Emma Hindle made a successful return to the FEI World Cup qualifying series in Neumunster, Germany at the weekend, where she was the highest placed non-German rider in fifth.
Emma and Wie Weltmeyer made a fantastic start to the series, before taking a mid-term break. She now shares equal fourth place in the overall standings with Holland’s Anky van Grunsven on 57 points.
Unsurprisingly, German riders dominated the event with Hubertus Schmidt and Wansuela Suerte taking their second FEI World Cup qualifier of the season.
“I was very happy with Wansuela here”, said Hubertus Schmidt. “She was hot at the beginning but the canter work felt very good and we worked well to the music.”
Hubertus has now almost certainly booked a ticket for April’s FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Dsseldorf, alongside rankings leader Heike Kemmer. This leaves one other place at the final for a German rider, as the rules only allow three riders per nation to compete.
Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff is back in the hunt for that last qualifying position after her lovely mare Wahajama-Unicef showed growing maturity for second place in Neumunster, just half a point over Isabell Werth’s Apache.
Isabell Werth was pleased with Apache’s performance, saying: “There were a few little mistakes, but I am so happy with his development this season. Of course there are things to improve, but I feel he is heading the right way.”
She is in a strong position in third in the overall standings, but with Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff close behind, both ladies must compete in the last qualifier, Indoor Brabant, on 25-28 March to decide which of them goes forward to the final.
The surprise of the competition was newcomer Isabel von Wendorff’s fourth place on Legacy. The local rider on the 11-year-old Holstein gelding she bred and trained herself made the most of her opportunity to ride at this show, especially as she had just one week’s notice.
Twelve starters scored more than 70%, and the winner, on 77.81, was a unanimous verdict but as the sell out crowd produced a huge atmosphere – standing ovations have become the in thing this year – there were no faultless tests.
Judge at ‘H” Volker Moritz said: “It was a very exciting class, but the standard was not as high as we expected. The winner, Wansuela Suerte, can earn 80% when she is really good. She got better, and better as the test went on, but she was tense in the beginning. Wahajama-Unicef did a good job today, it is all coming together.”
Current league standings
1, Heike Kemmer (GER) 72;
2, Hubertus Schmidt (GER) 64;
3, Isabell Werth (GER) 58;
=4, Emma Hindle (GBR) and Anky van Grunsven (NED) 57;
6, Sven Rothenberger (NED) 46;
7, Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff (GER) 41;
8, Edward Gal (NED) 39;
9, Louise Nathhorst (SWE) 37;
10, Nicole Ahlefeldt Laurvig-Lehn (DEN) 35.