Dutch heroine Anky van Grunsven swept to an emphatic victory in the final leg of the FEI World Cup at Indoor Brabant, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, partnering her reigning champion Keltec Salinero to a record-breaking score of 87.925%.

“I’m not sure exactly what is the key but over the last few shows Salinero has felt more confident, our communication is getting better and better, and in the training now we have the chance to work more on the details,” said a delighted van Grunsven.

“I really have the feeling that he is getting older and wiser”, she said of the 12-year-old who only two years ago won Olympic gold.

“It was magical”, said Jennie Loriston-Clarke, who judged at B. “Salinero was so much more relaxed, so off the ground, and Anky rode so well to the music.”

All the technical scores for the talented partnership were in excess of 80% with the artistic marks over 90%, including an incredible 96% from Bernard Maurel at E. This performance beat Anky’s own previous highest score of 87%, achieved at last year’s Dutch national championships.

Edward Gal, runner up in last year’s Las Vegas final, demonstrated that he is right on form with second place on Group 4 Securicor Lingh with a score of 82.90%. Former World Cup champion Isabell Werth on her up-and-coming talent Warum Nicht FRH was hard on Gal’s heels in third on 81.725%.

Current British national champion Laura Bechtolsheimer, 21, will be carrying British hopes at the World Cup final in Amsterdam in her first grand prix season with her parents’ Douglas Dorsey. She finished 10th in ‘s-Hertogenbosch with a score of 74.025% to claim the final qualifying place in the Western European League.

“That is really exciting”, Jennie Loriston-Clarke commented after watching Laura’s performance. “It was a nice, free flowing test, but some small mistakes and the collected walk brought them down a little.”

FEI World Cup freestyle qualifier result

1. Keltec Salinero (Anky van Grunsven) NED 87.925
2. Group 4 Securicor Lingh (Edward Gal) NED 82.90
3. Warum Nicht FRH (Isabell Werth) GER 81.725
4. Sunrise (Imke Schellekens-Bartels) NED 80.500
5. Hexagon’s Ollright (Laurens Van Lieren) NED 78.125
6. Wahajama UNICEF (Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff) GER 76.525
7. Forest Gump NRW (Hubertus Schmidt) GER 76.10
8. Guinness (Louise Nathhorst) SWE 74.450
9. Lesotho (Ellen Schulten-Baumer) GER 74.325
10. Douglas Dorsey (Laura Bechtolsheimer) GBR 74.025

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