Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro 2nd Last to Go in World Cup Grand Prix, USA’s Tina Konyot & Calecto 1st

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Riders in the World Cup Final: Isabell Werth, Marcela Krinke Susmelj, Mikala Münter Gundersen, Nanna Skodborg Merrald, Helen Langehanenberg, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Cesar Parra, Dong Seon Kim, Mary Hanna top : Marc Boblet, Tinne Vilhelmsson Silfvén, Danielle Heijkoop, Inessa Merkulova, Charlotte Dujardin, Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud. © 2014 Dirk Caremans
Riders in the World Cup Final: Isabell Werth, Marcela Krinke Susmelj, Mikala Münter Gundersen, Nanna Skodborg Merrald, Helen Langehanenberg, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Cesar Parra, Dong Seon Kim, Mary Hanna
top : Marc Boblet, Tinne Vilhelmsson Silfvén, Danielle Heijkoop, Inessa Merkulova, Charlotte Dujardin, Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud. © 2014 Dirk Caremans

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.

Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Millibar. Photo: Roland Thunholm/FEI
Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Millibar. Photo: Roland Thunholm/FEI

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.

Helen Langehanenberg holding aloft the World Cup she won on Damon Hill NRW in 2013. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Helen Langehanenberg holding aloft the World Cup she won on Damon Hill NRW in 2013. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

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):

1. 517 Calecto V Konyot,Tina USA
bay 16y.S /Come Back II/Rastell/DWB/USA41206/ Tina Konyot
 
2. 502 Millibar Merrald,Nanna Skodborg DEN
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
 
4. 514 Mister X Merkulova,Inessa RUS
bay 10y.G /Egeus/TRAK/102YZ81/ Merkulova,Inessa
 
5. 512 Kingsley Siro Heijkoop,Danielle NED
black 15y.G /Gribaldi/Hemmingway/KWPN/102NZ55/ D.Heykoop & T.E.G.van Grunsven & J.
 
6. 511 Glock’s Undercover Gal,Edward NED
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
 
11. 500 Sancette Hanna,Mary AUS
bay 13y.G /Sandro Hit/Contender/HANN/USA41094/ Mary Hanna
 
12. 519 Romeo-Star Sidneva,Elena RUS
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
 
16. 510 Bukowski Kim,Dong-Seon KOR
bay 15y.G /Briar 899/Junius XX/SWB/GER41640/ Hanwha Galleria
 
17. 505 Valegro Dujardin,Charlotte GBR
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.