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BD abroad: Rotterdam

last updated on June 28, 2017 11:22

BD abroad: Rotterdam

The fourth round of the FEI Dressage Nations Cup series in Rotterdam last weekend wasn’t short on drama with the overall victory going to the USA.

Seven teams came forward for the preliminary Grand Prix round with the home nation drawn first to go and GB fifth.
The drama started with the first rider from the US, Dawn White-O’Connor with Legolas 92, being stopped by the judge at C, Hans Christian Matthiesen as the horse appeared unlevel in the second extended trot and they were eliminated. However, anchor woman Laura Graves and crowd favourite Verdades boosted spirits for the USA with 79.46% to win the class and get the team a great score.

Our first rider, Dan Watson followed immediately after and he seemed unaware of what had happened as he produced a relaxed test from the still inexperienced Amadeus, owned by Nicola Naylor, for 67.34% to give the team a solid start.

Next up for the team was German-based Susan Pape with Harmonys Don Noblesse, who at just 10, continues to impress in his Grand Prix career. They posted 66.40% for a further strong score for the total.

It was then the turn of Laura Tomlinson who was making her first competitive appearance since the birth of second child Wilfred. Riding Rosalie B for her parents, Laura was hoping for a good performance to make her claim for a Euro team spot. Sadly, the 11 year old Rubin Royal mare just didn’t want to perform Piaffe in the arena which lead to costly ones and zeros (which Laura duly said were her first ever). There was some glimpses of strong work but the final score was 62.54%. 

The anchor postion was held by Laura’s protégé, Lara Butler with the Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad and they produced a harmonic test with much to like for 71.60% to boost the British sprits, and rank in the standings.

After the Grand Prix, the team rankings had the USA in the lead, followed by hosts the Netherlands, then Sweden, an inxepericned German contingent in fourth and Britain just 0.6 points behind in fifth, the final qualifiers to progress to the next rounds.

After a rest day, Saturday was the Special and Freestyle tests. Each team has to put two riders forward for the Special with both scores to count and then either one or two for Freestyle where the lowest score is dropped if there’s two riders.

Drama continued in the Special when Dutch rider Madeleine Witte-Vrees had to withdraw when her ride Cennin threw a shoe in the collecting ring which then eliminated the team as they hadn’t fielded the two compulsory riders required in the Special. By way of some consolation, Edward Gal won the class with Glock’s Voice on a strong 75.07%.

Susan and Laura were nominated for GB in the Special and Susan moved it up a level with Harmonys Don Nobless to score 68.66%. The performance divided the judges somewhat with placings from third to seventh between them. Laura and ‘Rosie’ improved considerably but a few spooks kept the score pegged to 66.98%. Laura did say on Twitter afterwards; “Not my show! But the bad ones make the good ones feel even better.”

On to the Freestyle and Laura Graves and Verdades dominated once again with 80.98% to take the class and ensure that the Nations Cup Rotterdam title went to the riders from across the pond. Sweden were safe in second spot but could GB steal a place on the podium? The German trio finished with a team total of 414.03. So it was down to Lara and ‘Rufus’.

There were amazing moments but a few moments of over excitement too! 72.64% was the score to put them fifth individually in very strong company but just not quite enough to see GB on to the podium so fourth it was.

The points have boosted us to fourth also in the overall FEI standings with two more rounds to come in Falsterbo and Aachen before the final at Hickstead at the end of July. GB will have a team in Aachen which will be announced soon.

Rotterdam scores

Grand Prix
1st Laura Graves with Curt Maes and her own Verdades USA, 79.46%
8th Lara Butler with Wilfried & Ursula Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad, 71.60%
19th Daniel Watson with Nicola Naylor’s Amadeus, 67.34%
22nd Susan Pape with Harmony Sporthorses and her own Harmony’s Don Noblesse, 66.40%
24th Laura Tomlinson with Wilfried & Ursula Bechtolsheimer’s Rosalie B, 62.54%

Team placings after Grand Prix
1st USA – 225.60
2nd NED – 222.08
3rd SWE – 212.40
4th GER – 206.30
5th GBR – 205.34
6th FRA – 204.22
7th BEL – 202.64

Grand Prix Special
1st Edward Gal with Glock Holding HPC’s Glock’s Voice NED, 75.07%
6th Susan Pape with Harmony Sporthorses and her own Harmony’s Don Noblesse, 68.66%
9h Laura Tomlinson with Wilfried & Ursula Bechtolsheimer’s Rosalie B, 66.98%

Grand Prix Freestyle
1st Laura Graves with Curt Maes and her own Verdades USA, 80.98%
5th Lara Butler with Wilfried & Ursula Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad, 72.64%
9th Daniel Watson with Nicola Naylor’s Amadeus, 67.90%

Final team placings
1st USA – 446.44
2nd SWE – 427.03
3rd GER – 414.03
4th GBR – 413.62

Full results including CDI3* - click here

Series standings
1 USA 29 points
2 NED 27 points
3 SWE 26 points
4 GBR 24 points
5 DEN 21 points
6 GER 11 points
7 FIN 10 points
8 BEL 6 points
9 FRA 5 points

Full series scores