NEWS > Dressage
Posted by Karen Lever on 27/08/2014.
Mary Hanna - Sancette
Franz Venhaus

WEGy tales from Normandy

Grand Prix Competition

Day 2 Dressage

Clear blue skies and slightly warmer morning for the second day of Grand Prix competition at the WEG in Caen.

The surface had drained and it was clear some work was done overnight to restore the surface from the continual rain on Monday.  Some riders were not too happy about surface complaining it was better suited to jumping… 

The day started on a high with an impressive test from Isabell Werth on Bella Rose 2 taking them into the lead with a score of 81.5%

The first rider for Australia was Kristy Oatley on Ronan, a stunning horse with loads of presence. The test started out really well with some high scores and then Ronan shied at one of the cameras and the horse did not regain composure and the end result (63.77) was not what Kristy had planned.

Mary Hanna and Sancette were the last Australian combination to take part in the Grand Prix.  Mary did a super job achieving the highest score of the Australian Team of 70.929 ahead of Lyndal with 70.600.  Mary goes forward to the Grand Prix Special and unfortunately Lyndal just misses out. 

Mary's score confirmed as 70.929 makes this an Aussie record at a WEG. The previous best score for AUS was Brett Parbery on Caroline Lieutenants Victory Salute in Kentucky who achieved 70.085% in the Grand Prix. Both Lyndal and Mary have now surpassed this score in The Grand Prix. Congratulations

One of the highlights for me was seeing Valegro “in the flesh”. What a ride from Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, clear winners with 85.214. Simply the best and beautiful to watch. 

The seating stands were slightly fuller at times today but around 50% are empty which is not what I expected.  The stadium I believe takes 20,000 and come Freestyle on Friday we hope for a full house.

Whoever had the job of organizing the background music for each of the riders is very clever. Each test has a slightly different theme and some music reflects the origin of the rider (Abba for Sweden etc).  The music has been designed to fit in with the various movements of the test. 

For some reason, something is lacking here at these Games and the atmosphere is a little flat.  Perhaps this will come but having different venues spread out and trade village separate is one of the factors.  I am sure it will lift once we get to the Freestyle.

Team Results Gold:  Germany - 241.700 Silver: Great Britain - 231.343  Bronze: Netherlands – 227.400 Australia finished in 10th position (210.829) out of 24 Teams.

Placings 1: Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) Valegro - 85.271% 2. Isabell Werth (GER) Bella Rose 2 - 81.529% 3. Helen Langehahenberg (GER) Damon Hill – 81.357% The Grand Prix Special takes place tomorrow where another set of Medals are awarded.

Day 1 dressage - Monday 25 August

All set for the first horse, arena looks great, green and white striped judges boxes create a real french flavour to the look.

Over 100 horses in the Grand Prix staged over two days.  The Team Medal is going to be interesting and harder to predict given the withdrawal of Totilas and Mathias Rath (GER) and Edward Gal on Glocks Undercover (NED). 

Light rain was falling when competition started. It cleared for most of the competitors in the morning session but started again before the lunch break.

The first of the Australian riders to enter the arena was Maree Tomkinson and Diamantina 4.  All the Aussies in the stadium were getting very concerned when Maree did not appear.  Apparently Diamantina did not like the look of the entry chute and Maree had to dismount and lead her in and re-mount at the end of the chute.  The bell was rung before she appeared. Maree maintained her composure and focus and pulled of a blinder of a test with a fabulous opening score of 69.300% for Australia. Maree’s face said it all when shown on the big screen - she was thrilled and so she should be.

Lyndal Oatley and Sandro Boy were the second combination to ride on the first day and they did not disappoint posting another impressive score for Australia of 70.600%.  The rain and wet conditions did not dampen their spirits.  

The Aussies in the stadium were only outdone by the French in the show of their appreciation of their riders. 

This would be the “best ever” start for Australia at a Games – so the pressure will be on Kristy and Mary tomorrow. 

Germany takes the lead after day one with Kristina Sprehe in the lead with 78.814%, followed by Hans Peter Minderhoud (Netherlands) on Glock’s Johnson TN – 74.357% just ahead of Carl Hester (Great Britain) on Nip Tuck on 74.186%.

Some great horses today and tomorrow promises to be a super day.

Hopefully the rain may ease overnight and the conditions are a little better for all.


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