Reigning World team champions and winners of the FEI Nations Cup at the Internationaux de Dressage of Compiègne in 2023, the Danes, started as favourites, holding their own and once again winning the only French leg of the FEI Nations Cup. Accumulating 225.500 points, the strong team made-up of Nanna Skodborg Merrald (World n°4), Carina Cassøe Kruth (n°12) and Daniel Bachmann Andersen (n°14) finished ahead of Sweden (218.239pts) and a superb French team in front of their home crowd (215.261pts). In the individual competition, Germany’s Frederic Wandres (n°7) took the honours in this Grand Prix de la Ville de Compiègne. 

Daniel-BACHMANN-ANDERSEN & Vayron in the FEI Nations Cup

Predictions were rife: “beatable? unbeatable? With 3 of the World’s top 15 riders lining up at the start of the CDIO5* Grand Prix de la Ville de Compiègne, the support for the FEI Nations Cup, Anne-Mette Binder’s team looked formidable. The gamble paid off, as Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Vayron came 2nd individually, achieving a personal best with an excellent 76.152%. Carina Cassøe Kruth and Heiline’s Danciera, the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special winning pair here in 2023, were today 3rd with 74.913% while Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Blue Hors St. Schufro finished 4th with 74.435%. “I’m delighted, the contract has been fulfilled,” smiled the Danish chef d’equipe. “Before Rotterdam and Aachen, the Compiègne Nations Cup is an important stage in our selection process for Paris. The riders present had expressed the wish to come here and they leave with 3 of the best places, what more could you ask for! Carina and Heiline’s have continued to evolve and performed a very interesting test. Vayron, who we wanted to try as he is still ‘young’ for 5*, impressed us all, while St Schufro and Nanna showed great regularity despite a test in very wet conditions!’’. Following them, the Swedish team led by Patrik Kittel and Jovian (74.283%), Maria Von Essen/Invoice (72.326%) and Juliette Ramel/Buriel K.H. (71.630%) also accumulated very good performances, finishing 5th ,9th and 13th respectively. France has not been on the podium since 2016, the first edition of the Nations’ Cup here, and it was a good surprise to see them take third place! Pauline Basquin/Sertorius de Rima Z IFCE, Corentin Pottier/Gotilas du Feuillard and Alexandre Ayache/Jolene gave everything right up to the end and finished 3 points behind Sweden and ahead of strong nations such as Germany (212.762pts) and Great Britain (210.826pts). “We’re third in a Nations Cup here at home, our riders are being watched more closely.  It’s a significant moment, and they’ve earned it. Although we’re still a long way from our objectives, we’re making progress and other promising horses are making their way through the ranks” explained the chef d’equipe Jean Morel.

Only Germany’s Frederic Wandres, riding the excellent Duke of Britain FRH, managed to overtake the Scandinavian trio, achieving a score of 76.435%. “Once again, I was able to count on Duke,” commented the World n° 7. “I really felt he was in top form and he gave 100%. There were no real faults and we gained points in the piaffe, which is his strongest asset, and that’s what tipped the balance in our favour today!’”

CDI3* – The Grand Prix Special for Juliette Ramel, the Freestyle for Camille Judet Cheret

As one Scandinavian rider pushed another off the throne, Sweden’s Juliette Ramel rode a more regular test than the day before to offer herself victory in the Prix de la Région Hauts de France, partnering Gideon K.H. “I’m very happy with my horse,” commented the athlete. “I still have a few faults, but Gideon behaved very well. I had a very good feeling throughout the test. It’s extremely positive for the future!’’ . The rider, a loyal competitor at these Internationaux de Dressage, was awarded a score of 69.894%. Once again at the prize-giving ceremony, Nanna Skodborg Merrald was this time 2nd  with the stallion Blue Hors Znickers (68.575%). Portugal’s Maria Caetano rode Fenix de Tineo and finished third on 68.532%.

3rd yesterday in the Grand Prix, France’s Camille Judet Cheret offered the best performance this evening in the Grand Prix Freestyle by riding a test to music rewarded with a score of 74.415% with Herelja Higgins. She finished slightly ahead of Frederic Wandres on Joy Game (74.320%) and Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Esperance (74.305%)

CDI1* – The “Kong Christian”  played again within the Grand Parc

Earlier in the day, Denmark was already in the spotlight thanks to the performance of the World n°4 who took the lead in the Intermediate of the CDI1* with Blue Hors Monte Carlo TC (71.588%). The remarked upon pair overtook Jessica Dunn and Dan It’s Carton, already 2nd the previous day (69.441%) for Great Britain, the Dutch pairing of Dinja Van Liere and McLaren (68.029%) followed.

CDI U25 and CDI Y – Sophie Ludvigsen the Danish hope

There were few surprises in the young riders, with Sophie Ludvigsen winning both the CDI U25 – Grand Prix Freestyle of the Département de l’Oise and the CDI Y Individual for riders under 21. The World N° 4 in the under-25 age group, riding Blue Hors Quintana and coached by Nanna Skodborg Merrald, won by more than 6 percent (77.475%) over France’s Mado Pinto/SIRANO DE LUXE (71.008%). Spain’s Carla DE LA FUENTE DE PABLOS and FITO were third (70.833%). Teaming up with Blue Hors Touch of Olympic in the individual event for under-21s, the Dane left the arena with 71.127% putting her ahead of Belgium’s Michiel Nevelsteen/Lars Van Het Kristoffelhof (68.529%) and Luxembourg’s Maya Link/Zasou (67.647%).

CDI CH & CDI P – The Netherlands reign among the youngest

 Already the winner yesterday, the World N°1 in the Children’s category, Esmae Niessen, made it a double today with her brilliant Dadona Diva winning the individual competition with a very good score of 75.699%. Her compatriot Kate Jansen took the Prix Département de l’Oise in the CDI P with FS Mr. Magic on 71.261%.

CDI Junior – Victory for France

3rd yesterday in the Team Test, Inès de Koninck and Feuerdorn BV made a great climb up the placings today taking the lead in the individual competition. With 71.961%, the pair finished ahead of Great Britain’s Isla Sully/Vagabond de Massa (71.069%) and Sofia Games/Boccelli 6 (70.441%).

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