Nanna Skodborg Merrald is on fire – taking top spot in magical freestyle in Herning11-03-2023 - 20:59

The scene was set in Jyske Bank Boxen today as 8.000 spectators eagerly awaited the top Danish dressage riders in Vitamin Well Five Star Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle

The atmosphere was tense with anticipation as Nanna Skodborg Merrald entered the impressive Jyske Bank Boxen on her black stallion Blue Hors St Schufro by St. Moritz Junior. The 12-year-old stallion is licensed in Danish Warmblood, and the charming pair blew the roof off when the audience went wild. They did not make a single mistake in their freestyle scoring 84,360% with high marks for rhythm, harmony, choreography, and degree of difficulty. Nanna has ridden four different horses in the FEI World Cup season of 2022/2023 and is on her way to the world cup final in Omaha. She and Blue Hors St. Schufro were second at the FEI World Cup qualifier at Vilhelmsborg, Denmark in October.

Today she presented another breeding stallion, Blue Hors Don Olymbrio by Jazz at CDI3* level winning the Grand Prix Special.

“I am totally blown away and I have to pinch myself – I think I am dreaming,” Nanna Skodborg Merrald stated after the result in the freestyle. “The timing was everything for us today, with no mistakes, also with room for improvement.”


Carina Cassøe Krüth and her lovely Danish Warmblood mare Heiline’s Danciera by Fürstenball breed by Stald Heiline was the pre-hand favourite in the freestyle. Carina and “Danse” (her nickname is Dancing) helped clinch team gold for Denmark on home soil at last summer’s ECCO FEI World Championships in Herning. Together they kicked off with top spot at the opening qualifier at the FEI World Cup season in Aarhus, Vilhelmsborg last October with a winning score of 85.925, and in Gothenburg, their score was even higher, a lovely performance earning them a mark of 86.855. In Herning they opened with some beautiful extended trot and half-passes earning them 8,5 and 9 from the judges, but unfortunately, they had a big and costly mistake in a piaffe, the score of 84,255% gave the popular pair second place.

“I needed to work a bit more today, and as a result, I lost points for the piaffe, now she will have some well-deserved free time,” commented Carina Cassøe Krüth.


The Danish rider Lone Bang Zindorff and Thranegaardens Rostov by Romanov breed by Jens Riishede Jensen has a very beautiful freestyle, and Lone is very experienced in riding the test. Rostov is almost dancing to the music. “She loves the music, but I have been concentrating on improving the Grand Prix movements, so I must admit I was a bit nervous entering the ring,” stated Lone. “She was dancing in there; it was amazing in such a fantastic atmosphere.” Lone and the 13-year-old mare earned a score of 80,815% securing third place.


“It has been a fantastic day for dressage and for Denmark at Herning,” judge at C Susanne Baarup said after the freestyle. “Carina had a very costly mistake today compared to Nanna, delivering a food-perfect freestyle.”



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