In 2014 former Danish pony, junior and young rider team medal winning Nanna Skodborg Merrald became the shooting star on the Danish Grand Prix scene. On Millibar she posted strong 70%+ scores in their first senior Grand Prix tests and qualified to compete at the 2014 World Cup Finals in Lyon, France.
Merrald and the now 13-year old Danish warmblood Millibar (by Milan x Liberty Dane) made the transition from Under 25 Grand Prix level to senior Grand Prix at the CDI-W Odense in October 2013. They scored 71.532% in their first senior CDI Grand Prix and 78.325% in the Kur. With super mid seventy percentage marks at the World Cup qualifiers in Stockholm, Neumunster and Gothenburg, Merrald and Millibar launched themselves as Danish WEG team hopefuls in 2014.
Unfortunately at the World Cup Finals in Lyon in April 2014, Millibar injured himself and failed to pass the horse inspection. The dark bay gelding was trailered back to Denmark. His injury proved more severe than expected, with four injuries diagnosed in the same joint. One year later Millibar has not yet made a full recovery.
"At the moment I'm waiting for two ligaments to further heal and be okay, before we can start the training again," Merrald told Eurodressage. "The vet says that he will be ready for training in April. I hope so."
With the recovery taking longer than anticipated, Merrald is giving her star ride Millibar all the time to heal before even thinking about competitions with him. "I have no plans with him this season, just that he needs to be fit," she added.
Merrald has taken over the ride on her sister Sandra's Grand Prix horse, the 12-year old Danish warmblood Weltliebe (by Weltjunge x Andiamo), with whom she won the Danish 2014 Ecco Cup Finals in the Under 25 division.
"Weltliebe does not have experience enough to be a team candidate yet," said Merrald, "but I'll do some national Grand Prix shows with him and I hope to compete internationally in the spring. Then we will see how it goes." -
Photo © Astrid Appels
Nanna Skodborg Merrald's Millibar Fails Re-inspection at 2014 World Cup Finals
Merrald, Bachmann, Husenbeth Top Three in the Under 25 at the 2013 European Dressage Championships
Sorensen, Van Deurs, Engermann, Vestergaard, Merrald Win 2014 Ecco Cup Finals
Merrald and Team Denmark Reign in Under 25 Classes at 2013 CDIO Aachen