12y.M /Caprimond/Donnerhall/OLDBG/FRA43253/ Laura Dallara – Jean-Louis Dallara|
|bay 13y.G /Sandro Hit/Contender/HANN/USA41094/ Mary Hanna|
|bay 13y.S /Romantic Star/Mister A/HANN/RUS40441/ Mrs. Ludmila Dmitrieva|
|13.||513||Glock’s Johnson TN||Minderhoud,Hans Peter||NED|
|bay 12y.S /Jazz/Flemmingh/KWPN/NED41431/ Glock Holding BV & Team Nijhof|
|14.||506||Unee BB||von Bredow-Werndl,Jessica||GER|
|dbay 13y.S /Gribaldi/Dageraad/KWPN/102YN67/ Bürchler-Keller Beatrice|
|15.||518||Van The Man||Parra,Cesar||USA|
|black 12y.G /Obelisk/Landjonker (Fruhling)/KWPN/103BW14/ Michael Davis/sarah Davis/cesar Par|
|bay 15y.G /Briar 899/Junius XX/SWB/GER41640/ Hanwha Galleria|
|bay 12y.G /Negro/Gerschwin/KWPN/102UB51/ Mr C Hester,Mrs R Luard|
|18.||501||My Lady||Gundersen,Mikala Münter||DEN|
|bay 14y.M /Michellino/DWB/103KN32/ Janne H. Rumbough & Mikala Münter G|
Jean Michel Roudier France is president of the ground jury and the judge at E for the Grand Prix with Eduard de Wolff van Westerrode of Netherlands at K; Thomas Lang of Austria at H; Dr. Evi Eisenhardt of Germany C; Gary Rockwell USA M; Jacques von Daele of Belgium B and Leif Tornblad of Denmark F. Judges Supervisory Panel comprises Mary Seefried of Australia, Eric Lette of Sweden and Henk van Bergen of Netherlands.