Dutch riders Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Hans Peter Minderhoud gave the Netherlands a strong lead today over Germany in the Dressage World Championships, presented by Alltech.
Riding Hunter Douglas Sunrise, Schellekens-Bartels, 33, took the individual lead by scoring 73.44 percent. Aboard Exquis Nadine, Minderhoud, 36, moved into third place individually by scoring 72.25 percent. Their team total of 145.70 has put their team more than 5 points ahead of Germany (140.34) at the halfway point of the team competition.
German rider Christoph Koschel, riding Donnperignon, sits between the two Dutch riders, scoring 72.63 percent. Two of the five judges preferred Koschel’s test to Schellekens-Bartels’ test. Teammate Anabel Balkenhol scored 67.70 percent to place 12th.
Great Britain (138.34) is third in the team standings, the United States is fourth (136.17), and Canada is fifth (135.70).
The Dutch riders are not ready to celebrate yet. “We still have two riders to go tomorrow, and anything can develop. We will see what happens,” said Minderhoud.
Each was satisfied with their performances today, though. Minderhoud was especially pleased because only two days ago, Exquis Nadine slipped while walking back to the stables with Minderhoud after training. “She did the splits, with her hind legs out behind her, and she scraped her hind legs and her knee. But she was not lame and had no swelling, and she really did her job today. She has such a good attitude in the ring,” said Minderhoud.
Schellekens-Bartels explained that an error in the canter zigzag was her fault, not her horse’s fault. “It was a really, really good test, but I forgot to prepare for the change [of lead], and she just went sideways. She did what I told her to do. I just made a mistake,” said Schellekens-Bartels.
Germany has won the team gold medal at every World Equestrian Games. The Netherlands won the team silver medal in 1994, 1998 and 2006.
U.S. riders Katherine Bateson-Chandler, on Nartan, and Todd Flettrich, on Otto, scored 69.61 percent and 66.25 percent to currently stand fifth and 16th of today’s 20 starters. The U.S. team claimed the silver medal at the 2002 World Games.
The Grand Prix team competition will climax tomorrow (Sept. 28), with sessions starting at 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The awards ceremony will immediately follow the competition.
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The Games are held every four years and this will be the first occurrence in the United States. Tickets to the 2010 Games are still available and can be purchased at www.alltechfeigames.com/tickets, at www.ticketmaster.com, through the Ticketmaster hotline at 1-800-745-3000, or at your local Ticketmaster outlet.
The Games are being broadcast on NBC Sports, which marks the largest commitment to network coverage of equestrian sport in U.S. television history. The 2010 Games are expected to have a statewide economic impact of $167 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex, John Deere, Ariat International, Inc., Meydan, Kentucky Ale, and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. For more information on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games please visit, www.alltechfeigames.com.