Apparently I can’t let this one go. It’s been on my mind since last night. I understand that judging is not the easiest job to do. And doing it at an event as big as the Olympics must be quite stressful as you are putting your neck on the line for all the world to see. Then again, I do have the expectation that if you’re an FEI O level judge, that you’ve got the necessary training and skills to be able to do the job.
I’ve already commented on Gotthilf Riexinger antics with bell ringing abilities (or lack thereof).Now I’m looking at the individual score breakdowns from the Freestyle and am having a real hard time understanding the logic, even though I am honestly trying very hard. You can see the scores by clicking here. Every judge had Steffen Peters and Ravel placed 3rd except for the German judge. He had Ravel in 8th place. Wow – I just can’t understand how that is possible. I was there watching all of the rides, and Ravel’s freestyle was definitely not an 8th place ride. Sure he had a couple of bobbles, but nothing too serious and the quality & flow was just phenomenal. Not to mention the interpretation of the music! It had all the ingredients there. Instead, Riexinger had Great Britain’s Emma Hindle and Lancet placed third. Don’t get me wrong, it was a cute freestyle – but no comparison to Steffen and Ravel. It seems that Riexinger doesn’t like Russia either as he had the passage/piaffe machine Balagur in 12th position. That one makes me scratch my head as well.
Interesting that Riexinger was the only judge to be on the panel for all 3 dressage classes. If nothing else, he is consistent as his judging defied logic each day. It’s really too bad that dressage doesn’t follow other subjective sports like synchronized swimming and figure skating where the high and low scores are removed. If that had happened, I think you would get a much more true ranking list….and Steffen would have been on the podium. Maybe the FEI Dressage Committee, when they are looking at ways to improve the sport, should throw that topic onto the discussion table. Global Dressage Forum anyone?