'Milestone' win for Denmark in FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ of Compiegne

Media updates
04 May 2024 Author: Catie Staszak

Each year, Danish chef d'equipe Anne-Mette Binder has her high performance riders make a wish list: In which events would you most like to compete? When she weighed the wishes with the results, she came up with her three-rider squad for the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ of Compiegne (FRA).

It proved to be a winning formula.

Denmark captured an impressive win Saturday in the CDIO5* Nations Cup event, a key component in Binder's "milestone plan" ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games (FRA). Daniel Bachmann Andersen (Vayron), Nanna Skodborg Merrald (Blue Hors St. Schufro), and Carina Cassoe Krüth (Heiline's Danciera) bested a competitive field of nine teams with a winning point total of 225.500. Sweden finished second (218.239), with the home nation third (215.261).

"It's a very important competition here for us. This is in our 'milestone plan'—so we call it—where we watch the riders, and then from all the events that we have put into our milestone plan...we will select the final [Olympic] team."

Anne-Mette Binder (DEN)

The Danish trio excelled in what could have been viewed as a tryout of sorts for Paris. Leadoff rider Bachmann Andersen shined brightest in the Grand Prix test, scoring 76.152% aboard Vayron, his mount from the 2023 European Championships (GER). The personal best score was also good enough for second individually in the competition. Danish riders, in fact finished second, third and fourth individually.

"Daniel is very experienced, and Vayron was also in Riesenbeck for the European Championships. But still, they as a pair are relatively new for these bigger events and championships. [Daniel] really fulfilled our hopes and expectations."

Anne-Mette Binder (DEN)

Bachmann Andersen has only been paired with the 13-year-old Westphalian stallion for two years, but they found success almost immediately when stepping into international competition together. Since their championship debut last summer, Bachmann Andersen has focused on fitness and building up his partner's strength, particularly in his extension.

"He came to me when he was 11, and he hadn't done the real Grand Prix yet," Bachmann Andersen said. "I've been working a lot with getting him [stronger] and getting more stable and really being able to lengthen his frame and extension, and all of that succeeded really well [today].

"The transition out of the piaffe was better than it's ever been, and I think almost my entire counter-canter was very convincing," he added. "I think he was really with me, and it was really nice."

Krüth and Skodborg Merrald showcased the strengths of long-term partnerships. Their scores nearly mirrored one another, with Krüth earning marks of 74.913% and Skodborg Merrald receiving 74.435%. Krüth was also a part of the squad that won this same competition a year ago.

"I have been riding [Heiline's Danciera] since she was four years old. She actually had her own foal when she was four, so she was a little bit late in her education," Krüth shared. "But she's quite a fast learner, and she's not a big horse, so she's quite easy in her body, and she's always been very practical in her movements...I've been riding her forever. It's like a marriage."

World No. 4 Skodborg Merrald recently finished second in the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final with Blue Hors Don Olymbrio. With a strong group in her stable, she brought out Blue Hors St. Schufro for stallion's first international start of 2024. 

"I've been riding him since he was seven," Skodborg Merrald said. "It's quite a longer relationship with him now, and he's just super nice to ride. It's a lot of fun every day with him."

Winning the lone five-star event of the 2024 season, the Danish catapulted themselves up the series leaderboard to sit third after two events on 15 points. Sweden leads the way after finishing third in Wellington (USA) and has 20 points. Wellington's victors, Germany follows closely behind in second with 19 points.

The 2024 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ series concludes in Budapest (HUN), 8-12 May.

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