Dressage Grand Prix day 2 - part 1 - musicality rules in the arena | An Eventful Life

Dressage Grand Prix day 2 - part 1 - musicality rules in the arena

Edward Gal riding Undercover for the Netherlands defied the odds at the dressage Grand Prix at Greenwich today, with a new partnership less than a year old; he showcased a classy and measured test, with just a few obvious errors such as rushed transitions. Undercover is just 11 and seemed quite exuberant and – well, bouncy! – showing real potential for some even more extravagant paces in a few years’ time. His fabulous score of 75.289 put Edward into joint fifth. “This horse is getting better and better all of the time,” Edward said afterwards.

Edward Gal at Greenwich.

With the weather being mischievous, the rain fell after Edward took his test, prompting the crowd to dive, you guessed it, undercover.

There have, sadly, been mutterings at Greenwich regarding Swedish dressage rider Patrick Kittel, who is accused of warming up his horse Scandic in what appeared to be a rollkur position yesterday. The FEI reassured dressage fans that stewards were "monitoring" training sessions — and that single photos could be “misleading”. He is still to go today – let’s hope the crowd doesn’t boo him…. The Brits aren’t keen on rollkur and most see it as being inexcusable, although of course there are always two sides to every argument.

On other matters… I have had a revelation today. Has anyone noticed during the dressage performances the subtle background music? Richard Davison for the UK rode to James Bond instrumentals, while American Adrienne Lyle rode to a ‘Flashdance’ medley. It turns out there’s someone whose job it is to twiddle the buttons and choose music with a relevant bpm that suits the nations competing; presumably to highlight the musicality of the paces and help with a more emotional atmosphere. You could have some real fun with this, couldn’t you... would either of the Oatleys fancy riding to some Keith Urban or Rolf Harris music? Or would Dorothee Schneider passage to some Falco? No? Maybe it is best to leave it to the DJ….

Back to the action, and Australia’s Mary Hanna is still to come, riding Sancette… watch this space.