Van Grunsven and Painted Black Win 2007 Mechelen World Cup Qualifier
The FEI World Cup in Mechelen showed a Dutch podium with Anky van Grunsven, Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Laurens van Lieren at the first three places. Anky van Grunsven and her elegant black approved stallion Painted Black were the unexpected winners of the fifth qualifier in the Western European League of the FEI World Cup™ in Mechelen.
In nine days time two World Cup qualifier wins, do you ever get used to victories, was questioned to Anky van Grunsven in Mechelen. With a big smile she said: “I must be honest: my win here partnered with Painted Black was not expected in the least! Yesterday in Grand Prix I didn’t expect to win, today neither. I am very happy with the improvements Painted Black has made and when that may lead to wins, it is even more remarkable.”
Imke Schellekens-Bartels became the runner up twice. Yesterday in Grand Prix she blamed herself totally for leaving her mare Hunter Douglas Sunrise on her own. It was the first outing of the pair after the successful European Championships in September with the two individual bronze medals and show routine had gone. “Instead of leading my sensitive mare through the crowded and noisy indoor arena, I left her by herself which resulted in some mistakes which is only me to blame for. Today I was happy with myself and Hunter Douglas Sunrise. I was able to ride very precise in the right timing and Hunter Douglas Sunrise gave me a wonderful feeling. The only thing I felt sorry for after my test were the points. I had expected more”, Imke commented. Three of the five judges had seen Imke and Sunrise as the winning pair, Japanese judge Furuoka and Belgian mr Van Daele had Anky van Grunsven in the first spot. Chairman of the judges Mariette Withages commented: “ To me the harmony of Imke and Sunrise today was outstanding. I have rewarded that with the mark nine. To me Painted Black showed his improved steadiness and power, however some little mistakes took some points away. They both did a good job. A win doesn’t always need to be an unanimous decision.” Anky added that she noticed that Painted Black became a bit insecure in the Freestyle when the piaffe to him is asked for in unexpected spots.
Laurens van Lieren was the happy third. He had not been very lucky the day before when Hexagon’s Ollright was disturbed by the noises and became seventh. Disturbances also left the horse from resting during the night. However today Ollright felt at ease in the arena and showed his possibilities without tension.
Belgium had four riders competing in this home qualifier. Jeroen Devroe ended at a nice fourth position after the Dutch power. The routine in riding more qualifiers was paid of today, he felt. “I used to sort of undergo the test instead of riding it. Now I feel I am starting to ‘own’ the test and ride it instead of undergoing it.” This even could be noticed to his more relaxed face expression. The other three Belgium riders finished at 11th, 13th and 15th position. “To compete with more Belgian riders gives me also more to train for if I like to stay in front”, Devroe added.
Anky van Grunsven will bring Salinero to the next World Cup™ in Amsterdam. The next three in a row of Mechelen Imke Schellekens-Bartels, Laurens van Lieren and Jeroen Devroe also have Amsterdam in their schedule.
Photo copyrighted: Dirk Caremans
Back to the 2008 World Cup Index