Nine-times World Cup dressage champion Anky van Grunsven has missed out on qualifying for this year’s final in S-Hertogenbosh, the Netherlands.
At the final qualifier in Goteborg, Sweden on 27 February, Dutchman Edward Gal had already secured his place on European gold medalist Moorlands Totillas. The pressure was on Anky and compatriots Imke Schellekens and Adelinde Cornelissen to fight for the remaining two places available to the Dutch.
Adelinde stormed home in the lead with Jerich Parzival, who was far more relaxed than in his previous few qualifiers including at London Olympia in December.
Imke slotted into third place on her Olympic partner Sunrise, pushing Anky on second-string Painted Black into fourth and out of the final.
Imke said: “For me this is fantastic — I had to kick out Anky and I’m sorry about that, but I’m happy I have made it to the final!”
Also through to the final from the Western European League are Germany’s Isabell Werth, Matthias Alexander Rath and Carola Koppelman and Sweden’s Patrik Kittel, who secured his place with an impressive second-place finish in Goteborg.
They will be joined by Michal Rapcewicz (Poland), Brett Parbery (Australia), Tavares de Almeida (Brazil), Jeroen Devroe (Belgium), Acs Robert (Hungary) and Nathalie Zu Sayn Wittgenstein (Denmark).
No British riders have qualified for the final.