Anky van Grunsven took an incredible ninth World Cup title on home soil at ’s-Hertogenbosch, Holland (30 March) riding IPS Salinero.
The places were reversed following the qualifying competition, when Germany’s Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht had pushed Anky and a tense Salinero into second place.
Salinero was more relaxed for the freestyle to music, the decider for the cup, and produced a mistake-free test to their new kür composed by Dutch pianist Wibi Soerjadi.
Anky said: “In the grand prix on Thursday I was happy with the way Salinero was going, but he lacked concentration at times. Today I couldn’t be happier — normally I am quite critical of myself but I don’t think anything could have been better at the moment.”
Isabell had a mistake in the one-time changes that ruined their chances of victory.
She said: “Warum Nicht has really improved in all the exercises and the mistake was mine not his. I am pleased with the way he has worked all weekend and satisfied to be second today.”
British-based Kyra Kyrklund of Finland took third place riding Max to their upbeat cabaret kür.
“You always ride to win but I am realistic and did not expect to beat Isabell or Anky — to be sitting here in third place I am really very happy,” she said.
For a full report and pictures of all the drama at the World Cup dressage final see Horse&Hound 3 April issue.