Two USA Combinations in World’s Top 10, Charlotte & Valegro Still No. 1
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 4, 2015–Steffen Peters on Legolas and Laura Graves on Verdades are in the Top 10 in the world, according to the latest standings posted Thursday, while Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain on Valegro remains No. 1 for the 22nd straight month.
Steffen of San Diego, California and the 13-year-old Westfalen gelding moved to the ninth slot based on results in Europe in May.
Laura of Geneva, Florida on the 13-year-old KWPN gelding remained at No. 10 where they were the previous month based on success at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas. Laura has not competed since then as she is training in Hailey, Idaho with Debbie McDonald in preparation for the Pan American Games next month.
This was the first time two American combinations were in the world’s top 10 since the first digital records of standings in July, 2009, according to a search by dressage-news.com. At that time, Steffen on Ravel was No. 2 in the world.
The rankings compiled by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to the end of May also showed that Matthias Alexander Rath of Germany on Totilas slid to 28th in the world from third the previous month. The pair have no competed since Aachen, Germany in July last year but the rider has told dressage-news.com he plans to show at the German championships 10 days from now.
Germany and the Netherlands, the two powerhouse dressage nations, each have three combinations in the top 10 while Charlotte and Valegro are the sole British pair and Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén on Don Auriello shows the Swedish flag.
The U.S. has been more aggressive in competing internationally in the past two years with at least 24 horses and riders in Europe this summer performing at the biggest shows and scheduled to field teams in the major Nations Cup events.
More American horses are riders thus become more familiar to judges and the higher rankings have added greater importance with changes in the starting order at some competitions where the higher ranked pairs a grouped with other elite partnerships.