Germany’s Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty reign supreme to retain their World Cup dressage title in Holland as Bonfire bows out

World number one and favourite for the title, Ulla Salzgeber and her impressive 14-year-old chesnut gelding Rusty proved unbeatable at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in Holland, where they saw off stiff competition.

In the grand prix kr, the combination demonstrated a classy test, which earned them a winning score of 81.57%, although there were some obvious faults, which two of the five judges were less enthusiastic about.

Jan Peeters, the chairman of the judges, who had the German rider in third place said: “Although she also showed good things, I judged Ulla lower than my colleagues.” Ulla won ahead of Denmark’s Lars Petersen and Blue Hors Cavan (79.67%), with Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Beauvalais in third place on 79.12%.

British results

In the Kr, Britain’s Kirsty Mepham and her veteran partner Dikkiloo finished in 18th place, on a score of 62.73%.

In the grand prix special, Emile Faurie rode the 12 year-old Russian-bred gelding Insterburg into 10th place (64.52%) just ahead of Richard Davison’s mare Ballaseyr Royale (64.32%).

Goodbye Bonfire

More than 80,000 spectators visited the event, a new record for Indoor Brabant. One of the top attractions was an emotional farewell on Saturnday (23 March) from Anky van Grunsven and her legendary “wonderhorse” Gestion Bonfire.

“I could not have had a bigger luck in my life than to have this horse,” said Anky. “A horse like Bonfire is one in a million – he always gave everything.”

Anky also thanked Indoor Brabant and all fans of dressage and Bonfire: “This is our event. We have experienced wonderful moments here in front of our own fantastic crowd.

  • After the press conference it was announced that the next Final of the World Cup Dressage will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, in thelast week of March 2003.

    For full report and pictures, see Horse & Hound (28 March issue)

    For more information on the World Cup visit www.horseshow.nl