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Federation Equestre Internationale News

FEI World Cup Dressage

Star riders in Berlin for the first Dressage World Cup of the Western European League

The Western European League of the FEI Dressage World Cup opens this weekend in Berlin, Germany . A star-studded cast will grace the Messegelande for the
qualifying grand prix on Saturday 14th November, followed by the FEI World Cup Freestyle on Sunday morning.

German riders are out in force, led by European team gold medallist Heike Kemmer, who has a head start of 20 points gained from her win at the Central European league show in Zaposvar, Hungary. She is joined by, among others, former World Cup and Olympic champion Isabell Werth and Olympian Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff.

British rider Emma Hindle, who led her team to bronze medal at this summer's European Championships, is starting her first serious World Cup in Berlin. She has 22 points already from the Central league, thanks to a second place behind Kemmer in Hungary and an early season place in Zsiaz, Poland.

Russian rider Elena Sidneva finished the Central European league at the top of the rankings. She heads to Berlin, but has already booked her ticket to the final. Former World Cup winner Louise Nathhorst is travelling from Sweden to take part, and Holland's Sven Rothenberger, another former World Cup champion, heads a strong Dutch challenge.

The Western European league season comprises seven qualifying events. After Berlin, the roadshow moves to Stockholm (SWE 20-30 November), Maastricht (NED11-14 December) and Mechelen (BEL 26-30 December). In the New Year, it is back to Holland for Amsterdam (29th January - 1st February), followed by
Neumunster (GER 20-22 February) and s-Hertogenbosch (NED 25-28 March).

For the final, we return to Germany. In Dusseldorf (1-4th April) the top ranked Western league riders will be joined by Central League winner Elena Sidneva, the two best US riders from their final in California, the winners of the Canadian qualifier, Belinda Trussell and Royan, and the winner of the Australian final.

As Ulla Salzgeber lost her automatic right to start along with the 2003 title as a result of the recent FEI Judicial Committee ruling, she will have to qualify through the rankings if she wishes to win a place in Dusseldorf. US rider Debbie MacDonald, who was second at the last final in Gothenburg, now assumes the title and the opportunity to defend it in Dusseldorf.

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