World Cup Horses & Riders See Competition Arena for 1st Time–Big Thumbs Up
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
OMAHA, Nebraska, Mar. 28, 2017–The 17 horses and riders in Omaha for the World Cup Final were able to work in the competition arena for the first time Tuesday and came away with high praise.
Isabell Werth, a two-time winner of the World Cup, riding her Olympic team gold mount Weihegold OLD; No. 4 Laura Graves of Geneva, Florida and Verdades, Carl Hester and Nip Tuck, Olympic team silver and No. 5 in the world, are among the 17 combinations from 11 countries in the 32nd staging of the annual championship.
Laura said of the 15-year-old KWPN gelding that she competed at the 2015 World Cup Final in Las Vegas and after working in the arena, “I think he seems really comfortable in there. The whole venue is so friendly.
“It is fun to think of how much he has grown up since the Vegas World Cup.”
The first dressage competition will be the Grand Prix on Thursday with the Grand Prix Freestyle set for Saturday to decide the champion and decide how the total prize money of €250,000 (US$270,000) is split up.
Madeleine Winter Schultze, an owner of Weihegold, had high praise for the venue and the main hotel directly across the street “it is perfect.”
Carl Hester a veteran Olympics and championships as well as trainer of many horses, including Valegro, said of Nip Tuck that is known for being spooky, “My horse being a pretty good judge of what’s he’s notorious for I got a very nice surprise when I rode in. He looked left and right then has probably been one of the mot relaxed at a show on the first day he’s ever been. It does have a feeling of Olympia (in London) around it when you come in with the closeness and proximity. There seems to be a fairly calm feeling around the arena.”
Edward Gal summed it up, “very good.”
Steffen Peters of San Diego, California on Rosamunde: “I love it. We heard so many wonderful reports about it but I think it turned out even better than expected. On top of that it’s in the United States.”
Kasey Perry-Glass of Wellington, Florida on Dublet: “I loved it.”
Kristy Oatley, “Once we got in the ring I didn’t even think about it.”
Russia’s Inessa Merkulova riding Mister X, “Beautiful.”