Following a baby-break that meant she didn’t compete at last summer’s ECCO FEI World Championships in Herning (DEN), Jessica von Bredow-Werndl returns to centre stage with TSF Dalera BB when the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final 2023 gets underway in Omaha (USA) next Wednesday.
The German rider and her lovely mare were on a roll when taking the 2022 title on home ground in Leipzig (GER) last April having already bagged a full set of Olympic and European medals over the previous seven months. And they showed they had lost none of their sparkle when returning to action in this season’s Western European League, with wins in Lyon (FRA) last October and again in Basel (SUI) in January and each time posting an over-90% score.
If they maintain that form they seem well set to challenge for the double in a weeks’ time when 17 horse-and-rider combinations from 11 different countries will contest the title.
Repeat wins are a theme of this Final, but nobody has ever come close to matching the nine posted by The Netherlands’ Anky van Grunsven with her two great horses between 1995 and 2008. Riding Bonfire she topped the podium in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000 and with Salinero, who only passed away last December at the age of 28, she won through in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008.
On next week’s startlist is a lady who chased the Dutch star all the way to the line on many occasions. Isabell Werth has five wins under her belt and posted her first in Gothenburg (SWE) in 1992 which boasted an all-German podium of Sven Rothenberger in second place and Monica Theodorescu in third.
Over 30 years later this remarkable rider, known colloquially as “The Queen” and the most decorated athlete in equestrian sport, will line out in her 23rd Final. Currently lying third in the athlete world rankings and winner of the 2022/2023 Western European League series, she will mean business when strutting into the ring to chase down her sixth title with the feisty DSP Quantaz.
Each country can only field three athletes, and third of the German contingent is Ingrid Klimke, daughter of Dressage legend Dr Reiner Klimke and best known as a five-time Olympian and multiple medallist in the sport of Eventing. With the 15-year-old stallion Franziskus she won the third leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Western European League in Stuttgart (GER) last November and she will be sure to make her presence felt when the action gets underway next week.
However there are a host of others also champing at the bit including Dutch star Dinja van Liere who brings the 11-year-old stallion Hermes NOP with which she won individual double-bronze at last summer’s World Championship in Denmark, and Nanna Skodborg Merrald who was on the gold-medal-winning Danish team there with Blue Hors Zack.
Skodborg Merrald has opted to bring Blue Hors Zepter to Omaha and this is a new partnership that looks to have serious potential, finishing third at the Swiss leg of the Western European League in Basel and winning the ninth round of the 11-leg series in Neumünster (GER) last month.
The Netherlands will also be represented by Thamar Zweistra and Hexagon’s Ice Weiss and Marieke van der Putten with Torveslettens Titanium RS2 while Morgan Barbançon and Sir Donnerhall ll OLD will fly the French flag.
Lithuania’s Justina Vanagaite (Nabab), Moldova’s Alisa Glinka (Aachen), Singapore’s Caroline Chew (Tribiani), Australia’s Simone Pearce (Fiderdance), and Belgium’s Jorinde Verwimp (Charmer) will be joined by the sole Swede, Johanna Due Boje (Mazy Klovenhoj). And completing the line-up are the US contenders, headed by Steffen Peters whose win with Ravel in Las Vegas (USA) back in 2009 nearly brought the house down.
He pinned Werth riding Satchmo and van Grunsven riding Painted Black into second and third on that memorable day, and the five-time Olympian brings his Tokyo 2020 team silver-medal-winning ride Suppenkasper to do battle this time out.
Also flying the Stars and Stripes will be Alice Tarjan and Serenade MF who have posted consistently strong results over the last few months, and Anna Buffini and FRH Davinia La Douce who finished 12th in the Freestyle at last year’s Final in Leipzig.
The officials for the Final include President of the Ground Jury Janet Foy (USA) and members Stephen Clarke (GBR), Hans Christian Matthiesen (DEN), Katrina Wüst (GER), Maarten van der Heijden (NED), Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA) and Magnus Ringmark (SWE).
The Foreign Technical Delegate is Gotthilf Riexinger (GER) and the Judges Supervisory Panel will consist of David Hunt (GBR), Evi Eisenhardt (GER) and Lilo Fore (USA).
The action will get underway with the Grand Prix on Wednesday 5 April and the 2023 FEI Dressage World Cup™ title will be decided by the Freestyle on Friday night, 7 April.
Don’t miss a hoofbeat…..
More Facts and Figures:
Omaha 2023 presents the 36th FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final.
A total of 17 horse and rider partnerships will compete.
A total of 11 countries will be represented: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden and USA.
At 28 years old America’s Anna Buffini and Belgium’s Jorinde Verwimp are the two youngest competitors at this year’s Final.
At 58 years of age, America’s Steffen Peters is the oldest.
The first Final took place in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in 1986 where Denmark’s Anne-Grethe Jensen and Marzog reigned supreme ahead of Great Britain’s Chris Bartle and Wily Trout while Switzerland’s Christine Stückelberger finished third with Rubelit von Unkelruf.
Stückelberger went on to win the next two editions partnering Gaugin de Lully.
Olympic and European champions Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB will defend the title they won in Leipzig (GER) last year.
Five-time FEI Dressage World Cup™ champion, Germany’s Isabell Werth, will be competing in her 23rd Final.
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