Fitting farewell for Jan Brink and Briar

February 23, 2009

More than 11,000 enthusiastic visitors watched their Swedish hero Jan Brink ride his stallion Briar to victory in the World Cup qualifier at Gothenburg at the weekend, in their very last show on home ground.

Jan Brink celebrates his win with Briar.
Brink and Briar scored was 77,200%, beating riders from six nations including Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and the USa.

"I felt emotional in a positive way. Doing the last test ever in your own country, is quite something," Brink said. From the moment the pair entered the arena in the Globe the audience went wild. Everybody knew this pair had made history for Sweden and they honored him with standing ovations, clapping, yelling and cheering.

"Yes, I really wanted to show my home country what this Swedish horse had brought them. And I was so inspired that I really did manage to make Briar go the extra mile! Briar still isn't feeling old and he could go on doing this for a longer time, but I have decided that this was to be his last show."

In the Grand Prix Briar and Brink were neck-and-neck with Catherine Haddad and Cadillac. But Haddad didn't quite have the full attention of Cadillac for his first piaffe and passage. She later explained she had been sick with food poisoning, which made her less concentrated during her test.

For Jan Brink and Briar the Goteborg Horse Show was their farewell. For Swedish colleague Minna Telde it was the premiere. She rode a brand new Freestyle with new music on the U2 theme. "I only got my music last Monday and was thrilled with Don Charly's response to the music. He responded better than I expected in doing the two tempi and one tempi changes right to the music," Telde said. After Christmas, Telde bought the former owner of Don Charly out and now the horse belongs to her completely. "Which is a very good feeling," Telde said. Because of her good results she has almost qualified for the Final.

Anky van Grunsven had to withdraw from competing as serious back problems forced her to stay home. She intended to ride IPS Salinero in Goteborg as she needs to ride two WC qualifiers to meet the regulations to defend her title. Now only 's-Hertogenbosch is left, which might cause her stallion IPS Painted Black to be her horse for the Final.