Mare power in the Individual Medals!

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It was another breezy, hot and humid day in Tryon North Carolina. There were rumors flying: the eventing cross country is going to be made shorter due to the heat and humidity, the Dressage Freestyle on Sunday will be cancelled due to the arrival of Florence’s left over wind and rain or…the Freestyle will be held tomorrow before the Florence’s final furor gets here. I have consulted the oracles and cannot confirm any of these rumors. But I will say that a Freestyle in driving rain and a gale blowing is not ideal. But enough of that …now for some of the great rides.

The Competition for the Individual Medals 

Friday was  the Grand Prix Special and the Individual Medal competition. The first rider I watched was Irish rider Judy Reynolds riding Vancouver K. I had heard from a friend that she was a rider worth seeing. I’m glad I listened to her as it was a lovely ride to watch.sept14 (7 of 10)

And….how nice to see the green tail coat and hat and…best of all….Vancouver K has a shamrock on his bum!!  Maybe that brought some luck and a good score of 73.982sept14 (8 of 10)

The Grand Prix Special is the test ridden by the top 30 riders from the Grand Prix team competition which finished yesterday.

The afternoon brought the riders who had the highest scores the day before in the Grand Prix. So I had the joy of watching Carl Hester and Edward Gal again.

The Serious Medal Hunters

Among the  final riders were the women who were the serious medal hunters; Laura Graves, Charlotte Dujardin and the incomparable Isabell Werth. Laura was the first to go.

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There could be no mistakes. A mistake would cost a medal position.  Laura rode to win! When her score of 81.717 went up at the end of her ride the home crowd cheered . Would it be enough for the gold?

Laura was followed by Sönke Rothenberger. He was going to throw down a challenge for a medal! I watched this ride and thought , for the hundredth time at this championship, what an amazing thing it is to see these riders and horses. They execute the movements that I struggle with and make it look simple. But  I can also see the organization, the focus, the lightning quick adjustments. It is a joy to watch. But back to the medals….Sönke;s score went up….81.277. Laura was still in the lead.

Then Charlotte….and I know she is a competitive rider who rides to win and can do it under pressure.  The Grand Prix Special is a demanding test; on the long side from collection to extension, back to collection all in such a short space. This is how Charlotte did it. Collect, collect, boom…forward,  forward, forward, then back, collect, collect. Seriously impressive. This is a mare working to fulfill her riders wishes.

And last was ….Isabell and the stunning mare, the heroine of the Grand Prix, Bella Rose.

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Once again it was a superb. I have heard that there have been some couch equestrians who have been critical but I just say ‘shame on them’. This is a wonderful picture to see this mare doing such wonderful work for her rider. And she is a chestnut mare as well and they have a reputation for being difficult! Not this mare. She works 150% for her rider.

At one point in the test I looked at the score panel at the side of the ring. These panels show, with a slight delay, the score for each movement. The maximum score per movement is a 10. There are 7 judges. Then there is the trend or running total score shown. A 9.2 means several judges had awarded a 10! When I saw this I knew…...This was the Gold Medal ride unless something went horribly wrong.

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Minutes later….another victory for Isabell and Bella Rose…score…86.246.  The Gold Medal.

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Gold…Isabell Werth and Bella Rose

Silver ….Laura Graves and Verdades

Bronze….Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St. John Freestyle.

No offence to Verdades who is an amazing horse but two of those medals were going around the necks of the riders of mares!!

The medal ceremony was happy and festive. Isabell showed some emotion when the German anthem played and why not? This is such a victory for her and for Bella Rose. World Champions. The medalists also received watches from WEG sponsor Longines.

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Finally the victory round.

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In the evening when I got back to my hotel I received the media email stating the various changes to the schedule that were being made due to the impending weather. Florence has been down graded to a Tropical Storm but is dumping massive quantities of rain and it was headed this way. The Dressage Freestyle was postponed to some time on Monday.

For me it is a long drive back to home and  I had already chosen to take a longer more westerly route to avoid  Florence. I have decided not to remain and will be heading out as soon as I post this.  It has been a wonderful experience to see these horses and riders. And next time someone tells you how difficult mares are….just remember that some of them are the best and hardest working horses of all if they choose to work for you and not against you.

 

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeff Rab says:

    Again, fantastic pictures and love your statement “Vancouver K has a shamrock on his bum!!” I had to stop and look for that!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      That is something I’ve never seen before.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne,
    I hope you had a safe journey home and could avoid the worst of Florence xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes thank you I am home safely. I took a more westerly route to stay away from Florence and got home yesterday afternoon. We are over to London in October. If you are there perhaps we can meet for our usual tea?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you got home safely! It would be lovely to meet up when you’re in London, can’t believe it’s almost been a year already…we are away for school holidays from the 13-28.10 but otherwise I am flexible! Will email you shortly x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A great mare that is your friend is priceless. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I have a gelding now but I believe a mare can be a special gift.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, and your gelding is marvelous. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          HaHA! Yes he is! Thank you.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the photos😍❤. It’s great thing that Florence did not get in the way of a good time. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Florence held off just long enough. Sadly the final element of the dressage the freestyle to music had to be cancelled due to the excessive rain from Florence. It was scheduled for today and could not be postponed to tomorrow(Monday) as the horses from Europe have to fly home. But everyone, horses and riders were all safe which is the most important thing.

      Like

  5. Emma Cownie says:

    Love the shamrocks. Typical, that red heads (or chestnuts in this case) have a reputation for being tricky, it’s just the same for people and spaniels (my younger brother has red hair and my mother used to have a golden cocker spaniel). Glad to see Bella Rose proved them wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      She really did. I think she knows that Isabell knew she could be a star and for four years never up on her. If she had Bella Rose would be out in a paddock somewhere in Germany and not thrilling us with her presence and talent. I have never seen the usually very composed Isabell ao often moved to tears as she was wiith this horse. Wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        The Germans seem to be very good at producing excellent dressage horses.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Yes they do. I have to say Isabell is one of the very best for many years now. But Sonke Rothenberger is only in his mid twenties and he is excellent as well.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Alli Farkas says:

    I shall let my mare know you hold mares in such high esteem!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tina Schell says:

    What a terrible shame that the timing/location was hurricane-centered. Such an import event. Hoping all of the horses and riders got home safely. Your photos are wonderful and those competitors and riders are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      They have closed the show grounds for tomorrow. The dressage horses from Europe are scheduled to fly out on Monday. I think the main danger at the show ground is flooding. But they have extensive plans in place to look after the horses and move them to alternative stabling .

      Like

  8. cagedunn says:

    My brother (working stockman, with feral cattle in the outback) said mares will always work harder for you once you earn their trust and respect, and let them know you trust their instincts. They’ve saved his life more than once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      He was absolutely right! Thanks for sharing this .

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Judy says:

    Brava! Godspeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That Bella Rose is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      She is a stunner and so talented as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. dprastka says:

    EXCELLENT photos! And beautifully written, and am glad everyone so far is safe from Florence. I’ve been following the storm hitting the states, horrible flooding and even some deaths. I’ve been praying for all at WEG would not be in harms way and hope it’s just rain, no flooding or huge danger to anyone or any horses. I’ve been following WEG on Horse radio too, It’s almost as if this WEG is cursed, from the venue not being completed, the endurance was a mess, and now a hurricane/tropical storm bearing down! Holy smokes!! Bless all that are attending, spectators and competitors. A prayer for safety to ALL. Travel safe Anne, thank you for your wonderful blog! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are so welcome Diana. They have cancelled all competition for tomorrow and closed the showground. And the Freestyle competition has been cancelled as the horses from Europe have to go home on Monday. I am in Ohio now on my way home. You are right it was an ill fated WEG in many ways but the dressage was splendid. Thanks for your comment and your prayers for all still at the WEG.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Catherine says:

    Lovely post & beautiful photos! Very proud to see the green coat of Judy in there too & couldn’t agree more about the mares, once ou click with them they give you everything! Safe journey home x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Catherine. I liked the green as well. And yes a mare who will work for you is hard to beat.

      Like

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