Anky van Grunsven emerged victorious from a top class field in Amsterdam at the weekend, winning her second FEI World Cup qualifying competition in a row.
Nine-year-old Gestion Salinero kept his head in a hot-house atmosphere to produce moments of brilliance and a score of 80%.
Anky said: “Gestion Salinero felt better in the Friday’s grand prix when he was more relaxed. Today there were times when I had to try and keep it quiet, but there were some moments where I knew he could be a great horse with more experience.”
Beatriz Ferrer-Salat rode Beauvalais with her customary vivacity for second place, while Germany’s Isabell Werth and 10-year-old Satchmo produced moments of breathtaking expression for third place.
A happy Isabell said: “Satchmo was more relaxed today than in the grand prix and apart from some misunderstanding in the canter at the start, he did not make any big mistakes.”
Fourth-placed Edward Gal and Gestion Lingh started with some excellent work, but tension crept into the second half of their test causing some mistakes and a loss of synchronicity with the music.
With eight riders from the Western European League able to qualify for the April final in Dusseldorf, Isabell Werth currently lies sixth in the points standings behind compatriot Hubertus Schmidt, whose mare Wansuela Suerte also felt the tension here for sixth place.
Heike Kemmer, the current leader on 72 points, had to withdraw Albano when he trotted out lame on the morning of the competition, but the German rider is still way ahead.
Anky van Grunsven, now on 57 points, has risen one place to overtake Britian’s Emma Hindle (50), while Holland’s Sven Rothenberger is well placed at fourth on 46 points. Edward Gal is lying seventh with 39 points to date.
The remaining two qualifiers take place in Neumunster, Germany (20-22 February) and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland (25-28 March).
FEI World Cup dressage standings
1, Heike Kemmer (GER) 72;
2, Anky van Grunsven (NED) 57;
3, Emma Hindle (GBR) 50;
4, Sven Rothenberger (NED) 46;
5, Hubertus Schmidt (GER) 44;
6, Isabell Werth (GER) 43;
7, Edward Gal (NED) 39;
8, Louise Nathhorst (SWE) 37.