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A New Name Takes the Grade II Para Dressage Title

It was a competition until the bitter end for the Grade II Individual Championship at the World Equestrian Games, where the form book was turned on it’s head and a new name has been crowned World champion for The Netherlands.

A New Name Takes the Grade II Para Dressage Title
© PSV Photos

Dutch rider Rixt van der Horst rode the test of her lifetime on board the 13 year old KWPN, Uneik to a score of 72.457%. In this, Rixt’s first international season, she has surpassed all of her expectations. “I started riding him in September of last year. It is a very short amount of time to be together, and I am very proud of him," she said, "I am a little bit overwhelmed with the win, it is more than I ever expected!”

Last to go into the arena, Great Britain’s Natasha Baker rode brilliantly to contain a spooky Cabral and regain composure to claim the silver medal on a score of 71.429%, “I think it is a testament to my riding really that I managed to get through that and still come out with what I got”, she said.

The reigning Paralympic and European champion was understandably disappointed, “It was just so unfortunate what happened in there,” she said of the three spooks that Cabral had during the test, “he did some of his best ever work, and just felt incredible but I am so pleased to still get the silver.” Natasha is now focusing on the Freestlye tomorrow, “I am going to just go for it,” she said, “I am probably now even more driven to get that gold now, there is no reason why it can’t be tomorrow.”

Third placed Canadian rider Lauren Barwick rode Equine Canada’s 13 year old oldenburg mare, Off To Paris to a score of 70.914% to take the bronze medal. “I am really happy with that [performance] and the horse,” she said, “that was a fabulous test for her, she was so relaxed and calm.” Lauren is looking to take her mount to Rio 2016, so is looking at this as training for the bigger picture, “If she can do that test in here, and I still have two years to get it perfect,” she said “then I am really, really happy.”

The top seven riders after both days of the competition now go forward to the Freestyle test tomorrow.

Individual Championship Test Scores

  1. Rixt van der Horst (GER) – 72.457%
  2. Natasha Baker (GBR) – 71.429%
  3. Lauren Barwick (CAN) – 70.914%

CLICK HERE for the full Grade II Individual Championship Test results.

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