Germany’s strength and depth in the sports of show jumping and dressage is clearly demonstrated in the latest FEI rider rankings, with German riders dominating the disciplines as the Athens Olympics creep ever closer.
Ludger Beerbaum is firmly in the lead of the FEI Gandini World Jumping Riders Rankings with 2597 points after winning the FEI World Cup of ‘s-Hertogenbosch recently, as well as producing strong performances in Vejer and Paris.
His compatriot Marcus Ehning (pictured), is in second place ahead of Swiss rider Markus Fuchs, who recently made a successful return to competition after an injury to finish seventh in the ‘s-Hertogenbosch World Cup.
German riders claim a further two place in the top 10, with Otto Becker retaining his fifth place behind Rodrigo Pessoa, while Lars Nieberg has dropped two places to eighth.
British rider Michael Whitaker has made good progress up the rankings to seventh, behind the first female rider in the rankings, Beezie Madden-Patton (USA), who has moved up one place to sixth. Jos Lansink and Malin Baryard hold the remaining two top 10 positions.
Robert Smith is the next highest placed British rider in 17th place, with Nick Skelton in 22nd and Andrew Davies in 47th.
German riders claim five of the top 10 places in the FEI BCM World Dressage Riders Rankings, with Ulla Salzgeber remaining the world’s number one. In a mainly unchanged set of rankings, her compatriots Heike Kemmer, Klaus Husenbeth, Hubertus Schmidt and Isabell Werth all remain within the top 10.
New World Cup Champion, Anky van Grunsven, has jumped up the rankings into the top 10 after collecting her 10th score to count towards the rankings at the World Cup qualifier of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
America’s improving position in the sport is shown with Debbie McDonald and
Lisa Wilcox in second and third respectively, while Beatriz Ferrer-Salat is Spain’s only top 10 representative in fourth with Swedish rider Jan Brink drops one place to seventh.
Britain’s highest placed rider is Emma Hindle in 16th, with Carl Hester the only other British rider inside the top 50 in 31st place.