Top dressage riders compete at Aachen this week in a bid to make an impact for the final WEG team selection

This week’s CHIO in Aachen will pin-point the outcome of the World Equestrian Games in Jerez in September.

Most of the world’s current top dressage combinations will be competing in the prestigious Aachen arena and for some it will be a last chance to prove themselves before their nations final team selection for WEG.

Germany will surely be setting the lead and again field an all-female team headed by last year’s European individual gold-medallists Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty.

They will be joined by Nadine Capellmann (Farbenfroh), Isabell Werth (Anthony) and Anna Katrin Lisenhoff (Renoir) who will be making her first senior team appearance.

After European victory Ulla will be setting her sights to the top of the world in Jerez with her 14-year-old Latvian bred gelding and looking to maintain her Aachen crown gained here last year.

However Nadine and the exciting Fabenfroh will be keen to make up for past disappointments and, if the now more mature gelding can keep his exuberance under control for allthree tests, they will present tough opposition.

Going dutch

Although current Dutch champion Ellen Bontje and Gestion Silvano have elected to stay at home this week, the Netherlands still present a strong challenge with Anky van Grunsven (Gestion Salinero, Krack C, GestionPartout) heading the team challenge.

Coby Van Baalen and Olympic Ferro make their international comeback, the first international appearance sinceSydney for the breeding stallion who has been off with injury.

Tineke Bartels is back in the frame with the Cocktail stallion Broere Jazz while Gonnelien Rothenberger (Leonardo de Vinci) make up the squad.

The increasingly popular Spanish squad (Beatriz Ferrer Salat / Beauvalais, Juan Antonio Jimenez / Guizo, Rafael Soto / Invasor, Ignacia Rambla / Granadero) will be more than determined to gain Spain s first ever dressagemedal on home ground in Jerez and field a strong team here that is back to full strength and look sure to set a strong challenge to the Dutch.

Three top American riders Gunter Seidel, Christine Traurig and German-based Lisa Wilcox will also be competing.

British hopes

British rider Emile Faurie and Reuters Rascher Hopes head the British squad.This now experienced combination – the highest placed British combination here last year – have the benefit of familiarity of this daunting arena.

But it will be a first time in Aachen and a life-time ambition realised for last year’s youngest team member Laura Richardson (Millenium), while Sandy Phillips and No Limit also ride into the 8,000 seat stadium for the first time.

Fourth team member Richard Davison is no stranger to Aachen but his ride Ballaseyr Royale will face her greatest challenge making her Aachen debut.

Although all eyes are now on Jerez, for many Aachen will be the final hurdle before a trip to Spain can be guaranteed and competition will be strong with everyone keen to leave the judges with a good impression.

Follow all the action from Aachen dressage in our daily reports on this site from Thursday 27 June 2002

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