Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dressage Final - Tuesday

Dressage Final – Anky wins 3rd consecutive gold!!

Yes, history was made tonight as Anky Van Grunsven of the Netherlands, won her third consecutive individual gold medal in dressage..history was made tonight, as no other equestrian has ever done this (I think I am correct here). Her dressage test in the freestyle competition was exceptional…much more balanced, free of tension, and very difficult. Her music, and her movements, were strong, expressive, and very powerful…just like Salinero always is. They were so much better tonight and they got a super high score of 82.4, which gave them a total 2 round score of 78.68…gold for the Dutch. Germany was silver and bronze, with our own USA Steffan Peters a close fourth behind. Isabell Worth and Satchmo had another blow up in the middle of the test, where he actually backed up in a piaffe spot, and almost spat out the bit. He shook his head and really resisted, just like in the GPS the other night….very strange. However, the judges this time did not really mark her down…only one judge gave a lower mark for submission….strange too…but, Isabell was still not going to beat Anky based on what we saw. Satchmo was indeed brilliant and flowing, but Anky really turned up the heat, and had one of her best rides ever. Even in the victory round, Salinero, was calm (er) than normal and they really shone brightly. The crowd went wild when she finished and when I announced here score of 82.4, the place went mad!! Great ending to a lovely competition…the right person won, with no controversy tonight! Once again, the German national anthem was NOT played for dressage…Netherlands rule the night!

Fun music throughout the night too. The Russian rider used Gone with the Wind, NY, NY, as her music, which seemed very different! Her terrific grey stallion got a bit tense and caused her some trouble , but she still finished with a 72. Emma Hindle from GBR put in a super test, riding to the music of the Bee Gee’s…Sat Night Fever and all..and it was really well received by the crowd. Much cheering throughout the night….

Kyra Kirkland used music from Cabaret, including the opening song, with Joel Grey singing…terrific entrance for the 6 time Olympian. Heike Kemmer from Germany, who was challenging our own Steffan for the bronze put in a hell of a test , riding to a Beach Boys medley. She got a 71.98 and a big send off from the fans..they loved the music. Courtney King Dye on Mythilus for USA put in a strong effort and it was very clean, but the music seemed rather tame, compared to the others. I had seen this piece back during the selection trials, and it was good…and certainly a change from her musical tour of Broadway tunes with here other GP horse, Idocus, but here, her more classical music did not really have the punch compared to the others. I am sure she will find new music for the wonderful horse, as he is going to be around for quite awhile for Team USA.

Steffan and Ravel were stars…I mean homerun out of the park stars. I have seen this horse three times since the March qualifier in San Diego at Dressage Affair, and have seen them, climb up the ladder so quickly and brilliantly, that it is truly amazing. He has only been with this horse for under a year, and has taken him to such a level, that we can only wait until they are on the medal podium for USA…..his test was strong, easy to watch, full of expression, technically great, and flowed throughout. With a score of 76.5, just out of the bronze, we have to be really proud of their accomplishments……it was a joy to watch.

Ashley and Pop Art went early in the draw and finished with a 71.45, a regular score for this partnership again. To the music of Disney’s Epcot Fireworks, they put in a lovely ride, but were not rewarded for their much improved harmony and steadiness. I have always loved this piece and feel they deserved better.

And so ends my Olympic announcing, as Nick will do the final jumping on Thurs. I will have more on my stay here , but tonight I have to end this session. Charles Mann took the fun pic of me with the “Olympic Mic Torch” and asked me to include his photo email link, which you must ALL GO TO…..I promised him. Thanks everyone, and I will see you tomorrow, after our day off (after 13 days)…see you after the beer fest….


LINK: Charles Mann….cmannphoto.com/hongkong.htm

Charles has wonderful images and photos…check it out!!!!


At Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 3:21:00 PM EDT , Blogger Cookie said...

Thank goodness for you........the BBC in their wisdom decided to show the dressage live........every other day the equestrian events have come on later than real time. I got to see Stefan and Anky and nothing else. Absolutely blown away by Stefan, such a joy to watch and a huge degree of difficulty. A very happy and beautiful horse ridden superbly.
I am probably the only person in the world who finds that music of Anky's boring. Should probably discuss her in private.
I am so glad Emma went well, she aparently had a tumour removed eight weeks ago and only started riding again four weeks ago.
Well have a lovely break and thank you thank you so much for bringing the Olympics to life, it has been really fantastic.

At Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 4:41:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping me up to date on all of the equestrian goings on. Your comments are so full of detail and description. It has made me feel as if I were there!! I will now go into withdrawals without my daily blog!!! Rest up and thank you so much. I am so happy for Stefan and Courtney. They will certainly get another chance down the road......a mc

At Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 9:44:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To quote you:
"Isabell Worth and Satchmo had another blow up in the middle of the test, where he actually backed up in a piaffe spot, and almost spat out the bit. He shook his head and really resisted, just like in the GPS the other night….very strange. However, the judges this time did not really mark her down…only one judge gave a lower mark for submission….strange too…but, Isabell was still not going to beat Anky based on what we saw."

"strange" was used twice and I think appropriately. It was more than strange considering the extreme nature of the problem she and her horse had. I was watching live on-line and was amazed that she got the marks she did. In my mind, it kind of says...no matter what the German's do, the judges will still give them high marks...
What would it take for the judges to not automatically put the Germans in position for a medal? The US should have had at least the Bronze. This reminds me of the Ice Dancing situation a few years back.

At Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 9:51:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hearing your voice announce the results, etc. as if I were sitting in my seat at the Devon Horse Show was indeed strange....such a professional approach to Dressage.

At Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 9:56:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father and I are fortunate enough to have watched Steffen's test last night (and Saturday), here in Sha Tin. The performance was breath-taking and I was blown away that he did not medal. What a beautiful combination of horse and rider. Brian it has been exciting listening to you and I look forward to tomorrow.

At Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 11:23:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Luise and I have really been enjoying your reports! Your doing an excellent job!!!

The Batemans

At Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 11:58:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

B - congrats on a fabulous job! We, too, could hear you in the background - wanted those NBC guys to stop talking so we could hear more of you! We've been running a notice in St. Peter's bulletin encouraging people to check out your blog if they wanted the latest scoop - so proud of our "Olympic connection." Tsing Tao's on the Capitol Hill gang when you get back!!!

At Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 8:37:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was excited to find that Dressage competition were on Dish network in primetime. I taped(tvoed)all the competition and was really looking forward to the musical freestyles. Very disappointed that Oxygen would not play through Steffen Peters ride and did not see all the competitors rides as expected. why so much Beach volleyball!!! Come on Oxygen get with the program!

At Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 10:37:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dad,

I love the pic of you and your mic.



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