It was another fantastic day for Dressage in Deodoro.
Session 2 saw a lot of the “top guns” perform between the white fences, including Canada’s own Belinda Trussell and Anton.
Belinda is currently Canada’s top international dressage rider, currently ranked 34th in the world. This is Belinda’s second Olympic appearance (her first being 2004 Athens with Royan II), and the first for her partner Anton. The pair actually had planned for a spot on the London 2012 team, but a paddock injury not only put the brakes on that plan, it also jeopardized Anton’s competitive career. (read a great article on this here)
After Megan’s brilliant ride yesterday, Belinda was undoubtedly found even more inspiration to leave it all in the ring today.
Belinda and Anton were the first horse/rider combination in the ring today, and given the heavy hitters which were to follow later in the day I can’t help but shake the feeling that the judges were a little conservative with their marks so early in the morning.
Anton can be a bit of a ‘hot potato’ in the ring, but that is also what contributes to his flair. I think it’s fair to say that the best performances in the world are when the rider can ride right to the edge, but still keep it all contained. There’s definitely a razor’s edge between brilliance and explosion.
But getting back to Belinda, it was another Canadian demonstration of extremely correct riding, terrific harmony between horse and rider, and a very harmonious test.
The best part is, Belinda came very close to matching her personal best score in the Grand Prix, and there is still way more in the tank to get those higher scores. So now that Belinda is officially qualified to move into tomorrow’s Grand Prix Speciale, I suspect that she will tap into that and build upon Anton’s relaxation & confidence in the ring to really draw that brilliance out of him.
I can’t wait to see it how it unfolds for them tomorrow!
I think it’s safe to say that Canada had some pretty hard-core fans on hand to cheer on Belinda, including her Mom, Dad and sister.
But I don’t think anyone quite matched the excitement intensity of Usha Knabe (Anton’s personal Vet) and Lynsey Rowan (Anton’s supergroom)
I was really hoping that Megan would have just squeaked into the Grand Prix Speciale, but alas it wasn’t meant to me. Although by my calculations, I think Megan only missed out by less than 1%! That is incredibly impressive for your debut Olympics and something that Megan should be incredibly proud.
The Dressage Queens
It is so cool to see a sport where men & women compete on equal footing was totally dominated by women today. The top 5 placings are all rocking the girl power:
- Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro – 85.701
- Kristina Broring-Sprehe & Desperados FRH – 82.257
- Dorothee Schneider & Showtime FRH – 80.986
- Isabell Werth & Weihevoll OLD – 80.643
- Laura Graves & Verdades – 78.071
Both Charlotte and Kristina rides were mind-blowing: elegance, power and just plain old making it look like their horses floated on air all by themselves.
That’s not to say that the others weren’t amazing – there were some other fantastic rides for sure. But those two were just dazzling.
It’s certainly going to make for some very exciting action in the Freestyle for the individual medal. (taking place Monday August 15th)
How high would you like Mom?
It’s also an extremely exciting team competition that has taken shape. While Germany is the current leader, Great Britain are nipping at their heels only 2.043% away. And while the US are currently in 3rd, it’s very tight with Netherlands and Sweden nipping at their heels.
- Germany – 81.295
- Great Britain – 79.252
- United States – 76.971
- Netherlands – 76.043
- Sweden – 75.319
Grand Prix Schedule
Action gets underway tomorrow (August 12) at 10:00am Rio time (9:00am EST).
Belinda and Anton are 3rd in the ring at 10:18am Rio time, so the judges should be nicely warmed up by then.
How does it work for the Team and Individuals?
- The top six teams from the Grand Prix move forward to the Grand Prix Special
- Each team’s top three scores from both tests (Grand Prix and Speciale) are added together to decide the Team medals.
- The top 18 competitors from the Grand Prix Special will go on to compete in the Individual final, the Grand Prix Freestyle, on Monday, August 15
- Only three athletes from each nation are eligible compete in the Freestyle, which will ultimately decide the Olympic Champion.
Follow the Results
CBC’s website is showing that they will be providing a livestream.
In other news…..
The Eventers are busy preparing for the journey back home. It’s always amazing how quickly time goes by during a Games. Which is why it’s so important to soak in as much as you can, because the memories will stay with you for a lifetime.
I’m so glad that the Eventers had a chance to take in some other Olympic sports before hitting the road back home, including Basketball and Rugby.
Colleen Loach (l) and Rebecca Howard (r) share a final toast before boarding the plane home. Did you know that Rebecca is the top placed female Eventer at the Rio Olympics???? Let that one sink in and let’s all raise a glass to toast her brilliance. 🙂
Canadian Eventing Grooms Rock!
Grooms are the hardest working people in the room, hands down. Crazy early mornings, always on top of things during the day, and often long nights. Yet they are such a critical part of each rider’s success, and each horse’s well-being and happiness.
Big shout out to Canada’s Eventing Grooms:
Sandra Andresen (A Little Romance & Jessica Phoenix)
Janie Lussier (Qorry Blue d’Argrouges & Colleen Loach)
Angela Moslon (Riddle Master & Rebecca Howard)
Sophie Richardson (Let it Bee & Kathryn Robinson)