• Imke Schellekens-Bartels’ run of top form continued at the FEI World Cup dressage qualifier in Amsterdam this weekend, when she won the Grand Prix Freestyle aboard Sunrise. The Dutch rider, who has already won qualifiers in London (pictured) and Mechelen, was delighted with the result, particularly as she was performing a new routine. Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer finished sixth.

    Schellekens-Bartels’ new routine ‘The Spirit of Sunrise’ used music by virtuoso pianist Wibi Soerjadi. “The extraordinary music of Wibi Soerjadi helps me to control the rhythm of Sunrise and to avoid mistakes,” she said.

    “I have been everywhere in the world for my concerts and have given a concert in the great Carnegy Hall in New York. But today here in Amsterdam RAI has been my most exciting experience,” Soerjadi said afterwards.

    According to Soerjadi, freestyle dressage music is entering a new era – expressing the rhythm of the horse but also its character, energy and beauty. “For me as a musician rhythm only is too easy and not a challenge. I like to express all aspects,” he said.

    Switzerland’s Silvia Iklé took second place in the competition, followed by Holland’s Edward Gal, Laurens van Lieren and Marlies van Baalen. Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer finished sixth.

    With only three more qualifiers until the World Cup Final in Las Vegas, Schellekens-Bartels tops the leader board on a runaway score of 77 points. Edward Gal is in second on a score of 59 closely followed by Ellen Schulten Baumer on 56. Wayne Channon is the highest placed British rider, lying eighth with 39 points.

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