Van Grunsven Wins 2007 World Cup Qualifier at the Olympia Horse Show

 
Wed, 12/19/2007 - 00:00
07_maastricht_vangrunsven_salinero_01
Anky van Grunsven and Salinero
Photo © Dirk Caremans
2008 World Cup Finals

Anky van Grunsven won the World Cup Qualifier at the 2007 Olympia Horse Show CDI-W in London, Great Britain. The Dutch double Olympic champion presented her new Freestyle composed by Wibi Soerjadi and called ‘Dance of devotion’. The judges unanimously scored it 83,050%.

Along with this British dressage also stepped into a new era as Laura Bechtolsheimer reached for the unique score of 75,333% in Grand Prix, a score never received by a British dressage rider before. The huge applause and cheering of the home crowd unfortunately tonight was still in the mind of 12 year old Mistral Hojris, resulting in a lower score and fifth position. The runner up position now was for the popular Finnish Kyra Kyrklund and Max, who did a very good job with their Cabaret-Freestyle (76,500%). British Carl Hester ended at fourth position with a nice swinging and controlled test riding Dolendo of mrs Ann Cory. He was overjoyed as he hadn’t ridden a Freestyle since 2003, however the Grand Prix-score of Laura Bechtolsheimer appealed to him even more.

At the press conference a lot of remarks were given about Freestyles, developments in dressage and what Freestyles have brought to dressage. Kyra Kyrklund said: “When we sell our sport, we cannot sell the same piece year after year. I feel it’s our responsibility to bring good new things from time to time.”

Anky van Grunsven said it was not about new Freestyles but about looking closer at horses and Freestyles which brings improvement. A new piece however brings extra tension as a freestyle only can be experienced in full when showed in the arena. Anky felt very nervous before she entered the full house Olympia filled with expectation. “Normally I only have to take care of my horse Salinero before entering such a packed arena. But now I had to take care of one my horse, two my new choreography, three my new music. It was quite a challenge!”

nky said she felt a bit disappointed when she had left the arena because she sometimes was ahead of the music. “The good thing was that I felt it and did notice it. And I know the first time cannot be perfect. But still I do hope for a perfect ride.”

Chairman of the judges Dr Volker Moritz however was full of praise. “It was a very special atmosphere tonight and I was very impressed by the new Freestyle of Anky van Grunsven. It fitted the horse very well and I rewarded it with very high marks.” Judge Stephen Clarke added: “It was very subtle, very clever, very difficult. I think this Freestyle has every chance to grow as it needs a little exposure and probably practice.”

Anky van Grunsven will bring Painted Black to the next World Cup™ in Mechelen and will show her home crowd in Amsterdam an even better timed new Freestyle, she promised.

On their way home to The Netherlands, Anky van Grunsven's lorry crashed into a defect car on the motorway near Kent, Great Britain. The horses were transported to a nearby equine clinic, but none of them were injured. The front part of the lorry is severely damaged.

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