Depth Defines FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ Opener as Competition Commences in Wellington (USA)
FEI Dressage Nations Cup 2022 Wellington (USA)
DUTTA Susan (USA) riding DON DESIGN DC (FEI/Richard Juilliart)
All eyes wil be on Wellington this week as the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ 2023 series kicks off on Thursday, 23 February at the Global Dressage Festival with six teams—double the number that lined-up a year ago.
Wellington will commence a season of six legs across as many nations, from February through July. A series champion will be crowned at Falsterbo (SWE)—a fitting finale, given Sweden is the defending series champion.
Sweden has claimed the series title in four of the last six seasons and will begin its 2023 quest with a three-person squad consisting of Caroline Darcourt (Lord Django), Christina Devine (Slaebaekgaard’s Santino) and veteran anchor Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén (Devanto), under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Louise Nathhorst.
The home team, led by Chef d’Equipe George Williams, will feature Anna Marek (Duvel), 20-year-old Christian Simonson (Son of a Lady), Charlotte Jorst (Zhaplin Langholt) and Susan Dutta (Don Design DC). Dutta is the lone Big Tour rider on the team; she and Don Design DC are fresh off a CDI3* Grand Prix Special victory in Wellington in January. The anchor pair also represented the U.S. in FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ competitions at both Wellington and Compiegne (FRA) last season.
Argentina, Australia, Canada and Germany have also fielded teams, and the German squad should not be discounted, having won this event last year. Frederic Wandres (Harrods 3) anchors the group, which also includes Anna-Christina Abbelen (Sam Donnerhall), Felicitas Hendricks (Drombusch 2) and Michael Klimke (Harmony’s Sanrino RHP). Both Klimke and Wandres were on last year’s winning team; Klimke and the now-14-year-old Oldenburg stallion Harmony’s Sanrino RHP won the Grand Prix for their team in Wellington a year ago.
Team medals are decided after the Grand Prix (or Prix St. Georges for Small Tour combinations) and the Grand Prix Special (or Intermediate I) tests, with awards decided Friday, 24 February.
Wellington’s opening leg will be followed by the CDIO5* in Compiegne (FRA), 4-7 May. June will feature CDIO3* competition in Budapest (HUN) and Rotterdam’s (NED) CDIO4* before a pair of CDIO5* events conclude the season in July at Aachen (GER) and Falsterbo.
Further details about the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ series can be found here.