Germany’s Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty claim victory at Aachen’s CDIO grand prix

The battle for the crown of Aachen has begun with the reigning queen Ulla Salzgeber claiming the first round of the grand prix scoring more than 76% with her Latvian-bred gelding Rusty.

The current European champions looked resolutely focussed throughout the mistake-free test .

However it promises to be a close contest and, as expected German team-mate Nadine Capellmann and Farbenfroh are right behind – only three marks adrift – in second place.

Germany took the team prize with team debutante Ann Kathrin Lisenhoff the third score to count taking seventh place with the 11-year-old Renoir.

The Spanish riders gained another boost in their quest for their first dressage medal with Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Beauvalais scoring well enough for individual third place and Rafael Soto and Invasor taking fifth.

These two high scores along with third team member Ignacio Rambla and Granadero awarded Spain second place, the highest placing for this popular team.

The Netherlands was a close third, although without high team scorer Ellen Bontje also not up to full strength.

Nonetheless Coby van Baalen and Olympic Ferro made a convincing return to the big arena, the mark just short of 72% in their first international contest since Sydney 2000.

It was a disappointing Aachen for Anky van Grunsven competing with a reluctant Gestion Idool. The reigning Olympic gold medallist could only make 29th place (the combination was sixth here last year) and proved to be the discard score for the team.

Strong British performance

Great Britain as last year gained fifth place – behind the three members of the USA.

Richard Davison and Ballaseyr Royale was the highest placed of the British contingent taking 18th place with Danish-bred Ballaseyr Royale.

Richard put all his experience to work as it was the first time in the arena since last April for the 12-year-old mare who has been side-lined with a cough and only came back into work five days before the leaving for Germany.

“With all the time off she was leaping out of her skin when we arrived – the grand prix special will be a bonus as we have only had time to prepare for the grand prix but I was thrilled with the ride.

She has a lovely mind although I have treat her with respect – she doesn’t like being told what to do – but she is gorgeous to work with and so responsive.”

Laura Richardson also enjoyed the occasion to get through to the grand prix special ride-off with Millenium, on her Aachen debut.

Emile Faurie and Reuters Rascher Hopes was one of several combinations to suffer from a difference ofjudges opinion – the final score of 66.08 left them in 27th place, just 10 marks short of place in the grand prix special.

With the two at the top so close there will be all to play for in tomorrow’s grand prix special.

Results

Grand prix (Dr Volker Moritz-GER, S Clarke-GBR, M Withages-BEL, E Holtz- RSA, E McMullen-CAN).

1, Rusty (U Salzgeber-GER) 76.72

2, Farbenfroh (N Capellmann-GER) 75.96

3, Beauvalais (B Ferrer-Salat-SPA) 72.72

4, Olympic Ferro (C van Baalen-NED) 71/92

5, Invasor (R Soto-SPA) 71.88

6, Wansuela suerte (H Schmidt-GER) 71.4

18, Ballaseyr Royale (R Davison-GBR) 68.08

21, Millenium (L Richarson-GBR) 67.52

27; Reuters Rascher Hopes (E Faurie-GBR) 66.08

33, No Limit 5 (S Phillips-GBR) 63.4.

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