March 3, 2010 -- A total of 15 riders from 10 nations will compete at the 25th anniversary final of the FEI World Cup Dressage series at 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands March 25-27.
The 2008-2009 series champion, American Steffen Peters, will not be defending his title. The U.S. and Canadian Federations have confirmed that, due to health issues for either horses or riders, there will be no representatives from the North American League. The two available slots will now be taken by reserve riders Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven from Sweden and Poland's Katarzyna Milczarek who previously applied for any available extra starting places.
Both of these riders became eligible through meeting the criteria laid down for participation at the final which includes the necessity to have competed in at least three qualifiers and the achievement of a score of at least 68.0 percent on each occasion.
The Western European League line-up is already decided following last weekend's final qualifying leg in Gothenburg, Sweden, where Adelinde Cornelissen came out on top. The Dutch rider will be joined by her gold-medal-winning Alltech FEI European Championship teammates Edward Gal and Imke Schellekens-Bartels in the battle for the 2009-2010 title. Germany will also be three-handed with Isabell Werth, Matthias Alexander Rath and Carola Koppelman in action while Sweden's Patrik Kittel secured his place with an impressive second-place finish last Saturday.
Flying the flag for the Central European League will be 28-year-old Michal Rapcewicz from Poland, while 39-year-old Australian Brett Parbery has qualified from the Pacific League and Brazil's Luiza Tavares de Almeida will represent the South American/Asian region. Steffen Peters' absence means that there are three further places on offer instead of just two, and these have been allocated to Belgium's Jeroen Devroe, Hungary's Acs Robert and Denmark's Nathalie Zu Sayn Wittgenstein, while the two reserves are Sweden's Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven and Poland's Katarzyna Milczarek.
The sensation of the season and favorite to take the 2009-2010 FEI World Cup Dressage title is the spectacular black stallion Moorlands Totilas ridden by Edward Gal who took last summer's Alltech FEI European Dressage Championships by storm and who has continued his record-breaking form throughout the indoor season.