Highly Competitive Rotterdam Nations Cup With Seven Teams Including USA, Netherlands, Sweden & Germany Kicks Off Thursday

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United States team of Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonoir and Laura Graves on Verdades in honor round at Rotterdam Nations Cup. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, June 20, 2018–The most competitive Nations Cup so far halfway into the 2018 series of seven team events spanning the Atlantic gets underway Thursday with the United States that won this event last year  fielding a team for the first time this year in Europe while Germany makes its debut in the 2018 series. A powerful Dutch home team and defending series champion Sweden are among the seven nations vying to be atop the medals podium.

The Dutta Corp. United States team that won the year’s opening event at Wellington, Florida includes three Olympic riders–Steffen Peters on Rosamunde, Adrienne Lyle on Salvino and Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet as well as Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonoir and goes second in the lineup. Along with a group of other riders including Laura Graves on Verdades, No. 2 in the world, they are all seeking to be selected for the team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September.

France leads off the team competition in the Grand Prix Thursday, with Morgan Barbançon Mestre who rode for Spain at the Olympis before switching earlier this year to compete under the French flag, on the team with Sir Donnerhall OLD.

Edward Gal on Glock’s Zonik, Hans Peter Minderhoud on Glock’s Dream Boy, Madeleine Winter-Vrees on Cennin and Emmelie Scholtens on Apache will be looking to restore national pride after being beaten at home by the United States last year.

Germany, which often does not participate here as this CDIO5* as it falls between the German Championships and their own Nations Cup at Aachen, is led by Olympian Anabel Balkenhol on Heuberger TSF.

Great Britain’s team is made up of Michael Eilberg on Marakov, Lara Griffith on Rubin al Assad and Emma Hindle on Romy del Sol while Belgium is led by the 2015 European Championship pair Fanny Verliefden on Indoctro v/d Steenblok.

Sweden, leading the series this year in defense of the title won in 2017 and silver medal behind the United States in the inaugural year in 2016, has on its team seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén on Paridon Magi, Patrik Kittel, the country’s highest ranked rider, on Well Done de la Roche CMF, 2017 European Championship star combination Therese Nilshagen on Dante Weltino OLD and the 2016 Olympic combination of Juliette Ramel on Buriel K.H.

The Nations Cup is decided by results of all three Grand Prix competitions–Grand Prix, Special and Freestyle over the next three days.