Patrik Kittel and Toy Story won the third leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage series on their home turf in Stockholm, Sweden. It was a close-fought affair as the 35-year-old rider and his 11 year old gelding, Toy Story, only pipped Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello by 0.1 of a percentage point, while Germany’s Isabell Werth (Warum Nicht FRH) and Helen Langehanenberg (Responsible) had to settle for third and fourth places respectively.

It is not often that double FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion Isabell Werth finds herself competing amongst the first tranche of riders in a Freestyle class, but she stormed into the lead when last to go before the half-time break with her beloved “Hannes” when scoring 78.475%. “He was much better today” she said of Warum Nicht. “Yesterday in the Grand Prix he was stopping in the corner like a little pony! It was better today and he is in better shape than ever, so I’m quite sad that we couldn’t show that” she explained.

Third-last into the arena, it was Vilhelmson-Silfven who was the first to seriously challenge Werth’s supremacy, overtaking her for the lead when registering 79.375 with Don Auriello to confirm the very reason why she is the leading rider on the Western European League leaderboard.The question now was – could the last two riders do better than that?Patrik Kittel did. To his own amazement, he produced the best performance of his horse’s life. Starting out with big passage, Toy Story demonstrated high-quality movement throughout to return with 79.475 – a fractional advantage over his fellow-Swede.

1, Toy Story (Patrik Kittel) SWE 79.475; 2, Don Auriello (Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven) SWE 79.375; 3, Warum Nicht FRH (Isabell Werth) GER 78.475; 4, Responsible OLD (Helen Langehanenberg) GER 76.200; 5, Divoza Horseworld Ovation (Christa Larakkers) NED 75.900

Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2011/2012 – Standings after Round 3 in Stockholm:
1. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén, SWE (53)
2. Patrik Kittel, SWE 413. Valentina Truppa, ITA (33)
4. Isabell Werth, GER (32)
4. Hans Peter Minderhoud, NED (32)