April 19, 2012 -- The United States presented two horses to the veterinary panel at the Horse Inspection this morning for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final. Both proved sound and ready to compete. Eighteen horse-and-rider combinations representing 11 nations are scheduled to contest the 2012 Final.
The U.S. will be represented by:
Jan Ebeling/53/ Moorpark, Calif./Rafalca/15/Oldenburg/Mare/Amy Ebeling
Shawna Harding/42/Aiken, S.C./Come On III/13/Danish Warmblood/Gelding/Shawna Harding
The draw for order of go for Friday's Grand Prix was held later in the afternoon and the U.S. could not have hoped for much better positions. Harding was drawn as sixteenth in the order, while Ebeling will be the eighteenth and final rider of the class.
USEF Dressage Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons is pleased with how the horses and riders have been training and believes they will benefit from their experience competing last year at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final.
"Both horses are in better shape than they were last year. They are schooling better, there is a 'been there done that' feeling this year. The riders are in a good place; they're ready to roll-up there sleeves and go to work."
Gribbons is a firm believer in FEI World Cup Finals utilizing a straight draw opposed to a drawing by groups according to world rankings.
"I believe the straight draw for a World Cup is the right thing. I've been fighting hard for this." Gribbons said of the U.S. starting positions tomorrow. "We lucked out and are going in a nice order."
Competition officially begins Friday with the Grand Prix at 12 p.m. CEST. Harding will ride at 2:45 p.m. CEST and Ebeling will begin his test at 3:05 p.m. CEST.
The biggest news to come out of the morning's horse inspection was defending champion Adelinde Cornelissen's Jerich Parzival being sent to the holding box. He will be reinspected in the morning, if he is found fit to compete the Dutch pair will be the second combination in the ring.
Watch live action from the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final on http://www.feitv.org.
Follow the 2012 U.S. Dressage Team; http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2012Dressage/
Details about the Finals are available at http://www.indoorbrabant.com/