Can there be an upset in Olympic dressage? Popular opinion has the Germans as a shoo-in for the gold. Why is that? Let’s consider this for a minute.
The Germans are at the top of the FEI Individual World Rankings as of 02/08/2016. #1 is Kristina Broring-sprehe and #2 is Dorothee Schneider and #3 is Isabell Werth. Well, that’s three members of the German Team right there. They also have #16 Sonke Rothenbeger who is the newbie on the team. So that could be described as a “powerhouse”.
Not all of the riders on the ranking list have been out there competing. Charlotte Dujardin is not in the top 20. She has only competed on Valegro in one competition in 2016. What about Edward Gal? He had an injury that kept him out of at least one competition. So there are strong team riders whose strength is not reflected in the FEI rankings.
We all know that in golf, tennis, and a number of other sports ranking and past performance is no guarantee of future success. We often hear of the #1 seed at Wimbledon going out before the final and swimmers who won the World Champs in 2015 that do not make the final at the Olympics. But does this happen in dressage? Well, dressage is a judged sport.
Yes , dear readers, that is a whole different ballgame.
The judging. That is the question. At the Olympics there is the Judges Supervisory Panel and that will pick up any errors that a judge or judges might miss and also any discrepancy of scores either too high or too low will be leveled out. What if one of the top ranked riders had an upset? Could that shake things up? Hello….does anyone remember Hong Kong 2008? There were some unexpected things that happened but we know that the result was not seriously affected. Perhaps the JSP that exists now, but did not in 2008, would make a difference in a case like that.
What constitutes an UPSET?
Here’s my idea of an upset:
- The USA winning Team Gold.
- The British winning Team Gold.
- Even the Dutch winning Team Gold would be an upset.
I would love to see the British win the gold and would be cheering if that happened. That is just a personal allegiance and not a reflection on any of the German riders. My hat is off to all of the riders and the Germans are no exception.
Having said that I consider the possibility of an upset to be so unlikely that if it happens I will eat one of Biasini’s horse treat muffins! And…. I will have a video of me eating it and post it on the Horse Addict Leueen Facebook page.
Yup! That’s how far I’ll go.