Inessa Merkulova Rides Mister X to Moscow World Cup Freestyle Victory
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MOSCOW, Sept. 5, 2015–Inessa Merkulova and Mister X won the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday to position the Russian team partnership as a top contender for a third straight Final of the annual individual championship.
Inessa and the 11-year-old Russian-bred Trakehner gelding scored 77.550 per cent for the win with three of the five judges placing the pair first, one giving the nod to World Games team mate Marina Aframeeva on Vosk and one giving the two combinations equal marks.
Marina and the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Vosk, Russian-bred and also owned by Inessa Merkulova, posted a personal best score of 75.630 per cent for second place. Their previous Freestyle high was 74.250 per cent in Nice, France in spring, 2014.
Fellow Russian Polina Afanasieva on Laetare was third on 70.750 per cent in the fifth of 10 World Cup qualifiers in the Central European League.
Elena Sidneva placed fourth on Romeo-Star to earn enough points to keep the Russian international veteran atop the Central European League standings with 41 points, one ahead of Inessa and Mister X.
The top two combinations from the CEL will get an invitation to the World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next March.
Polina Afanasieva on Winston won the CDI3* Grand Prix Special with a score of 68,039 per cent.