It’s classical music and an exciting result at Greenwich as the team dressage concludes | An Eventful Life

It’s classical music and an exciting result at Greenwich as the team dressage concludes


As the Dressage GP Special continued today, it seemed as if the DJ-selected background music, aforementioned in my posts, had been turned up a notch. I became fascinated with the choices, but was a little disappointed to hear an ABBA medley for Swede Minna Telde. Where’s the originality with that? I am also convinced it is getting louder with each competition…. Many Europeans rode to rather nice classical music, which set the scene for a glass of champagne and a smoked salmon lunch, but added to the rather subdued atmosphere in the Park… just sayin’!!

The leaderboard threw up some interesting positions as the morning progressed, with the judges – as they did for the first Grand Prix – appearing to be quite reticent to award very high marks. Steffen Peters rode an early brilliant test to score 76.254 with Ravel – a great score but beneath his Grand Prix average of  around 80% - another indication of the judges’ careful allocation of marks today!

Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz’s ride Fuego was as expressive as ever, and a real crowd pleaser – this stallion is a pleasure to watch, and we all love a grey! Juan scored 75.476 to put him second place behind Steffen Peters after their tests. The crowd has so far been very supportive of this pair.

Carl Hester, who with Uthopia has never placed lower than third in 28 months of international Grand Prix, was second to ride for Britain, and smashed the 80-mark for the first time today with a staggering 80.571, one place ahead of Germany’s Dorothee Schneider with 77.571 on Diva Royal. And the accompanying background music? A Supertramp / Queen medley. You couldn’t make it up….

Carl wows the crowd.

Anky Van Grunsven with the majestic Salinero, for the Netherlands, showed us how it is technically done, to gain a score of 74.794…. she was clearly thrilled with her horse, pointing at him and patting him as the crowds cheered and clapped - but for me, as a complete enthusiastic amateur, he looked a little robotic, compared to the more fluid Desperados, for Germany. (Incidentally, this horse’s rider, Kristina Sprehe, rode a smart test with some beautiful tempi changes, although her piaffe appeared to be out of time at the end, and Kristina looked disappointed afterwards. The pair scored 76.254.)

The Brits continued to dominate as Laura B for Britain rode a storming test with Mistral Hojris to gain a whopping 77.794 that put her in second place after her ride. Charlotte Dujardin followed suit with Valegro to score 83.286 – these really are marks never seen before at an Olympic games.

Charlotte tops the leaderboard for GB

With Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival for the Netherlands still to go, the top nations were Britain, Germany and The Netherlands. Which way would it go? It appeared, with less than ten riders to go, that the latter two nations were fighting it out for bronze and silver, as Britain looked untouchable – and they were. Team GB took the gold ahead of Germany in second, and the Dutch in third place. This topped off an incredible few days of competition for Britain, who also won Gold in the showjumping yesterday. This has been a refined, yet exciting competition that has witnessed records smashed and reputations enhanced. The finale – the Kur – should be off-the-scale-exciting, as Germany and the Netherlands surely try and claim a gold medal individually. Well done to everyone!