Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 8 GP Dressage opening

Day 8 – Dressage Day1

Our GP riders, who have been here for almost 10 days, have finally started. The first half went tonight, and the second part of the draw tomorrow. Remember, that there are only 3 riders now in the Olympic format…so no drop score if anyone has any problems. Very tough!! Courtney was the first USA rider and boy did she put in one super test. Her first Games and she gets a 70.458!! Solo home run (I use this a lot I know…)! She rode about ½ thru the evening, which was calm, clear and not too hot. Humid, yes, but without the sun, the horses do much better. Good thing too, because it was in the 90’s today during the day and full sunshine. That would have been a lot different. Having the competition at night is a terrific thing – the arena looks wonderful, with all the decorations and color. Lots of halftime entertainment too! And, get this , I convinced them for me to do an “ in the arena/on the jumbo-tron’ description of the test , using tonight’s top rides for tomorrow night! How about that? I only wish Sydney had been given permission to participate….if I had him here, I would be riding in my own Olympics!! Anyway, should be fun….David and I did a great stand up on camera for the big screen , last night before the final jumping, and the crowd loved it! The boys from Redland Hunt Pony Club – the O’Connor bros !!!

Back to the GP…leading at the moment is Heike Kemmer on Bonaparte…lovely smooth, and a very strong test for Germany. Great piaffe and passge…this horse’s strong suit. She is on a 72.250, with a big surprise, Emma Hindle on Lancet, from England, in second. I have heard about this pair, but have never seen them. Let me tell you, they had a terrific test. Lovely half pass work, great changes, and very expressive. Who’d have thunk? She snuck up and stole second place from Courtney and Imke S. Bartels from Holland. Her horse , Sunrise, a veteran medalist, were having a magnificent test, when, during the half pass, she got her tongue over the bit, and hung it out for all to see!! Looked like she was commenting on the judging (which was very, very good)! She finally sucked that ugly thing back in her mouth and finished a super piaffe / passage tour at the end. We have seen this horse before performing strong tests, and she did not fail. So, after some teams have finished with two, the Netherlands are leading. Most of the other big guns go tomorrow, including Debbie and Steffan. Should be a shoot out…does Anky have Salinero ready…I would think so. Ashley and Jacquie both go tomorrow for Canada – unfortunately Leslie Reed had a tough time with her horse and could only get a 59.75…he never calmed down and disappointed her , I know.

Another fun story here…today one of the Brazilian riders made history, as the youngest rider to ever compete in an equestrian competition….she is just 16 yrs old. And, the veteran rider for Japan, is the oldest competitor in the whole 2008 Games. He first rode for Japan, as a jumper rider, in the 1960 Games. Fun stuff…..

Now back to the Phillip Dutton eventing fiasco from yesterday….Jim Wolf, from the USET Foundation came out with a statement today, which paraphrased here, said that Phillip was never notified about this new rule, that the National Federation was not properly notified of this new change, and that there was some confusion about the implementation of this new change. Jim said he , himself, was to blame for not finding out more about this issue . It is not for me to decide in this personal blog, but I hope things work out better in the future about these FEI/USEF rule changes, so someone like Phillip, who was totally out of the loop on this, does not get penalized. We all learn from mistakes and move on.

Well folks, more from the arena tomorrow..Days are a lot different now, with no more double shifts, let me tell you. The international flavor of this event continues to shine each day…you hear many languages all day long. Special hello to Mr. Ian O’Connor (and Suz)– miss you buddy and Mom !!!

Ciao, Brian

6 Comments:

At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 2:46:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!! Great coverage as usual. It is great to hear about the competition so quickly. I look forward to tomorrow's blog. Oh yeah I am one of the anonymous comments.

andrea mc

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 3:46:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

On yeah, I forgot to ask earlier, are they still using the big screen at the end of the arena that was making the horses nervous?? Was that part of Leslie Reid's horse's issue in her test?

a mc

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 5:06:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Job Brian, as usual!!
I am now forwarding this onto about 30 other people, so they can enjoy all this inside scoop too.
I can hear your voice in the background and makes me feel like it is real!! So proud of Gina nd Courtney, GO Debbie and Steffan!!
"Bubbles" in PA

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 9:56:00 PM EDT , Blogger brian said...

Andrea: The screen is on and doesn't seem to be affecting anyone yet. The main problem is there is a camera right next to the judges booth and it is remotely activated...that caused more problems for the riders. I think. As for Orion, he never really settled when he came in...

Bubbles - great to hear from you. Enjoy.

 
At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 11:03:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Across the Pond said...

So great to hear you in the background on the live webcasts - did miss you on the stadium. The Cross country camera work was excellent - I wanted to know who was typing the commentary - could not be located on the website. As a 'retired' eventer who appreciates the hard work of everyone (rider, horse and those who spin the plates!) Thanks for the great access...

 
At Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 11:26:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Pat said...

Great going Brian. Any possibility of getting a copy of you & GMB on the jumbo-tron? Would make a great post on the PC web site & the Federataion site not to mention fodder for O'Connor Fest. Really enjoying your coverage, the great streaming & your inside comments. Enjoy
Pat

 

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