Dutch team takes gold in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup

CHIO Rotterdam credits photo

Another day, another victory for the Dutch team! After the showjumpers’ success last night, dressage riders Edward Gal, Hans Peter Minderhoud, Marlies van Baalen and Dinja van Liere won team gold in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup. German rider Isabel Werth won the individual title in the Grand Prix Freestyle and helped her team to win silver. The Belgian team came in third place.
The competition kicked off with the Grand Prix Special in the afternoon. Hans Peter Minderhoud and GLOCK’s Dreamboy rode a solid test and took first place with 78.894%. Minderhoud: “My horse felt really good, and I’m very happy with him, and that’s a great feeling with the Olympics in Tokyo just three weeks away.” The Dutch rider had high praise for the organizers of the event. “The arena is fantastic. Even though the public couldn’t be here, there’s still a super atmosphere. That’s amazing to feel after such a long time not competing. It’s good for the horses, too. You can feel they get the right kind of excitment because of it.”
German rider Isabel Werth and her mare Weihegold were the last to start in the Grand Prix Freestyle. Their many years experience shone through in a wonderful test. Unfortunately for the German team, her score of 87.530% was not high enough to surpass the Dutch for the gold, but Werth was nevertheless pleased with her performance. “I was very happy with Weihegold yesterday. She was very focused and is in good shape.” Like Minderhoud, Werth praised the atmosphere in the Rotterdam Arena. “I really enjoyed competing here, the arena looks fantastic. When you ride in it, you wouldn’t know there wasn’t an audience. I take my hat off to sports director Dressage Patrick van der Meer. He can ride ánd organise such an event, that’s wonderful.“
The Dutch team riders were thrilled with their win on home ground. For Marlies van Baalen, it was only the second time, she and her gelding Go Legend rode their freestyle test in an official event. “The first time was at the Dutch Championships, but he was a bit afraid in the arena there. Now, he was much more relaxed. There were some small mistakes, but in general I’m very happy with his performance and how he’s developing.“
Edward Gal and Total US came in second place in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 84.280%. Gal this year returned to Rotterdam with the same freestyle music he rode to with the legendary Totilas in 2009, then performing his test in the pouring rain. “For a moment I thought it was going to be the same this time around, but I’m glad it didn’t rain as much as back then.” He was satisfied with the way his horse, a son of Totilas, performed yesterday. “It was his first time in such a big event with a lot of things that were new to him, but I’m very happy with the progress he has made in just one week here. It’s nice that it went like this just a couple of weeks before Tokyo.”
Dutch team captain Alex van Silfhout now has one day remaining to announce his team for the Tokyo Olympics. “There are still some things going on that need to be resolved, but tomorrow things will be clearer. One thing we already have is a super team. Everybody’s getting along so well together. And that’s what you need in a competition like the Olympics to be able to rise above yourself.”
He was also pleased with the progress the Dutch horses have made at CHIO Rotterdam. “Young horses tend to get better and better, but sometimes they have a bit of a setback. That’s what happened earlier this week with Total US. But they also come back from that. In Total US’s case, he came back even better than he was before.“
Press Release CHIO Rotterdam | Photo credits CHIO Rotterdam
HSJ | Instagram: @horseshowjumping.tv

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