Playing your cards close to your chest does not mean you are cheating or being deceptive. You are just not putting it all out there for the world to see. How am I applying this to the lead up to the World Equestrian Games (WEG)? The cards are the combinations of horses and riders that will be competing. Soon the teams will all be announced and we will know which riders and horses are going. Even now we can have a pretty good idea of who will be on some of the teams. The top riders from Germany, Netherlands, USA and Great Britain are familiar to anyone who is a dressage observer. We also know their horses. Some riders, such as Germanys’ Isabel Werth have more than one horse to choose from. Others have only one.
What is interesting about this WEG is that we have seen very little of the horses and riders competing against each other. Last week at Aachen, the riders from the USA competed on the horses they will ride in Tryon at WEG. But Isabel Werth did not ride her number one horse. She rode another of her top horses. Also, in the CDI4* that took place alongside the Nations Cup competition, she rode her personal favourite Bella Rose who has returned after a long recovery from injury. Rumor has it that she has asked to have Bella Rose considered for the German team at WEG.
The British did not compete at Aachen. Neither did the Dutch. They have competed in their own national championships. We know that Charlotte Dujardin has a new horse that has scored 80% and Carl Hester has a new horse that has been right behind Charlotte’s.
But how will the British horses do against the Germans? Or the Dutch? Or the Americans? It will not be until they actually go into the ring at Tryon that we will know.
That’s the fun of it really!