The Pressure is Rising with First U.S. Olympic Head-to-Head Match at 2024 CDI Hagen

Tue, 06/04/2024 - 23:28
2024 CDI Hagen
Sofie Lexner on Inoraline W at the 2024 CDI Hagen - Horses & Dreams :: Photo © Astrid Appels

The pressure is rising in the Olympic team selection process with only one month to go before nations have to nominate their Olympic riders on 8 July 2024. At a second late spring edition of the CDI Hagen on 6 - 9 June 2024 no less than 45 Grand Prix riders will compete in the big tour.

The Pressure is Rising

Forty-five Grand Prix riders have entered a total of 53 horses for the big tour, which might force the organizer to split one Grand Prix class over two days, depending if there are last minute withdrawals. The Grand Prix will be held in the main stadium on Thursday 6 June and might spill over into Friday 7 June.

The entire U.S. Olympic Short List will be going head to head for the first time at the CDI Hagen. It will be interesting to see how these American riders gauge up to each other in the same competition, on European turf and with even more at stake than in Wellington or California.

Two further Americans, who are not short-listed, have made their way to Europe and are showing at Hof Kasselmann, such as Susan Dutta (Don Design) and Guenter Seidel (Jack).

Danish Nanna Skodborg Merrald makes her return with Blue Hors Zepter after injury this spring and he will have to prove fitness and scoring potential to be considered for the Danish team. She is also bringing her rising GP horse Znickers.

Swedish Sofie Lexner is entered with Inoraline W as she's battling for that third spot on the Swedish Olympic team with Maria von Essen being her biggest rival. 

Several Portuguese are making one of their final efforts to pick up scores and put them in the eye-sight of the selectors. Joao Moreira, Maria Pais do Amaral, Nuno Palma e Santos, and Antonio do Vale are all entered.

Two Side Classes

In the pocket size small tour there are 11 starters.

My Dance Star
The small tour marks the return to competition of Brazilian paralympic medalist Rodolpho Riskalla after a one-year suspension. He will be riding Irish Coffee BH in the able bodied classes and is already qualified to compete at the 2024 Paralympics later this summer.

Canadian born American Ashley Holzer is premiering a new small tour horse, Derek. The 8-year old black Oldenburg gelding (by Morricone x Sandro Hit) was first competed in the U.S. at fourth level by Holzer in October 2023 and at national small tour level in Wellington this winter by Ashley and his owner P.J. Rizvi. The horse is originally named My Dance Star and was first shown in Germany by Sandra Frieling in 2019. He sold in the 2019 Oldenburg Elite Autumn Auction for 57,000 euro to Canada.

An Under 25 tour with 10 starters from 5 nations.

See the Time Schedule - For more information, visit

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