“Play by Play” of Day One of Dressage at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

9 years ago ilse Comments Off on “Play by Play” of Day One of Dressage at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

By ILSE SCHWARZ

Monday the 27th dawned (eventually) to a rainy miserable day. The type we associate with European venues..persistent drizzly rain whichwas just enough to really get everything wet. It was also unseasonably cool. Fortunately, being accustomed to the summer climate in South Florida, I always assume that if the temperatures are below 70F I will freeze, and that it could rain at any time of any day.  So despite the forecasts being for perfect autumnal weather, I was well prepared with both cold and wet weather clothing (pat on the back to myself).

The day started at a blistering pace, with Hans Peter Minderhoud riding Exquis Nadine (Partout x Roemer)setting the standard. He was the fifth to go and put in a really solid effort. Nadine had slipped and fallen on the concrete at the stables on Saturday and although she is completely sound, Hans Peter has been nervous to train her too hard. The neck was perhaps a little short through the test, but her big trot extensions and strong canter work were enough to score 72.255 per cent  and start the Dutch team on their quest for team gold.

Hans Peter Minderhoud and Exquis Nadine show their trademark powerful trot extension © Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com
Hans Peter Minderhoud and Exquis Nadine show their trademark powerful trot extension © Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com

Anabel Balkenhol,  was eighth to go. The pressure was on the daughter of dressage icon, Klaus Balkenhol, to produce a solid first score to try to keep the German team in touch with the Dutch Team. Anabel rides the 10 year old gelding Dablino (De Niro x Wunderbursch II). After entering and producing a fairly unsteady halt, she settled into a plaesing trot extension which scored 7’s and 8’s. The feeling is that she is being a little conservative on this hot headed chestnut gelding. The trot half passes looked easy and had wonderful crossing  for scores between 7 and 9. The piaffe has really a good technique but is still too progressive and maybe not quite enough steps. The judges seem to agree and score it between 5 and 7. The canter work is fairly solid sevens, but the overall impression is that the test is tentative. Obviously a talented duo, but they need to wait for the future to really shine, 67.702 per cent. It is worth noting that this duo split the judges the most dramatically of the day. The judge at H, Linda Zang (USA) scored her 62.766 per cent and the judge at B, Dr Evi Eisenhardt (GER) scored her 72.766 per cent.

Anabel Balkenhol on the talented Dablino © Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com
Anabel Balkenhol on the talented Dablino © Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com

Fiona Bigwood (GBR), riding Wie Atlantico De Ymas (Wie Weltmeyer x Rondo) started Great Britains bid for a team medal. The whole test was composed and flowing. She showed the first really super entry and halt and excelled in the passage, big and beautiful tempi changes and canter pirouettes that scored seven across the board. The passage scored 8’s on the final centerline for a personal best of 70.128 per cent.

Fiona Bigwood and Wie Atlantico de Ymas on their way to a personal best© Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com
Fiona Bigwood and Wie Atlantico de Ymas on their way to a personal best© Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com

I almost started writing my story during the ride of Emma Kanerva from Finland. I mean, lets face it, since Kyra Kyrkland Finland hasn’t really played any sort of major role in international dessage. However, I had watched Kyra training her yesterday and they really are a super elegant pair, so I thought I would at least concentrate on the beginning of the test before turning my attention elsewhere. Thank goodness I did! Her horse, Sini Spirit (Espri x Gluecksgriff) has one of the prettiest collected trots of the day. Super passage that developed confidence throughout the test and a solid piaffe, even if the frame was at times a little unsteady. She surprised most of the spectators with a final score of 68.851 per cent.

The elegant pair from Finland, Emma Kanerva and Sini Spirit© Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com
The elegant pair from Finland, Emma Kanerva and Sini Spirit© Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com

Victoria Winter, riding Proton (Patriach x Rosenkavalier) were not members of the Canadian European tour this summer, however their strong performances through the winter in Wellington, Fl scored them a place on the team. They started with a bold trot extension which received scores up to eight. The extended walk was a highlight, straight 8’s from every judge. The rest of the test was solid sixes and sevens, with the exception of the canter pirouettes which were laboured with slow hind legs. Her score of 66.681 was right on the mark.

Victoria Winter and Proton debut on the Canadian team© Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com
Victoria Winter and Proton debut on the Canadian team© Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com

Oded Shimoni rides for Israel, but lives in Wellington, Fl and is well known in both the American dressage and eventing worlds. He is competing here as an individual and also coaching the USA eventing team in dressage. His horse Granada (Granit x Warrigal) has a very expressive collected trot and wonderful collected work. The extended trot to passage to piaffe segment of the test was really well executed with scores of seven and eight for all the movements and transitions. Granada has a difficult canter, by nature wanting to be a little croup high. Oded does a super job in the two tempis, they are big, expressive and uphill. The one tempis are really late to get started and score only four to five. Both pirouettes are well centered and balanced and score as high as eight. The test finishes with a beautiful final piaffe, score 66.298 per cent

Oded Shimoni and Granada show one of their test highlights© Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com
Oded Shimoni and Granada show one of their test highlights© Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com

The Australians love to travel to support their riders and the World Equestrian Games are no exception. When Lyndal Oatley moved to the warm up area there was a line of Australian support in green, gold and grey that was only bettered by the suppport crew following the USA team. The Australians were definitely the most vocal and uninhibited in their flag waving. A group behind “A” attracted the attention of the entire stadium with their moves to the song ” YMCA” which played loudly during one of the arena dragging breaks, although there were a few Dutch supporters that challenged the Aussie rendition of “YMCA” dancing.

Lyndal Oatley and Potifar (Jazz x Pion) had a very positive start to their test, 7’s for the trot extension. The halt and rein back were the best yet, finally a reinback scored an eight. Lyndal got a bit busy in the piaffe and the transitions. The passage following the walk gets much stronger with scores to eight.. The two tempis are big and clean and the one tempis are also correct and look easy. 65.574

Lyndal Oatley and Potifar, riding for Australia © Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com
Lyndal Oatley and Potifar, riding for Australia © Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com