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No Brits at World Cup final — but Ireland flies the flag

No British riders will be in action at this year’s World Cup dressage final, which returns to Gothenburg, Sweden, next week (3-7 April).

For the first time since 2016, no Brits have qualified for the final of the series via the Western European league, which comprises 10 qualifiers from October to March. Richard Davison came the closest to a place, having finished 16th on the rankings.

Ireland’s Judy Reynolds will contest her third World Cup final in Gothenburg, having finished 11th on leaderboard with the Jazz gelding Vancouver K.

It has been a fantastic winter season for Judy and the 17-year-old “JP”, who have claimed top 10 placings at all four qualifiers they have contested. They scored a personal best of 80.29% at Amsterdam in January, bettering it again at Neumünster in February. Their whopping 82.75% earned third place behind Germany’s Isabell Werth and Helen Langehanenberg, and was an Irish record.

Isabell Werth will return in an attempt to score three consecutive World Cup titles with her triple European gold medal-winning mare Weihegold OLD, with whom she has received an automatic place as the defending champion. She has also qualified Emilio 107, and will be joined in Sweden by compatriots Helen Langehanenberg (Damsey FRH) and Benjamin Werndl (Daily Mirror 9).

Isabell’s great threat is expected to be the USA’s Laura Graves, who came within a whisker of knocking the defending champion off the top spot at last year’s final with her world silver medallist Verdades, whom she brings forward again.

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Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann Anderson is also anticipated to cause a stir, having won the final Western European leg with almost 85% on the Rousseau stallion Blue Hors Zack.

In total, 18 riders from 12 countries will start in Gothenberg, with nations represented including Belarus (Olga Safronova with Sandro D Amour), South Africa (Tanya Seymour on Ramoneur 6), Russia (Regina Isachkina with Sun Of May Life) and the Dominican Republic (Yvonne Losos de Muñiz on Aquamarijn). Find the full list of definite entries here.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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