And the Gold Medal Goes to……

The morning started early for me with an information session for photographers; how to access areas for photography around the  eventing dressage arena, where the podium will be placed for the Grand Prix Team Medals later today etc etc. The first ride I focused on was Megan Lane and Zodiac. Zodiac is her reserve horse.  He had a couple of nervous moments and did not quite understand the request to transition from piaffe to passage. But Megan rode calmly and Zodiac is a horse for the future. They scored 60.9

At 11:10 Carl Hester came into the ring, The entire stadium started to cheer and clap…..loudly! Delicato did not seem to mind. Carl had not even gone into the ring and he was being cheered on with huge applause.  Then silence when the bell rang for him to start his test.Delicato went through the test and the scores went up putting Carl into the lead.sept13 (2 of 15)

At the end of the test the whole place went up in cheers and whoops and hollers!  As Carl and Delicato walked past the stands everyone, and I mean EVERYONE stood up cheering. A Standing Ovation! Delicato was moved by this to show us some spectacular passage! This was not just a contingent of British fans this was everyone showing their appreciation and respect for what Carl has achieved in his career and what he has done for the sport of dressage.  The scoreboard showed they had achieved 77.283 and moved into first place.

Soon after Sönke Rothenberger and Cosmo came into the ring. I have been looking forward to seeing this pair ever since Jaimey Irwin ( Canadian Grand Prix rider) told me that of all the horses in the world this is the one he would love to ride. Well, I can see why. This is an exceptionally handsome and talented horse.sept13 (6 of 15)

What a great combination they are. Sönke was so happy at the end of the ride. He took of his top hat and waved to the stands. Cheers from not only the German supporters but  everyone else as well to show appreciation for this ride which put them in first place on the leader board with 81.44! Germany holds on to the top spot!

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Kasey Perry-Glass was the ride I focused on next. I have seen her and Dublet before in Florida and I think they are a lovely team.  As Kasey went through her test I looked over to the coaching crew at the side and I think coaches Robert Dover and Debbie MacDonald rode every movement of the test with Kasey.

At the end of the test Kasey was clearly delighted. Their score…76.739

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By 2:30 pm some of the teams had all four of their riders finished and so the standings moved about. Belgium in 1st, Portugal in 2nd, Germany 3rd, Great Britain 4th and USA 5th. Canada in 12th. But…… the Big Guns had some heavy duty riders and horses still to go… A lot of responsibility weighed on those riders shoulders. For Germany’s Isabel Werth this is not something new, nor it is new for Team GB’s Charlotte Dujardin. For Canada’s  final rider, Brittany Frasier-Beaulieu, this is her first time riding in a World Equestrian Games for Canada.  But she will not be stressing about medals she will just be thinking about her ride and riding her best test with her horse All In. It was a good test and Brittany was pleased with a score of 70.016sept13 (3 of 12)

The next horse and rider I was very interested to see was Charlotte Dujardin and Freestyle. This mare is only 9 years old and relatively new to the Grand Prix level. But apart from a hesitation in the piaffe she did not look it.sept13 (4 of 12)

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They scored 77.764 ( just slightly ahead of Carl which is their usual placing)

Then I watched Edward Gal and Zonic. What an impressive stallion this is.They received 77.189 to come in just behind Charlotte and Carl.

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I am going to go our of order here and show Laura Graves and Verdades who were actually the last to ride. I have great admiration for Laura and her connection and gentle riding with her horse. They scored 81.537 which would boost the placing for Team USA.

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Now I want to tell you about Isabell Werth and Bella Rose. There is a wonderful story behind this relationship. Bella Rose was injured four years ago and the injury was very difficult to heal. But Isabell did not give up on the mare and just this past summer brought her back into competition. This is Isabell’s horse of a lifetime. I have watched and admired this rider for almost two decades. She rarely shows any emotion but with Bella Rose her love for this mare overcame her.I am only going to show one photo of them. I took this in the moments after she finished the test scoring 84.829

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So…First place and the team gold medal to German team . Second and the silver medal to the USA.  Third and bronze to team GB.

What a splendid day of dressage. My favourite moments….

1… Carl Hester’s ride and the audience response to him.

2. Isabell Werth and her brilliant ride on the mare Bella Rose. That ride was perfection; horse and rider working together in seamless union.

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29 Comments Add yours

  1. I bet that was a sight to see, all the fantastic riders and their horses! If I was able to, I would love to have gone and seen everyone! Especially Edward Gal, Laura Graves, and Charlotte Dujardin; they would have been who I looked forward to most, but I would have loved to see everyone, all in all!
    Beautiful pictures, especially the one of Isabell Werth. That picture says it all ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It was a wonderful time. I think Carl Hester is still my absolute favorite. But Isabell and Charlotte and Laura are a very close second.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. anlapf says:

    Very lovely written and great pictures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I appreciate this coming from you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dprastka says:

    I missed commenting on this beautiful post. That photo of Isabell Werth on Bella Rose is priceless, brings tears to your eyes. Melts my heart and I know Bella fills Isabell’s soul! Such WONDERFUL photos! Great read! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Diana. Her relationship with this hor6is very special.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such beautiful photos, especially the one of Isabell and Bella Rose. You’ve captured the moment perfectly. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      That was a photo serendipity. I just caught that moment. When I uploaded it and saw it I was thrilled. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sandyjwhite says:

    I did catch more coverage last night. Horses and riders both incredible…and so are your
    photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Sandy I appreciate your compliment. I am in the media center at WEG and I am surrounded by professional photographers with gigantic camera lenses.I do have a big lens but these are supersized.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sandyjwhite says:

        Yes, I’ve seen those monstrous lenses that seem to stretch from here to the moon!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        My lens is 250-600 but it is not that huge.and it didn’t cost over $10k. But I’m just an amateur so I don’t need the really high quality lenses

        Liked by 1 person

  6. david Brown says:

    Great Pictures especially Isabel you caught the perfect moment . made me cry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      The Isabell photo is a serendipity! Photo of the year so far for me.

      Like

  7. txjessy says:

    How fun, thank you for sharing such an experience! I love the passion on the riders’ faces!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Usually dressage riders are not an emotional bunch but yesterday a few of them broke that norm. It was wonderful and many in the audience were moved as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. geekkat says:

    Beautiful horses and very talented riders!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Emma Cownie says:

    So emotional!!! Wonderful stuff, Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for this wonderful report and your amazing photographs Anne! The image of Isabell Werth and Bella Rose is sooo moving 🙂💖 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lignum Draco says:

    Great photos of the event and fabulous emotional shot of Isabell Werth.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Judy says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the adventure! Wow!

    Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      It’s my pleasure Judy. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. cagedunn says:

    I love the Belle Rose pic – absolute exultation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Indeed and this German rider has been at the top of her sport for decades. Usually she shows no emotion but with this mare and their history together we can see the emotion. It was amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. cagedunn says:

        A beautiful moment.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. What magnificent horses, riders, and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Susie! They are magnificent and I’m glad you liked my photos.

      Like

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