Up early for the CBC live stream of the first day of the Grand Prix. Today there were three groups of 9 or 10 horse rider combinations. They appeared according to their FEI world ranking. I have to admit that I did not see the first group and the first rider in Group B was none other than Edward Gal and Total US. Total is a Totilas offspring and certainly resembles his sire in movement and appearance. All of my photos were taken of the screen of my pc. So not the best quality but at least in this one you can see the new era of ORANGE tailcoat . I like it ! They scored a 78.649.
When you see the top riders in the world come in and execute the Grand Prix test it is easy to get blasé about it. They are all doing such a good job of these difficult movements. The first Canadian rider in was Chris von Martels. He scored a 68.059. He may have hoped for a higher score but dressage is a judged sport and now he is an Olympian . No one can take that away from him.
Here is the arena. The horses and riders have had opportunities to ride in the arena with everything just as it will be on the competition day. Even the camera people were there .But for some horses there was still something that looked not right. Henri Rouste’s horse Kontesto had a leap and spin at something. His rider did well to get his focus back but the horse was tight and nervous for the rest of the test. So sadly Henri’s Olympic dreams were over.
The highest score in Group B was Danish rider Catherine Dufour and Bohemian. They had a lovely ride for a score of 81.056. Then came Group C with one of my favorite riders: Carl Hester. The woman commentator was also a fan of Carl I think. She said during his test that she had one word for his test: “EASE” . I could not agree more. He and his horse were at ease with all the difficult movements. The scored a 75.497. I would have given the a higher score but I am not a qualified judge. Here he is with his horse En Vogue smiling as he leaves the arena.
Group C had many excellent riders and I was impressed with Portuguese horse and rider Rodrigo Torres and Fogoso. I was happy the judges gave them a score of 72.624.In the past dressage judges have not rewarded the work of these types of horses. But his one did such a good job he and he deserved his score.
Fogoso was followed by Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo from the USA. She had a good ride and scored 78.416.
The last rider was from Germany and expectations were high when she and her horse entered the arena. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Dalera had an excellent test. It is such a treat to see a rider perform all these extremely difficult movements and combinations and look like they are doing it easily and with enjoyment. They scored 84.379
Tomorrow the Grand Prix continues. I will be up early again to watch. The remaining two Canadian riders Lindsay Kellock and Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu will be riding. And the last to ride will be the # 1 ranked rider in the world Isabelle Werth. And not to be forgotten there is also Charlotte Dujardin and her smaller chestnut horse Gio known to his friends as Pumpkin!
I’ll be back tomorrow.