Edward Gal’s sensational run in the 2009/2010 FEI World Cup™ Dressage series continued at Neumunster in Germany today where he recorded his third victory with Moorlands Totilas as they continue to take this sport by storm. Wherever he goes, the record-breaking 10 year old black stallion lights a fire of excitement, and the capacity crowd at the German venue could hardly contain their excitement when witnessing him in action on their home ground. Neumunster is in the heart of Holsteiner country, and jumping is very much the local passion. But Totilas carries a spell-binding quality that captures the heart of every horse-lover, and the roar of approval from the 4,800 spectators in the Holstenhallen as this special horse stole the limelight once again told the full story.
Gal’s Dutch team-mate, Adelinde Cornelisen finished second with Jerich Parzival and Germany’s Isabell Werth slotted into third with Warum Nicht FRH ahead of Denmark’s Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein in fourth – exactly the same positions they had all filled in Saturday’s qualifying Grand Prix.
HELD THE LEAD
There were 15 starters in today’s competition, and it was The Netherlands’ Jeannette Haazen and the 15 year old Nartan who held the lead at the halfway stage with a mark of 75.15%. However, with just five left to go, Gal and Totilas dramatically re-set the parameters when posting 87.60% on the scoreboard. “There were some small mistakes in the one-tempi and some mis-steps too, but I was really happy with our performance today” Gal said afterwards. “The passage and piaffe were marvellous and we did a really good extended trot – it felt even better than Amsterdam because the horse was not stressed like he was there, this time he was much happier” he added.
Denmark’s Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and Digby produced another excellent performance for a mark of 77.50% when next into the ring, while Germany’s Carola Koppelmann and the 17 year old Le Bo scored 76.80% to move temporarily into third. However the final two riders would change the order once again.
Second-last to go was Cornelissen with the chestnut Jerich Parzival whose brilliance can sometimes be undermined by nervous tension in the ring. At Neumunster the spectators are very close to the edge of the arena, but despite the intense atmosphere and the fact that he had never visited this venue before, the gelding rose to the challenge to achieve a score of 82.50%. And when Germany’s Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht FRH were just over a point further behind it was a Dutch one-two at the top of the result sheet.
Werth was pleased with her 14 year old “Hannes”. She said “in the last six months he has grown in character and in confidence, and today he was much more concentrated”. Cornelissen said she was very happy with her second-place finish. “We had a few mistakes, but I think Parzival coped very well and I’m delighted with him”. She no longer shares the lead at the top of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage leaderboard however, as today’s win has rocketed Gal way out in front with a total of 75 points. Along with his hat-trick of wins he also took second place with the mare Sisther de Jeu at the opening leg in Odense, Denmark, last October.
There is huge competition in the Dutch camp because only three Dutch riders will be permitted to compete in the final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands next month and just a few points separate Cornelissen – now lying second on the leaderboard with 58 – from Imke Schellekens-Bartels in third with 55, Haazen in fourth now carrying 50 and multiple-champion Anky Van Grunsven who lies fifth 47 points. The next leg in Gothenburg, Sweden in seven days time will therefore be crucial.
Gal commented today on the rousing reception that he and his winning horse received at Neumunster. “Yesterday we got a standing ovation, and today it was crazy during the prizegiving – the crowd was fantastic and its wonderful to ride a horse that is so loved by so many people.” He knows that, with Totilas, he can afford to make some mistakes and yet still win a competition, but he insists he does not allow himself to become complacent. “I don’t take anything for granted, we all have some difficult days and you don’t know the result until after the test is over – after all he is still a horse!” he pointed out.
The last qualifying opportunity in the 2009/2010 FEI World Cup™ Dressage series takes place in Goteborg, Sweden next weekend 26/27 February. For all information on the Swedish fixture check out website www.goteborghorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Mayvor Thorin, Email – email@example.com, Phone – +46 705 82 84 20.
RESULT: 1, Moorlands Totilas (Edward Gal) Ned 87.60%; 2, Jerich Perzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) ned 82.50%; 3, Warum Nicht FRH (Isabell Werth) Ger 81.40%; 4, Digby (Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein) Den 77.50%; 5, Le Bo (Carola Koppelmann) Ger 76.80%; 6, Nartan (Jeannette Haazen) Ned 75.15%; 7, Triviant (Matthias Alexander Rath) Ger 74.85%; 8, Apollo van het Vijverhof (Jeroen Devroe) Bel 73.60%; 9, Donatha S (Ellen Schulten-Baumer) Ger 72.80%; Equal 10, Favourit (Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven) Swe 72.10% and Gredstegards Casmir (Sune Hansen) Den 72.10%; 12, Edwador (Katarzyna Milczarek) Pol 71.85%; 13, Hinnerk TSF (Hubertus Schmidt) Ger 71.80%; 14, Sal (Nuno Palma e Santos) Por 69.15%; 15, Florian (Pierluigi Sangiorgi) Ita 67.50%.
2009/2010 FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE – STANDINGS after Round 8 at Neumunster (GER) – (Provisional)
1. Edward Gal – 75
2. Adelinde Cornelissen – 58
3. Imke Schellekens-Bartels – 55
4. Jeanette Haazen – 50
5. Anky Van Grunsven – 47
6. Matthias Alexander Rath – 45
7. Isabel Werth – 44
8. Monica theodorescu – 41
9. Aat Van Essen – 38
10. Nathalie Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein – 37
10. Jeroen Devroe – 37
12. Carola Koppelmann – 36
12. Patrik Kittel – 36
14. Laura Bechtolsheimer – 32
14. Hubertus Schmidt – 32
16. Hans Peter Minderhoud – 30
17. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven – 27
18. Peter Gmoser – 25
19. Catherine Haddad – 24
20. Ellen Schulten-Baumer – 21
Full standings at http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de
FACTS AND FIGURES:
15 horse and rider combinations competed in today’s competition
8 nations were represented – Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Portugal and Italy.
The judging panel was : at E – Mariette Withages; at M – Katrina Wust; at R – Peter Holler; at B – Leif Tornblad and at C – Wim Ernes.
This was the 60th anniversary show at Neumunster.
The Neumunster arena was first opened in 1936.
Edward Gal – “I feel that my horse (Moorlands Totilas) is getting more confident all the time:
Isabell Werth – “What is special about competing at this show in Neumunster is that every rider who comes into the ring is greeted like an Olympic champion!”
Isabell Werth – “Today I was very happy with the passage and piaffe from Hannes”
Western European League Calendar 2009/2010:
1 Odense (DEN), 17 – 18 October
2 Lyon (FRA), 29 – 30 October
3 Stockholm (SWE), 28-29 November
4 London Olympia (GBR), 15-16 December
5 Frankfurt (GER), 19-20 December
6 Mechelen (BEL), 26-27 December
7 Amsterdam (NED), 22-23 January
8 Neumünster (GER), 20-21 February
9 Göteborg (SWE), 26-27 February
FINAL ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED), 25-27 March
FEI World Cup™ Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 25th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup™ Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup™ Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.
Technical Note: The FEI World Cup Dressage™ Champion does not earn points in his/her starts but is automatically qualified to the next Final with two FEI World Cup™ Dressage qualifiers completed. Riders not belonging to the Western European League (WEL) or Central European League (CEL) cannot earn points in the WEL unless they have declared to compete in the WEL 2009/2010. These riders may however transfer the results from a maximum of three (3) WEL qualifiers to their own League. Points earned by CEL riders will be transferred to the CEL standings.
THE COMPLETE RULES CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM www.feiworldcup.org
The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations. Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.