Normally this would be the top nine riders on the rankings but with each country only being allowed to send three riders and Germany dominating with six riders within the top twelve, it was still wide open.
Irish dressage hero Judy Reynolds on the fabulous Vancouver K. As the first Irish rider to ever have finished on the podium in a world cup qualifier, Reynolds was hoping to turn in a stellar performance to secure an appearance at Gothenburg.
Her husband Patrick was teary eyed with emotion in the aptly-named kiss and cry despite a mistake in both lines of one time tempi changes.
She still managed to go into the lead on 79.4%, but looked likely to be knocked off top position later in the day.
Patrik Kittel danced in to the sound of Guns N Roses to close the first half. Supported by his newborn baby Amelia in the Kiss and Cry (complete with sound cancelling headphones, of course!) on his horse Delaunay. He was awarded 80.7%, throwing down the gauntlet for the riders to come after the halfway break.
Maria Caetano started the second half off, but Coroado somewhat lacked his usual sparkle and had to settle for a 78.6%. Dutch rider Emmelie Scholtens pulled off a stylish test on Apache but on 80.4%, slotted in just behind Kittel with only six riders left to go.
Hans Peter Minderhoud missed out his joker line and was given zeros by all judges which affected his mark quite badly – he received an 81.6% and shot into the lead on Glock’s Dream Boy despite this, though one has to wonder what the score would have been without the mistake.
Benjamin Werndl made an entrance of note starting with a canter pirouette directly from halt.
The brother of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl is certainly making a splash on the circuit lately, and was lying third going into the s-Hertogenbosch qualifier but couldn’t quite pip Minderhoud to the post.
Next up was the master Isabell Werth. Having already qualified for the finals by virtue of being the current titleholder, Werth had nothing to lose.
She rode Emilio and despite getting off to a poor start – with 4s for her halt – she quickly made up for it and clinched the lead with 82.9% and only two riders left to go.