Current Olympic champion, Holland’s Anky van Grunsven won her sixth World Cup title at the Düsseldorf Masters yesterday (Sunday 4 April).
Riding her top horse Gestion Salinero in only his fifth grand prix, Anky saw off a strong challenge from her pupil Edward Gal, riding Gestion Lingh, to win the class almost 3% ahead of the field.
“I was a bit frightened at the beginning of the test but as we did the first few movements, all my fears disappeared,” said Anky.
Anky has won the World Cup on her legendary Bonfire five times and the bay Hanoverian gelding, Salinero, is proving a worthy successor to follow in his footsteps.
“The last few times out, Salinero has gone well, but we believe that there is still more to come,” said Sjeff Janssen, Anky’s trainer and partner. “Salinero was very hot when we got him — everything scared him, even in the stable, every little noise. But he has matured and has a big engine which he is able to channel now.”
It was also a new kür for Anky, who rode to a medley of French classics including Edith Piaf’s Je ne regrette rien, created by her long-term collaborators Cees Slings and Viktor Kerkhoff.
Britain’s only representatives in the final, Emma Hindle and Wie Weltmeyer, had to settle for 11th place, with the breeding stallion looking more relaxed in the kür than in Friday’s grand prix, but lost marks in the pirouette tours.
Dr Volker Moritz, the judge at C, said: “It was a fascinating competition, fantastic sport. Everyone went better than in the grand prix and the winners produced both power and harmony.”
World Cup Dressage final results
1, Gestion Salinero (Anky Van Grunsven) NED 83.45;
2, Gestion Lingh (Edward Gal) NED 80.62;
3, Wansuela Suerte (Hubertus Schmidt) GER 78.87;
4, Bonaparte (Heike Kemmer) GER 78.65;
5, Wahajama UNICEF (Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff) GER 77.27;
6, Nikolaus (Guenter Seidel) USA 76.97;
7, Blom’s Idocus (Marlies van Baalen) NED 76.90;
8, Artax Condor (Elena Sidneva) RUS 75.80;
9, Apache (Isabell Werth) GER 74.70;
10, Just Mickey (Tinne Wilhelmson) SWE 72.47;
11, Wie Weltmeyer (Emma Hindle) GBR 72.45;
12, Guinness (Louise Nathhorst) SWE 71.97.