Fantastic performances by Zack and Nanna at the first leg of the FEI World Cup

The Western European league of the FEI Dressage World Cup qualifications was kicked off this weekend in Herning, where also Blue Hors rider Nanna Skodborg Merrald and her Olympic partner, the breeding stallion Blue Hors Zack, were ready to go

Read about the pair's results at the event and watch videos of their rides here!

Nanna and Blue Hors Zack at the qualifier's prize-giving

The return of the FEI Dressage World Cup ™ in Herning this weekend turned out as a dream start for the beginning of the competition series, which presented us with new as well as well-known top partnerships.

A year ago, the pandemic downgraded the event from being a huge opening event of the Western European part of the FEI Dressage World Cup ™ 2020-2021 in Jyske Bank Boxen to being a smaller event held at the Danish National Equestrian Center Vilhelmsborg. This event became one of just two World Cup qualifiers held before the 2020 World Cup had to be completely cancelled.

.. But this year, the show has returned to its usual surroundings!

To start off the FEI Dressage World Cup ™ Herning 2021, the entire Danish national dressage team that participated in the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 in August 2021, was on fire in Jyske Bank Boxen.

Cathrine Dufour rode her partner from the Olympics in Rio in 2016, Atterupgaards Cassidy (Caprimond / Donnerhall, breeder: Atterupgaard), Carina Cassøe Krüth rode her Olympic horse Heiline's Danciera (Fürstenball / De Niro, breeder: Stald Heiline), just as the Olympic reserve Charlotte Heering had brought her Bufranco (Negro / Zevenster, breeder: Fr.C. Kroot, Haghorst). These high-profile national team riders were further flanked by Olympic rider from Rio 2016, Anna Kasprzak, at Rock Star 13 (Rockwell / Weinberg) and Lone Bang Larsen at Thranegaardens Rostov (Blue Hors Romanov / Diamond, breeder: Jens Riishede Jensen).

Germany was also well represented with top riders such as the five-time Olympic champion in eventing, Ingrid Klimke, on the 13-year-old breeding stallion Franziskus 15 (Fidertanz / Alabaster, breeder: Elisabeth Albers), World Cup ™ 2013 winner, Helen Langehanenberg on Annabelle 110 (Conteur / Linaro, breeder: Günther Fielmann) and Frederic Wandres on Bluetooth OLD (Bordeaux 28 / Riccione, breeder: Gestüt Lewitz).

The Dutch riders were also on the hunt for qualifying points at the early start of the World Cup season. Among them were Marlies van Baalen on Go Legend (Totilas / Olympic Ferro, breeder: Stal Wittenberg), Vincent van Gasselt on Delacroix 11 (Dancier / Don Crusador, breeder: Hagemann), Thamar Zweistra on Hexagon's Double Dutch (Johnson TN / Rubiquil, breeder : LFL Van Lieren, Schiedam) and Dinja van Liere with Hermes (Easy Game / Flemmingh, breeder: G. Gijsbers).

Swedish Jennie Larsson rode Zircoon Spring Flower (Painted Black / Armstrong, breeder: T. Verhoeven, Tilburg).

 

Exciting Grand Prix's in Jyske Bank Boxen

The Grand Prix classes took place in Jyske Bank Boxen, while the fair and Blue Hors Arena were to be found in Herning Messecenter's Hall M.

Starting the World Cup off with the short Grand Prix on Friday at 7PM and the crucial Grand Prix Freestyle on Saturday at 6:30PM, the World Cup was a show-filled evening event that gathered the audience in central Jutland.

In Friday's FEI World Cup Short Grand Prix presented by Blue Hors, Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Blue Hors Zack (Rousseau / Jazz, breeder: B. Wilschut) rode a nice test, though with a couple of small mistakes in the meeting with the new and compressed short Grand Prix- program. The pair was honored with 72.947% and a fifth place in the sharp field of competitors.

In Saturday night's FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle presented by ECCO, the pair unfortunately had a small mistake in the canter program, but with a nice 80.880% they were only a hair's breadth from their Olympic score, which was enough to bring the pair into another impressive fifth place.

Nanna ready for World Cup Lyon with Orthilia

The FEI Dressage World Cup ™ 2021-2022 continues this week, at the end of October, in Lyon, France, where Blue Hors rider Nanna Skodborg Merrald once again is to be found on the starting list. This time with Atterupgaards Orthilia (Gribaldi / Donnerschlag, breeder: Atterupgaard) in both the Short Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle.

After Lyon, the World Cup moves on to Madrid in November, before moving on to London and the Belgian town of Mechelen.

In 2022, the event start its journey in Amsterdam in January, before the trip goes on to Neumünster and Gothenburg in February. The Dutch town of ’s-Hertogenbosch takes over from there and hosts the last World Cup qualifier in early March.

The World Cup Final will take place in Leipzig, Germany in April 2022

Watch Nanna and Blue Hors Zack's test in Grand Prix Freestyle here:

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Watch Nanna and Blue Hors Zack's test in the short Grand Prix here:

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