Today was the completion of the Team Competition for medals, and the final qualification for those moving into the Grand Prix Freestyle individual round.
Belinda and Anton were 3rd to go in the ring, and they put in another very solid and steady test.
There was some weird, and very sudden feedback, from the sound systems that happened early on which the crowd then reacted to. But if Belinda and Anton heard it (I don’t see how they couldn’t!), they didn’t show it. Not even a change in their rhythm.
The judges rewarded their efforts with 72.325, which is a few percentage points down from their personal best (75.529%). This placed them 27th in the field of 31 starters.
Belinda’s family showing their proud support.
I think it’s fair to say that Belinda is very happy with her second Olympic experience!
Megan and Belinda did an amazingly professional job representing the maple leaf at these Olympics, and I think they both really made an impression on judges and other countries of the quality of riding in Canada.
Here’s to Canada getting a FULL team to Tokyo 2020, and thank you Megan and Belinda for giving us all someone for whom to cheer wildly.
Germany had a pretty solid lock on the #1 spot going into the Speciale, so it was no surprise that they ended up as the Team Gold medalists. Having said that, I don’t think anyone expected dressage great Isabell Werth to take the win in the Speciale, scoring 83.711%.
This is Isabell’s sixth Olympic gold medal, her first two collected in Barcelona (ESP) in 1992 where she claimed team gold and individual silver. She has now matched the record set by the Anky van Grunsven with nine Olympic medals in total. If she picks up another on Monday (for the Freestyle) she will hold a whole new record.
Team Great Britain – Silver Medalists!
Unfortunately mistakes in their test meant that Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro finished second, but still with a strong score of 82.983%.
What’s amazing is that Charlotte, Dorothee Schneider (GER) and Kristina Broring-Sprehe were all within 1.5% percent of another, which should make for an extremely exciting Grand Prix Freestyle.
Team USA – Bronze Medalists!
The USA have really been in a serious rebuilding phase over the past few years, led by ultimate cheerleader Robert Dover and super coach Debbie McDonald. With multiple Olympics and medals between them, and their very positive yet unrelenting work ethics, it’s not surprising that they have made significant changes to the US program that has resulted in a Team Bronze medal – edging out Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden.
This is the first Olympic dressage team medal for the USA since Athens 2004, where they won bronze. Robert Dover (Kennedy) and Debbie McDonald (Brentina) were on that 2004 team, along with Gunter Seidel (Aragon) and Lisa Wilcox (Relevant).
Ride of the day has to go to Laura Graves, who put in the ride of her life and broke into the 80% club for the first time with 80.644%. This duo just keep getting better and better, so it will be exciting to see what happens in the Freestyle for the individual medal race.
Laura’s teammates literally running to congratulate her after her amazing performance.
On to the Freestyle and Individual Medal Round
So now Dressage takes a bit of a break until August 15th, when the top 18 combinations will ride for individual glory. Note – only a max of 3 riders from the same country can move forward, which means that Germany’s Sonke Rothenberger will be cheering on from the stands.
It will also feel weird not to see Edward Gal in the Freestyle. He missed out qualifying by a mere .169%.
However there are 3 Americans: Laura Graves, Steffen Peters and Allison Brock all made the cut.
Riding times, when available, will be posted here.
We should be in for a real treat!
No Pokemons today!
Freestyle up next!