Germany Dominates 1st Day of Olympic Dressage, Parzival Retired from Ride
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 10, 2016–Germany dominated the first day of Olympic Grand Prix with Dorothee Schneider on Showtime producing the only 80 per cent result of the first half of team competition and Sönke Rothenberger on Cosmo in second place while Adelinde Cornelissen retired Parzival after the 19-year-old horse struggled early in the ride.
The score of 80.986 for Dorothee and Showtime and 77.329 for the 21-year-old Sönke on the nine-year-old KWPN gelding gave the team an average of 79.157 with world No. 1 Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH and five-time Olympic gold medalist Isabell Werth on Weihegold OLD to ride on the second day.
“I am flying, I am on cloud number nine,” said the 2012 German team silver medal rider in London in 2012.
For Sönke, “It was dream and I still don’t realize it to be here.”
The margin over the other 11 teams in which the top three scores count was substantial with the Netherlands lying second on 75.271–the single score of Edward Gal on Voice–Great Britain third on 74.921 and the United States fourth on 73.957.
Adelinde explained that Parzival had a swollen cheek on Tuesday, apparently bitten by a mosquito or a spider.
“His body was full of toxics and he has been on liquids for nine hours,” she said. “This morning he looked better and the team vet said I could give it a try.
“He felt completely empty and he did not deserve this,” Adelinde said.
Parzival was ridden by Adelinde to team bronze and individual silver at the London Olympics in 2012 but the horse bit his tongue at the World Games in Kentucky in 2010 and was disqualified.
Fiona Bigwood on Orthilia put Great Britain in strong medal contention with a score of 77.157 per cent that was the third best individual result. Team mate and championship newcomer Spencer Wilton on Super Nova was seventh on 72.686 per cent.
Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet, also making her championship debut, produced a score of 75.229 that put the United States in a strong position. Allison Brock on Rosevelt was tied for seventh place with 72.686.
The second day is shaping up to be a major showdown to move on to the Grand Prix on Friday that will decide the team medals.
With the absence of Parzival, the Dutch side is down to three horses and riders with Edward’s first day result of 75.271 per cent leaving them in a not strong position.
Great Britain has Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro who can be expected to turn in an 80-plus per cent ride while Carl Hester on Nip Tuck has been scoring high 70 per cent at recent competitions.
The United States has Steffen Peters on Legolas, America’s top combination and seventh in the world, and Laura Graves on Verdades, 13th ranked in the world and who vaulted to prominence with their top five finish in the World Games Freestyle two years ago.
Security was a significant distraction, and the army general in charge of a force of 5,500 troops providing military protection at the Deodoro complex made a special appearance at the media center to provide details on several incidents and personally guaranteed safety at the facility that is within the largest military base in South America.
The general said, a civilian in a village outside the equestrian center had been found in possession of a rifle that was the same caliber as a bullet that came through the roof of the media center. A second bullet was found early Wednesday within about 300 yards/meters of the stables but it was not known yet how long it had been there. He said an investigation found that an attack on a media bus in Deodoro Tuesday night was with rocks and no firearms were involved.
Military presence was beefed up, he said, training by troops using firearms was suspended for the duration of the Games and there would be no more helicopter flights over the area while horses were present.
An extensive photo gallery will be posted later Wednesday night.
Grand Prix Individual Day 1 of 2
|SUPER NOVA II||72.686|
BROCK Allison M.
KIRK THINGGAARD Agnete
|JIMMIE CHOO SEQ||71.771|
MARTIN DOCKX Jose Daniel
CASTILLA RUIZ Claudio
|BOOGIE WOOGIE 6||69.643|
PRADO PASS Giovana
|ZINGARO DE LYW||67.700|
TAVARES DE ALMEIDA Pedro
|XAPARRO DO VOUGA||65.714|
LOSOS DE MUNIZ Yvonne
|FOCO LOCO W||61.300|
Team Day 1 of 2