Netherlands Takes Lead Midway Through World Championships Team Competition Germany 2nd, Denmark 3rd–USA 8th
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
HERNING, Denmark, Aug. 6, 2022–Dinja van Liere and Hermes was the top scoring ride of the first of two days of World Championship team Grand Prix to give Netherlands the lead Saturday heading into the fiercely competitive pursuit of gold. Germany stood second and Denmark third while the United States was eighth.
Dinja and the 10-year-old KWPN stallion ranked No. 6 in the world scored 78.835% to give the Dutch side the top standing.
Germany’s Benjamin Werndl on the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding Famoso OLD posted a personal best 77.003% for second at this stage.
Denmark, hot favorite to take gold, was in third place with Carina Cassøe Krüth on Heiline’s Danciera with a 76.863% the top team rider for the home nation.
Full scores from first day of Grand Prix are here.
Team standings 1. Netherlands, 2. Germany, 3. Denmark, 4. Sweden, 5. Great Britain, 6. Spain, 7. Portugal, 8. United States, 9. France, 10. Austria, T11. Finland, Australia, 13. Belgium, 14. Norway, 15. Swtzerland, 16. New Zealand, 17. Ireland, 18. Japan, 19. Poland.
Sunday promises to be exciting with world No. 3 Cathrine Dufour on Vamos Amigos and Daniel Bachmann Andersen on Marshall-Bell for Denmark, Isabell Werth on DSP Quantaz and Frederic Wandres on Duke of Britain FRH for Germany and Emmelie Scholtens on Indian Rock and Marieke van der Putten on Torveslettens Titanium for Netherlands lined up.
The United States will depend on Adrienne Lyle on Salvino and Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper to pull the team up from Thursday’s performances.
Rookie international championship combination of Katie Duerrhammer on Quartett scored 70.839% to place 11th individually while Ashley Holzer was awarded 61.258% after Valentine was apparently intimidated by the giant stadium reared and went off course, including the final centerline when the crowd clapped in unison as it did for most riders but stopped when Valentine could not handle the atmosphere.
Dinja and Hermes, who missed out on the Tokyo Olympics because of a bureaucrat screwup, said: “I was very happy but I had my doubts finishing; was it good enough was it good? But then the audience started clapping and I felt really happy. Hermes gave me a really good feeling even if I was nervous. He is so talented with piaffe and passage even if we today had a few things that of course can be improved.”
Benjamin Werndl, the brother of world No. 1 on TSF Dalera BB who is due to deliver her second child any day, was competing on his first German senior championship team, said: “I am so happy and thankful to ride this horse during this championship. It has been my dream for so many years and now finally it came true, and it feels amazing, all the tension and suspense just went away. Famoso really tried his best for me, he was a bit tense in the beginning but got more and more relaxed during our ride. I am so proud of him for handling the audience in the end, it is all just fantastic right now, I am glad I could deliver for the team.”
Carina Cassøe Krüth of Denmark said her result on Danciera was “a combination of several years of training and building up expectations to this event. I feel that a lot of things have come together in the last months. I made a small mistake, my mistake but I cannot be anything but really happy for our ride. It felt that it barely could have been much better.”
Ashley, on her first championship on an American team since switching to U.S. citizenship in 2017 after riding for Canada at four Olympics, won both sympathy and support for not giving up in a stressful situation..
“She’s never seen a venue like this, came in nervous,” she explained. “Settled into it. And then it totally caught me off guard! She’s never done any antics like this. As disappointed as I am, horses are not machines. She got scared and confused.”
For the United States, coming off silver medal performances at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and the Tokyo Olympics, improvement in the standings Sunday is vital for qualifying for the Paris Games. If the U.S. does not finish in the, top six the team will have to go to next year’s Pan American Games that are currently scheduled for Santiago, Chile to seek to qualify, as will Canada that did not field a team here.