Anky Sweeps to top of the League after CDI-W 's-Hertogenbosch 

28 Mar 2004

Brilliant performance from Anky Van Grunsven and Gesion Salinero in the last Word Cup Qualifier before the Final 

A superb performance from Anky Van Grunsven and Gestion Salinero secured the Dutch diva victory in the final qualifier of the FEI Western
European League in front of an ecstatic home crowd at Indoor Brabant. With wins at Mechelen and Amsterdam under her belt plus a second on her initial outing at Maastricht, the five-time World Cup winner goes into
the Final next week as Queen of the League.

" Gestion Salinero was great, the best he has been so far" said van
Grunsven. " The atmosphere here was brilliant, very special as always,
and we are having a big party tonight for sure!"

The especial reason for a party was the Gestion team's clean sweep of
the top three places. Van Grunsven's pupil Edward Gal ride Gestion Lingh to second place on 78.45 per cent, securing his ticket to Duesseldorf
next week, and third marked the return to top form of Gestion Goliath
for a delighted and emotional Arjen Teeuwissen for third on 76.42. In fourth place, Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff did a great job with her
beautiful mare Wahajama-Unicef to finish the League in seventh place.
However, there are three German riders ahead of her - Heike Kemmer,
Hubertus Schmidt and Isabell Werth, who finished sixth here on Apache to cement her fourth place in the standings four points above Linsenhoff. Due to the high quality seen throughout this Western European League
season, it had already been decided that three further Final places
would be awarded instead of the normal eight. Sweden's Louise Nathhorst and Danish dental student Nicole Ahlefeldt Laurvig-Lehn secured their
places here as expected.

However, unforeseen circumstances arose this week with the withdrawal of the title-holders Debbie McDonald and Brentina, and while Finland's Kyra Kyrklund had qualified under the new arrangements, the former
titleholder has retired from the fray.

Therefore the FEI World Cup Director Joep Bartels has announced the
increase to twelve of qualified Western League riders with the
availability of two further wild cards, one for a thrilled Linsenhoff
and, for balance, one for Dutch rider Marlies van Baalen standing in
thirteenth after her ninth place here on Blom's Idocus. Sweden's Tinne
Vilhelmsson, 14th on points, completes the quota.

A capacity crowd of 8,000 watched the last FEI World Cup qualifier of
the season. Just before the prize-giving World Cup Director Joep Bartels
was honoured for his exceptional contribution to the World Cup, as he is
retiring as Director at the end of this season.

The competition was fierce, but in a wonderful finale to a fantastic
season, all the prize-winners made an impromptu 'show', taking the
applause in passage in one impressive cadre down the arena.
But the show is not over yet. Duesseldorf here we come.


FEI World Cup Qualifier
Freestyle to Music presented by Nashuatec

1, Gestion Salinero (Anky van Grunsven NED) 81.40
2, Gestion Lingh (Edward Gal NED) 78.45
3, Gestion Goliath (Arjen Teewissen NED) 74.42
4, Wahajama-UNICEF (Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff GER) 74.36
5, Barclay II (Sven Rothenberger NED) 74.07
6, Apache (Isabell Werth GER) 73.95
7, Andiamo Tyme (Kyra Kyrklund FIN) 73.32
8, Paganini (Jeroen Devroe BEL) 71. 97
9, Blom's Idocus (Marlies van Baalen NED) 71.85
10, Zancor (Per Sangaard DEN) 71.60
11, Guinness (Louise Nathhorst SWE) 70.12
12, Esprit (Nicole Ahlefeldt Laurvig-Lehn DEN) 69.07