Dutch and German rivals share first place in FEI prix st georges on first day of Dressage at Hickstead’s international meeting

It was a close run contest, but in the end nothing could split the top two placings in the KPMG FEI prix st georges on the first day of Hickstead’s international dressage meeting.

Holland’s Marie-Jose Hulsman Tinnerman and Germany’s Marcus Gribbe shared first place on an identical score of 67.50%, both riders displaying powerful performances.

Thirty-two-year old Marie-Jose, who runs a 24-horse training yard with her husband Gerome, rode a free-flowing test on her good looking eight-year-old dapple grey stallion Le Montrachet and came out of the arena at the end of her test beaming.

“It felt like a very good test,” said Marie-Jose. “He felt sharp but not crazy and I was particularly pleased with our pirouettes and extended canter which felt easy.”

Marie-Jose, who began her career as a working pupil with Henk van Bergen with whom she still trains, has ridden her Dutch-bred stallion for three years and the combination were placed fifth at the Young Horse World Championships two years ago.Germany’s Marcus Gribbe from Munich rode his 11-year-old chesnut Oldenburg gelding Meggies Rubino with stylish flourish to equal Marie-Jose’s score.

The 37-year-old rider who also runs a professional training yard and is sponsored by Weittig, a well known German dairy company, was making his second visit to Hickstead having won here in 1999.

Meggies Rubino, by Rubinstein, was making his first international appearance and Marcus said he was delighted by the gelding’s performance.

“He is a laid back sort of horse who never seemsto feel under pressure. I have been riding him for six years now and we have a good relationship. Today, his trot work felt light and expressive and we hope to keep improving on this.”

Carl Hester and Nereide Goodman’s trusty campaigner Wellington Laska was best of the Brits in third place on a score of 66.95% after performing an attentive and accurate test.

Waldfried FEI Young Rider Preliminary Test

Germany swept the board in the young rider test, taking all three first places.

Christian Ritter and Bernstein lead the pack on a score of 71.11%, with Dorothea Rohde and Rapino in second place (68.06%) and Katja Weilsbrod and Hazleton in third (67.69%).

Sarah Carter and Angie Rutherford’s Lebensman were the highest placed British combination in sixth place with 66.02%.

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