Danish young rider Nanna Skodborg Merrald and the Danish team reigned supreme in the Under 25 classes held at the 2013 CDIO Aachen. Aboard the 12-year old Danish warmblood gelding Millibar (by Milan x Liberty Dane), the 19-year old Skodborg Merrald scored a winning 71.442% in the Short Grand Prix and 78.475% in Saturday's kur to music to lead Team Denmark to the Nations' Cup victory as well.
Nanna Merrald and Millibar a brilliant pair for the future, which could easily stand their own in the senior league at this moment. With fantastic piaffe and passage, wonderful trot half passes and extensions, and a decent walk, Millibar has the complete package to be a Grand Prix super star.
Nanna's scores added to those of team mate Sofie Jeppesen put Denmark first in the nations' cup, followed by the Dutch team with Danielle van Mierlo and Diederik van Silfhout and the German home team only in third position. Annabel Frenzen and Nadine Husenbeth were selected to represent Germany in the U25 division.
American Caroline Roffman finished second twice aboard Al Guden's Dutch warmblood gelding Sagacious HF (by Welt Hit II x Cocktail). The petite and refined black gelding is quite small for the elegant and tall Roffman, but the two make a dynamic, graceful duo. The passage was lightfooted and active, the piaffe small but rhythmical and the changes uphill, although Roffman did struggle with one set of tempi's. The American pair got 68.953% in the short Grand Prix and 76.275% in the Kur.
"I have to admit that I was totally verklempt from seeing this gorgeous young lady on Al Guden’s superb horse move with such correctness and grace through what was both a very difficult and yet fantastically executed musical ride," said U.S. team trainer Robert Dover. "Seeing American stars born at a venue like Aachen is something dear to my heart."
Text and Photos by Astrid Appels - No Reproduction Allowed
Eurodressage photographer Astrid Appels took photos of all combinations competing at the CDIO Aachen. Contact us if you are interested in prints of your photos!