Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Photo Caption: The Netherlands' Edward Gal and Sisther de Jeu won the sixth leg of the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage series in Mechelen, Belgium today.  Photo: Dirk Caremans/FEI.

Mechelen (BEL), 28 December 2010

The Netherlands' Edward Gal and his mare Sisther de Jeu simply did what they set out to do at the sixth leg of the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage series in Mechelen, Belgium today when following their victory in the Grand Prix with the same result in the Freestyle. As Gal is the title
defender and does not receive points in his starts, his partner, Hans Peter Minderhoud, claimed maximum points when runner-up with the mare Exquis Nadine.  And Ulla Salzgeber, winner at both Kaposvar in Hungary and at Frankfurt in her native Germany this season, finished third with her chestnut mare Wakana to forge a strong lead at the top of the series leaderboard.

Salzgeber Ulla (GER) - Wakana.
third of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Freesrtyle qualifier of Jumping Mechelen 2010.

Gal was relieved and happy with the win. He took the rather inexperienced mare Sisther de Jeu to Olympia in London and now to Mechelen. “She is very sensitive and is not used to a lot of noise and to the crowds, but she is learning to behave better, and to relax - this definitely will be her future” the 40 year old rider said with confidence. His Freestyle music is just like the famous Freestyle of his former ride, the stallion Totilas which has now been sold to Germany.  The score was created by Dutch musician Joost Peters, who is married to Dutch dressage rider and trainer Mischa Koot, and the music cast a mysterious spell over the movements of Sisther de Jeu who began to really show what she can do during the test. 
Minderhoud Hans Peter (NED) - Exquis Nadine.
second of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Freestyle qualifier of Jumping Mechelen 2010.

Hans Peter Minderhoud was enormously happy about receiving the full 20 points normally allocated to the winner when finishing as the runner-up. “In the Grand Prix I had a flashback to the amazing jump at the WEG when Exquis Nadine was affected by the noises around the arena!" he pointed out. "Don’t forget this was the very first time for her to enter a show arena again after the WEG.  So I decided today to ride a serpentine instead of a straight line toward the judge at C to avoid a too-energetic reaction. and it worked out very well. I was very happy with my test” he added, with obvious delight.

Chairman of the judges Mariette Withages said that the first five competitors had given each other quite a challenge. “To me they didn’t differ a lot, each showing their own strong points” she explained. She also said she had rewarded Edward Gal and Sisther de Jeu with some nines.

Talking about challenges, Ulla Salzgeber definitely has set her mind on showing in the big arenas now. And the addition of 17 more points from today's third-place result gives her a 17-point lead over fellow-German Isabell Werth at the head of the league table while Great Britain's Richard Davison, who slotted into seventh place today with Hiscox Artemis, lies third ahead of America's Catherine Haddad in fourth spot.

Salzgeber is now in a position to relax a bit ahead of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Leipzig, Germany next April. The experienced rider has taken her time with both Herzruf’s Erbe and Wakana, educating them since their third year and fifth year respectively. “The strongest point of Wakana definitely is her canter - I’m still working on improving the piaffe" the rider pointed out. "Herzruf’s Erbe will be my horse for the Final. I’m happy to be in the German A Cadre now as this gives me a lot of starting possibilities. The European Championships in Rotterdam and the Olympic Games in London are on my mind too” Salzgeber added.

National champion Jeroen Devroe finished best for Belgium in fifth place, just behind Germany's Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill in fourth. Devroe produced a great test in which he encouraged the audience right from the start to accompany the passage with clapping, and so they did. But in fact he encouraged the technicians to make the music louder too.  However it worked out quite well and his horse Apollo van het Vijverhof seemed to like the atmosphere. “I had a better feeling than I have had for several weeks” Devroe pointed out afterwards. He had been hesitating to come to Mechelen as his horse didn’t give him the right feeling, but in the end decided to come anyway. A good decision as it turned out.

Belgium's Vicky Smits-van der Hasselt had a moment of bad luck. She probably also should have given the technicians a sign to make her music louder but she did not, and she couldn’t hear her music very well and so came on a wrong spot into the pirouette and went three times around instead of the maximum allowed two-and-a-half times. Unfortunately this is punished with the technical mark 0 for the pirouette and the mark five as the maximum mark for the artistic part of the Freestyle.  However there are a lot of positive things happening in her life right now as she is happily three months pregnant, and, after an injury of one year, her horse Daianara van de Helle is very fit and back in work.

Now the excitement of the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage series moves on to Amsterdam in The Netherlands, 20-23 January, and after that only three further qualifying rounds remain.

For further information on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage leg at Mechelen, Belgium 26-30 December and for all details on the Belgian fixture go to website www.jumping-mechelen.com or contact Press Officer Edith de Reys at Email edith.dereys@skynet.be or Tel +32 475 659 281. The next leg of the series takes place in Amsterdam (NED) 20-23 January 2011 and for all details on the Dutch fixture go to website www.jumpingamsterdam.nl or contact Press Officer Charlotte Gunnink at Email media@jumpingamsterdam.nl or Tel +31 2054 45720.

Result: 1, Sisther de Jeu (Edward Gal) NED 78.450; 2, Exquis Nadine (Hans Peter Minderhoud) NED 75.500; 3, Wakana (Ulla Salzgeber) GER 75.250; 4, Damon Hill NRW (Helen Langehanenberg) GER 74.850; 5, Apollo van het Vijverhof (Jeroen Devroe) BEL 74.000; 6, Withney van’t Genthof (Stefan van Ingelgem) BEL 71.350; 7, Hiscox Artemis (Richard Davison) GBR 70.950; 8, Kohlpharma’s Florett As (Patrik Kittel) SWE 69.400; 9, Le Beau (Philippe Jorissen) BEL 68.600; 10, Donnerfee (Claudia Fassaert) BEL 68.500; 12, Louis d’Or (Henriette Andersen) GBR 68.300; 12, Rubel 13 (Fanny Verliefden) BEL 67.200; 13, Question de Liberté (Johan Zagers) BEL 65.350; 14, Rintje V (Hans Meganck) BEL 64.400; 15, Daianira ven de Helle (Vicky Smits-van der Hasselt) BEL 61.000.

Facts and Figures:
Four further qualifiers will be staged before the final takes place in Leipzig, Germany from 27 April to 1 May 2011.
Five nations competed including Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and The Netherlands
Aat van Essen had to drive back home before the start of the competition in Grand Prix yesterday as his horse Premier had seriously injured his mouth in the stable and needed surgery. Two of his teeth couldn’t be saved and were extracted, two others received a supporting help from a bridge.
The Ground Jury for today’s competition consisted of : E – Wim Ernes (NED)  H – Uwe Spenlen (GER) C – Mariette Withages (BEL) M – Gustav Svalling (SWE) B – Freddy Leyman (BEL)

Ulla Salzgeber: “This has been my first visit to Mechelen to the Flanders Horseshow and I liked it a lot!”
Edward Gal: “Sisther de Jeu, just like Totilas, descends from Gribaldi. All horses are different but the good news for me is that owner Emmy de Jeu has her eyes focused on me and her mare Sisther de Jeu and I’ll make the best out of this combination I promise! There is still a lot of room for improvement.”
Aat van Essen: “This is the worst thing that has ever happened to Premier and I’m very relieved that she survived the surgery and that nothing serious has happened when she awoke and stood up.”

Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage - Standings after Round 6 in Mechelen (NED):
1.    Ulla Salzgeber GER                -    74
2.    Isabell Werth GER                -    57
3.    Richard Davison GBR            -    55
4.    Catherine Haddad USA            -    54
5.    Helen Langehanenberg GER        -    51
6.    Hans Peter Minderhoud NED        -    46
7.    Adelinde Cornelissen            -    43
8..    Christa Laarakkers NED            -    33
8.     Patrik Kittel SWE                -    33
10.    Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein    DEN -    30
11.    Nina Hoffmann SWE            -    29
11.    Sune Hansen DEN                -    29
13.    Matthias Alexander Rath GER        -    28
14.    Aat Van Essen NED                 -    26
15.    Ulrike Prunthaller AUT            -    24
16.    Anna Ross-Davies GBR            -    23
16.    Mikaela Lindh FIN                -    23
18.    Claudia Fassaert BEL       - 21
18.    Heike Kemmer GER             -    21
18.    Sylvia Zimmer GER                -    21

Western European League Calendar 2010/2011:
1        Odense (DEN), 21-24 October
2        Lyon (FRA), 27 October - 1 November
3        Stockholm (SWE), 26-28 November
4        London Olympia (GBR), 14-15 December
5        Frankfurt (GER), 15-19 December
6        Mechelen (BEL), 26-30 December
7        Amsterdam (NED), 20-23 January
8        Neumünster (GER), 17-20 February
9        Göteborg (SWE), 24-27 February
10      's-Hertogenbosch (NED), 24-27 March
FINAL Leipzig (GER), 27 April - 1 May

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