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Danish Dressage Riders Sweep Herning CDI5* Grand Prix10-03-2023 - 18:46

The Danish dressage riders reigned supreme at the Danish Warmblood Stallion Show in Herning: Carina Cassøe Krüth, Nanna Skodborg Merrald, and Andreas Helgstrand all scored personal bests in the Vitamin Well Five Star Dressage ECCO CDI5* Grand Prix taking the podium with impressive scores.

The Danish riders got cheered on with loud applause in the Vitamin Well Five Star Dressage ECCO Grand Prix competition in Jyske Bank Boxen. As Carina Cassøe Krüth took the passage down the centreline towards the judges, the audience started clapping as Heiline's Danciera danced her way to the final halt receiving double 10s from the judges.

Carina Cassøe Krüth and Heiline's Danciera, a Danish Warmblood mare by Fürstenball owned by Poul Thøgersen and bred by Stald Heiline, was part of the Gold-medal-winning Danish dressage team at the ECCO FEI World Championships in Herning last year. Today the pair danced their way through the Grand Prix, scoring a personal best of 79,717%

"She is at a point now where she is starting to settle and have confidence in the piaffe. She has really struggled with that," Carina admits, and judge at C Maria Colliander supports that statement: "I would say it's the most harmonious I have seen you, there were no hesitations, the piaffe looks like piaffe, and she is always active, she extends, she walks, and in the final halt she stood like a rock with the spectators clapping and for me that was a 10."

"Every time I ride in Boxen, it's special. Although I am not from Herning, it feels like home because we have done so much here. I always look forward to coming here and feel the support from the audience," Carina stated.

Nanna Skodborg Merrald has had an impressive FEI World Cup season with several horses and is qualified for the FEI World Cup final in Omaha. Her ride in Herning was the Danish Warmblood-approved breeding stallion Blue Hors St. Schufro by St. Moritz Junior. They came in second to her teammate, scoring 76,543%. Nanna could not attend the press conference, as she had to present younger stallions from Blue Hors Stud in a presentation class in front of a huge crowd just after the Grand Prix.

After her ride, she said: "It was a personal best for St. Schufro and me, and it was a fantastic ride. He has never performed as well as today, and it was an awesome experience to ride in Boxen in front of such an enthusiastic crowd." Dressage judge Maria Colliander commented on Nanna's ride: "I am in love with that beautiful stallion, and it is also wonderful riding. He is very expressive and willing. Just as Jovian, he needs a little more strength here and there, as he is probably more eager than fully ready, but a very positive horse and a lovely rider as well."

 Scoring a personal best with a score of 76,00% Andreas Helgstrand came 3rd with another impressive breeding stallion, the Danish Warmblood-graded Jovian by Apache. He is only 9 years old and has not been competing since he came 4th at the FEI Dressage World Cup qualifier at Vilhelmsborg in October last year.

"My strategy was not to compete with him during the winter because he was only 8 years old, but I could feel the potential, and I think he has improved a lot during the winter. He is an amazing horse. Every day you ride him, he's on fire. And it was nice to show the improvements today, knowing he can do so much more," Andreas Helgstrand stated. Dressage judge Maria Colliander said: "The first impression is wow impressive, and when he finished his trot-test, my pulse was high," she said, and continued facing Andreas: "This is really very good, he is such a good mover, so elastic, and compared to Vilhelmsborg he has taken miles wide steps, he is much more with you and much more secure. There is so much unused potential, but it takes time. He is not a small horse, but super handsome and looks like a million dollars."


It was an exciting Grand Prix with 12 participants, 7 of whom were Danish, and they took the top 7 spots!

On Saturday, the riders will meet again in Vitamin Well Five Star Grand Prix Freestyle in front of the enthusiastic home crowd in Boxen.

Judge at C Maria Colliander was given the last word at the press conference: "Denmark looks good as a team with 2024 Olympics coming up, really - you can be proud of yourselves."


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