Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg, one of the strongest opponents to defending double-champion Adelinde Cornelissen from The Netherlands, will be first to go in the opening competition of the 2013 World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden on 25 April 2013.
The draw for the Grand Prix took place tonight at the Scandinavium Arena, and Langehanenberg and her 13 year old stallion, Damon Hill NRW, got the least favoured starting spot, while Canada’s Jacqueline Brooks was drawn next to go with D Niro.
A total of 18 horse-and-rider combinations from 10 countries will compete at the 28th World Cup Dressage Final which will conclude on Saturday with the hugely popular Freestyle. Competitors have qualified from four leagues around the globe, and Cornelissen is expected to face formidable opposition in her quest for a third consecutive World Cup title.
Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak will be third into the ring with Donnperignon in the Grand Prix, but it is fourth-line starter, Dutch compatriot Edward Gal with Glock’s Undercover, who is expected to join Langehanenberg in providing the strongest challenge to Cornelissen and Parzival who have so dominated the World Cup series in recent years.
Germany’s Kristina Sprehe and Desperados FRH are next in line followed by Denmark’s Sidsel Johansen and Schianto while Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke-Susmelj will run seventh of the nine combinations to compete in the first group of contenders. The Netherlands’ Marlies van Baalen and Miciano will run eighth while ahead Canada’s Jaimey Irwin and Lindor’s Finest will be last to go before the break.
Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Eremo del Castegno will lead the way when the action resumes, followed by Russia’s Tatiana Dorofeeva and Khorovod, while Sweden’s Minna Telde (Santana) and Norway’s Lillann Jebsen (Pro-Set) then take their turn at pleasing Ground Jury members Andrew Gardner (GBR), Gotthilf Riexinger (GER), Wojtek Markowski (POL), Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA), Elizabeth McMullan (CAN), Gustaf Svalling (SWE) and Maria Colliander (FIN).
With just five left to go, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Scandic will be endeavouring to impress ahead of Ukraine’s Inna Logutenkova and Vian Stallone. But all eyes will be on the third-last partnership, as Cornelissen and her charming chestnut horse attempt to place their stamp of authority on proceedings from the outset.
The penultimate partnership of Isabell Werth and Don Johnson FRH from Germany can be relied upon to put in a strong performance and it is then left to the on-form Swedish partnership of Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello to bring the first of the two deciding competitions to a close.
In a welcome message on behalf of the City of Gothenburg tonight, Lord Mayor Lena Malm said the city has always been open to the world “and remains so. Gothenburg is a gateway to Sweden and we are very proud and excited to host the World Cup Finals. The Dressage Final has never taken place here before so we are very excited to have it and we wish the best of luck to all the competitors and send them out a very big welcome!”
A total of 24 million visitors have attended Gothenburg Horse Show down the years and it is hoped that their will be record-breaking attendance figures over the coming days, with 90,000 spectators expected to enjoy the best of top sport.
And that top sport begins with the opening competition of the World Cup™ Dressage final which sees the first rider, Helen Langehanenberg, enter the arena at 12.00 local time on Thursday 25 April 2013.
by Louise Parkes
Photos © Kit Houghton - Digishots - Dirk Caremans
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2013 World Cup Finals