Dutch deliver in Fourth Leg of FEI Nations Cup Dressage

FEI Nations Cup Dressage
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Dutch deliver in Fourth Let of FEI Nations Cup Dressage

FEI Nations Cup Dressage By Louise Parkes

The Netherlands came out on top in the hotly-contested fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup Dressage 2016 series in Rotterdam last night. And the home hero was 28-year-old Diederik van Silfhout whose Freestyle performance, with Arlando NOP helped pin Team USA into runner-up spot. Sweden finished third ahead of France in fourth and Great Britain in fifth place in the final analysis.

FEI Nations Cup Dressage
Diederik van Silfhout and Arlando NOP’s third-place finish in tonight’s Freestyle clinched victory for The Netherlands in the fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup Dressage 2016 series. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

The result was decided over three classes, and a total of seven nations started in Thursday’s Grand Prix. Following Thursday’s performance Germany and Belgium were left on the sidelines. Only the top five countries progressed to the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle.

It was touch-and-go all the way through the closing Freestyle. Steffen Peters and Legolas posted a big score to further boost American chances. Van Silfhout clinched it for the host country when second-last into the arena.

Second-place finish for Laura Graves (Verdades), and fifth for Steffen Peters (Legolas). The riders success ensured that Team USA were breathing down the necks of the Dutch.

Just two riders from each team competed in the Special and Freestyle. The judges panel of Susanne Baarup (SWE), Eddy de Wolff Van Westerrode (NED), Raphael Saleh (FRA), Thomas Lang and Peter Holler (GER) put Graves and Verdades in pole position in the Special on a mark of 77.314. Cornelissen and Parzival lined up second on 76.725 while Sweden’s Juliette Ramel and Buriel KH finished third on 73.431.

Talking about her test, Graves said, “I thought my score was really fair considering the couple of mistakes I made. My horse felt really good down the centre line and there was never a point in test where I got worried – he gave me a really nice feeling in all three gaits. And I learned something new about him this weekend – this guy loves a big stadium!”

The results of both riders from each country counted in this competition. It was however be the best score for each nation from the closing Freestyle that would be the decider. The tension lasted to the very end of this quality class which provided high-level sport and tremendous entertainment for the crowd.

But before the Dutch celebrations began there would be one more moment of magic, this time from Swedish star Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven. Like some others she was testing a new Freestyle programme, and although her 14-year-old gelding Don Auriello was reluctant to halt at the start, he totally lived up to his reputation for quality of movement and pure class. To the accompaniment of The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” the pair lifted the spirits of the crowd and threw down the winning individual score of 79.750 which rounded up the Swedish tally at 444.573 for third place.

Result for fourth let FEI Nations Cup Dressage:

1.    Netherlands – 460.167: Siro (Danielle Heijkoop), Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen), Arlando NOP (Diederik Van Silfhout), Glock’s Johnson TN NOP (Hans Peter Minderhoud).

2.    USA – 455.649: Doktor (Shelly Francis), Goerklintgaards Dublet (Kasey Perry-Glass), Legolas (Steffen Peters), Verdades (Laura Graves).

3.    Sweden – 444.573: Zuidenwind (Rose Mathisen), Buriel KH (Juliette Ramel), Deja (Patrik Kittel), Don Auriello (Tinne Vilhelmson Sillven).

4.    France – 429.981: Amorak (Stephanie Brieussel), After You (Henry Ludovic), Badinda Altena (Pierre Volla), Don Luis (Karen Tebar)

5.    Great Britain – 423.600: Rubin Al Asad (Lara Griffith), Woodlander Dornroschen (Michael Eilberg), Rosalie B (Laura Tomlinson)

 

Full results are available here

 

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