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Will Germany win gold at dressage Europeans?

Germany look set to take the gold medal at the European Dressage Championships in Verden (9 – 12 August)

The team of Ulla Salzgeber (Rusty), Nadine Capellmann (Farbenfroh), Heike Kemmer (Albano) and Isabell Werth (Anthony) has two exceptionally high-scoring horses in Rusty and Farbenfroh. The question is how much of a lead will they gain.

However, three nations will be vying for silver.

The Netherlands, silver medallists for the past three championships, has a strong team. This is despite individual Olympic gold medallist and reigning European Champion Anky van Grunsven retiring Bonfire and Coby van Baalen¨s Olympic ride, Ferro, being sidelined with injury for six months. Arjen Teeuwissen’s partner, Goliath, proved that he is back to full strength at their seasonal debut in Arnhem after a six-month break with a tendon injury.

Denmark, up to full strength with Lone Jorgensen (Kennedy), Lars Petersen (Blue Hors Cavan) and the improving Jon Pedersen (Esprit De Valdemar), will be snapping at their heels. The Spanish will also be in hot pursuit to make history by aiming to win a first dressage medal.

While the battles between Anky and Isabell are history, this year will provide a new and fascinating head-to-head for the individual title between Ulla Salzgeber and Nadine Capellmann. The mature partnership of Ulla and Rusty is favourite, but if Farbenfroh can stay focussed for Nadine, he will be hard to beat. The combination recently scored more than 78% in the German national championships.

The world breeding championships for five- and six-year-olds also takes place.

Two British horses, both Hanoverian stallions, will take part in the five-year-old championships. They are Donnerman (by Donnerhall) ridden by Sarah Pidgley and the former Prevac Pro champion, Wild Dancer (by Weltmeyer), ridden by Peter Storr.

TIMETABLE

THURSDAY, 9 AUGUST

10.30am, Winergy European championship grand prix part 1; 16.15pm, professional riders GP part 1.

FRIDAY, 10 AUGUST: 10am, European championship GP part 2; 16.45pm, professional riders GP part 2.

AAZ arena: 8.00, qualifier for 5yo world breeding championship; 13.00 qualifier 6yo.

SATURDAY, 11 AUGUST: 9.00, professional GPS; 12.00, European championship GPS; 18.00, professional kr; 19.30, Olympic quadrille. AAZ-platz: 08.00, second qualifier for 5yo; 13.00, second qualifier for 6yo.

SUNDAY, 12 AUGUST: 9.00 professional final; 12.00 foal championships; 13.00, European PG freestyle part 1; 14.05, part 2; 16.00 prize giving.

AAZ-platz, 12.00 final 5yo; 13.00 final 6yo.

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