Dutch Masters Including Dressage World Cup Qualifier to Go Ahead in Mid-March

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Anky van Grunsven. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Jan. 18, 2021

The Dutch Masters that includes the dressage World Cup qualifier for the 2021 Final will go ahead as planned Mar. 11-14, event president Anky van Grunsven announced Monday.

If the event proceeds along with the dressage qualifier in Salzburg, Austria this week that was delayed from early December because of coronavirus the World Cup Final lineup will be open to a competitor from a non-league nation and a wild card.

Salzburg is only the second World Cup event in Western Europe this season–the opening qualifier so far being the opening competition in Denmark in October–leading to the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden the first week of April. The world’s top three ranked riders, Isabell Werth, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Dorothee Schneider, all from Germany, are entered at Salzburg.

When the possibility of all cancellation of all but one qualifier in Western Europe appeared possible, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) changed the rules last month to allocate the non-league and extra starting place to Europe.

The effect would have been that of the 18 starting places, 12 would have gone to Western Europe, plus defending champion Isabell Werth of Germany, and two from Central Europe. That would have left two spots for North America of Canada and the United States and one from the Pacific region of Australia and New Zealand as the only non-Europeans that the FEI defended as designed to “ensure a top quality” starting lineup at Gothenburg.

Five qualifiers have been held with two more scheduled in the United States. None have been held in the Pacific region.

Charlotte Jorst of Reno, Nevada on Kastel’s Nintendo is atop the North American standings with 26 points followed by Olivia LaGoy-Weltz of Haymarket, Virgina on Lonoir and Carly Taylor-Smith of Somis, California on Rosalut NHF, both with 20 points.

Yvonne Losos De Muñiz of the Dominican Republic, who has previously competed at two World Cup Finals as a non-league rider, competed in the World Cup competition in Wellington, Florida last weekend and confirmed she is seeking a starting place at Gothenburg.

Anky confirmed the date of the Dutch Masters in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, without spectators, after the Netherlands government decided to restart top sport.

“It is of great importance to ensure continuity for the equestrian sport,” she said, “for the event but also for the horses, the riders and all parties associated with the equestrian sector.

“It offers the necessary perspective for the TeamNL athletes to prepare for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. Especially for the equestrian sport, as not only the riders but also the horses have to get in top form.”

The Dutch Masters is one of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping events, that includes Aachen, Germany; Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada and Geneva, Switzerland.