WEG Lexington Grand Prix. Day 2 “play by play”, part one

9 years ago ilse Comments Off on WEG Lexington Grand Prix. Day 2 “play by play”, part one

By ILSE SCHWARZ

Day 2 of the WEG Grand Prix dawns clear but COLD this morning. All my layers are piled on again and I am wondering about the lazy breeze that will gently blow through me (too lazy to go around me) in my nose- bleed media seat. LOTS of hot coffee later and I am warm and almost recovered from losing half my story from yesterday. Cyberspace gobbled it up at midnight, and I mean really “disappeared” it. I tell myself that it is yesterday’s news, and Ken had a comprehensive story on the website so life will go on…just. Partly because of last nights web mishap and largely because I have been typing all day, my “play-by-plays” of todays rides will be limited to combinations that I felt brought something special to the table.

Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival before the drama © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival before the drama © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Of course the first is Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival (Jazz x Ulft). Many of the USA based spectators have come to Lexington just to see two horses, Parzival and Totilas. They enter the arena to high expectations and produce the best centerline of the competition so far and 8’s and 9’s for the first trot extension. The huge sweeping half passes are rewarded with multiple 9’s and it is a square halt and…did the judges bell just ring? Adelinde leans down and examines the mouth of Parzival… The rest is history and covered completely at http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=8328

The race for the team medals has opened up a fraction, following Adelinde’s elimination and I am sure Matthias Alexander Rathof Germany  is aware of this. Sterntaler -Unicef (Sion x Manstein) opens with his characteristic good trot extension which scores solid 8’s, beautiful, cadenced trot half passes, which score eights for both the left and right direction followed by a perfect halt and good rein-back, but maybe the mouth was a little busy as the scores are only 7’s. It is impossible to see the connection with the bridle from my vantage point. This combination is looking the best that I have seen them in terms of harmony and consistency. I said the same thing about his team mate, Christoph Koschel, yesterday.

Matthias Alexander Rath and Sterntaler UNICEF ©Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com
Matthias Alexander Rath and Sterntaler UNICEF ©Ken Braddick/ dressage-news.com

Sterntaler Unicef has a tremendous extended walk, one of the best in the competition, and scores multiple nine’s. Matthias is having to be careful in the collected walk but holds it together for 7’s and 8’s. The canter tour is good for mostly eight’s, the movements being well executed and correct and on the progressive scores he is in the lead as goes back to trot. The final centerline, specifically the final piaffe, has been a challenge for this combination at their recent competitions, and Mathias obviously chooses to avoid the problem of piaffe altogether. He shows maybe three very progressive steps and is then out of piaffe and into passage, the judges scores are a little variable. I figure he could score a three, if awarded one mark per step? The scores actually range from 1, which is probably correct, to 5: Huh? Final score 72.553 and 9th individually.

Hayley and "Reli" schooling the day before the start of competition ©Ilse Schwarz /dressage-news.com
Hayley and "Reli" schooling the day before the start of competition ©Ilse Schwarz /dressage-news.com

Hayley Beresford rode for Australia at the Beijing Olympics on the plucky Lusitano stallion, Relampago do Retiro (Luar x Argonauta). Since then she relocated, with her husband Kian, from Germany to Switzerland. This is a popular combination and the Aussies are on their feet cheering as she enters. A few strides into the first trot extension it looks like something is a little funky with the left front, and by the second extension, the bell rings and Hayley is quick to walk and retire. She reports on her facebook page that “Reli” felt perfect in the warm-up. He has injured left fetlock, at this stage it is not known how serious it is.

Tina Konyot riding Calecto V (Come Back II x Rastell) must know the pressure she is under. Carl Hestor had produced a really strong test on Liebling II (Lorentin I x Konihgspark) to pull the British team even further ahead of the USA in the team standings. Calecto V is super talented and if everything goes to plan, a strong score over 70 per cent is very realistic. However, if tension creeps in, the stallion can get a little bit of a talented mind of his own!

Tina starts clearly determined. The stallion is up in the frame, looking confident and it is clear from the first trot extension that they do not plan to be conservative and safe. The powerful trot extension scores 7’s and 8’s and is followed by solid 7’s in both half passes. The halt is pretty perfect and the rein back is ok. Unfortunately,Tina really goes for it in the second trot extension and Calecto V breaks into canter. She quickly gets him back to trot and the passage and piaffe are good for straight 7’s.

Tina Konyot gives Calecto V a quick pat before entering the arena ©Ilse Schwarz /dressage-news.com
Tina Konyot gives Calecto V a quick pat before entering the arena ©Ilse Schwarz /dressage-news.comWEG

The extended walk is big and beautiful and the collected walk is also good and both receive more 8’s than 7’s. The passage continues well but the second piaffe looks fragile and is only scoring 6’s. Enormous straight two tempis, big extended canter and the zig zag looks good from my nose-bleed media seat. Apparently the judges and I agree on this and canter tour receives more 8’s than 7’s for all the movements.  Tina is well over 70% going into the final trot work, and the USA team is holding their breath.

Everything is looking really promising until Calecto V demonstartes a perfectly square halt at X instead of Piaffe. This is REALLY expensive as he also levades into passage, so the transition score is also affected. Ultimately they score 69.915%.