And so it begins: The Grand Prix

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.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. kiangablog says:

    How good is this competition Anne? I concur with many of the comments and observations you have made in your post. I also loved the Portuguese horse – stunning and such strength. Loved watching Carl Hester and his mount – sublime viewing!
    Australia is only an hour behind Toyoko so I can watch earlier in the evening unlike yourself but it is well worth the effort to watch live.
    Tonight Australia’s Kelly Layne (who is a connection through my extended family) is competing. Sadly the last Olympics she had to redraw because her horse was not able to compete. I haven’t met her but wish her well in this bid.
    I will also be watching the eventing with great interest. I use to go to pony club with Andrew Hoy and grew up in the same town. It has been wonderful to watch his career over many years and to be competing at his 8th games is impressive.
    But I think all our riders and their horses deserve recognition for their efforts to actually make it to Toyoko in what has been a challenging period throughout the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I have just seen Kelly Lanes ride. So unfortunate that she had that resistance and rearing in the piaffe. She was lucky to get a 58. They could have deducted more marks for rearing .That is considered to be a serious lack of submission . So unfortunate to have that happen. I loved how she smiled and just shook her head at the end. I am having to watch the French chanel this morning as it is not on the English CBC. The commentator referred to the rearing as a movement from the Haute Ecole ( The Vienna riding school where they do the “airs above the ground” !!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kiangablog says:

        Thank you so much for your coverage of the dressage Anne. I have been to the Vienna riding school so I know just what she means! There was a great article in the English equestrian magazine describing Kelly’s performance. Here’s the link if you missed it.
        https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/olympic-dressage-rider-kelly-layne-754630

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Vienna is amazing to see I think. I have seen the morning work there but not a performance. Thanks for the link to the Horse and hound article.

          Like

          1. kiangablog says:

            No worries Anne. I have my fingers crossed for Andrew Hoy tomorrow morning.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. anne leueen says:

            I have a friend who is volunteering at Tokyo and her assignment is in the control tower for thr cross country. She posted photos of all the Fences on Facebook. Breathtaking. Andrew Hoy is such a skilled rider I am wishing them all well and also safe rides.

            Like

          3. kiangablog says:

            Thank you Ann. I was really pleased with Andrew’s cross country performance this morning. Despite being put on hold, his performance was seamless. Let’s see how Australia does in the showjumping tomorrow night. The Brits are impressive.

            I would love to see those photos of the fences.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. anne leueen says:

            I will see if I can find my friends Facebook post and then will leave you a link here.

            Like

          5. kiangablog says:

            That is awesome, many thanks Anne. Really interesting to get that close up perspective. It is also interesting to note that when Toyoko last hosted the games in the 50s, the cross country course was two hours away from the capital! Impressive setup. Bring on the show jumping now!

            Liked by 1 person

          6. anne leueen says:

            I’m glad you enjoyed seeing thr XC jumps.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you are enjoying the Olympics 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes indeed. thanks Susie!

      Liked by 1 person

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