Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dressage Team final - night


Just by that header, you can imagine it was not a great night for our dressage squad….we finished in fourth just out of the medals. Courtney from yesterday with a 70.4 and Steffen with his 70.00 could not bring up the total enough to beat the Danish squad. Poor Debbie and our wonderful mare Brentina, had a rough day and only scored, I hate to say, 63.00….something was truly wrong with her tonight. Again, I did not get to talk to any of our team or staff, but I know they are really disappointed. It is so tough in this format when you have no drop score (all three scores count now)…so that when one of the team has a bad day, you cannot make up with another 3rd score. Too bad, because this is Brentina’s last go round…she is going to be retired. I know Debbie feels really down and sad, so let it pass before you ask any questions on her blog, etc. Steffen (last to go) had a splendid test and he and Ravel are going to be our new shining stars of the world, along with (the NEWLY crowned) VETERAN Olympic rider, Courtney King Dye!! How about that title…she has elevated herself to the ranks of the “top in the world” this week…no doubt that she is here , and here to stay. Lovely lady, lovely rider, lovely experience…She is a real player now….watch out!

The Germans are on a roll as they won the gold, thanks to Satchmo and Isabell
Worth , who blew the crowd and competition away. This horse is beyond wonderful..they were almost flawless…only a few mistakes cost her a higher score..but she beat out Salinero and Anky ( 76.417 to 74.75)…the battle at the Bighorn is coming up starting on Sat night…Gp special (50%) and then on Tuesday the Freestyle (50%)..these two are on a path to destiny…..25 riders move on, but the battle will be between these two juggernauts. Great dressage and competition. The Netherlands won the silver on the back of Anky and Salinero. This pair had a good solid test, but having seen him in better form, it was not the best outing. A little tight in the beginning, a loss of straightness in the half pass tour, and some, inconsistent, piaffe, I think, cost them better marks. He was very strong in the bridle and of course, Anky rode beautifully. Satchmo was better tho…he came out with some kind of trot work, whew!!, and started out in the mid 80’s after the first 4 movements. We were so blown away with the power and control and collection. It is some kind of wonderful to be this close to these horses and riders……they are truly in a class by themselves. The Danish team with Andreas Helgstrand with Don Schufro (68.8) , Nathalie Wittgenstein on Digby (70.4) and Anne Von Olst on Clearwater 67.35, earned the bronze outright and were very elated with the medals..They deserved it, for their strong and solid tests,,,all three.

Another weird result too… the Portugese rider, Miguel Duarte, riding the Luisitana mare, Oxalis, had to retire in the middle of the test, as she resisted, reared up and said “I;m done here!” I don’t know whether it is an Olympic first, but it was really strange, and sad, to see a rider have to leave, because his horse shut down on him. It didn’t look like any sort of medical or injury problem…horses I guess…….

And finally, another US Olympic participant stumbled at his first Olympic Games….ME! After a week of announcing and crazy schedules, etc. I made an Olympic mistake on the mic..I introduced the wrong rider!! Yep….dumb play offense…20 yrs….I got caught up in a scoring problem with my computer, looked up to see the French rider about to enter (instead of taking a tour around the arena before starting –which really threw me – I looked down on my start list and introduced her as the next German rider ( Nadine Cappellmann)….she, Julia Chevanne, for France was already into her test when the announcing team told me what I had done. Our Chinese announce had done her correctly (thank God) and I decided not to correct the error while Julia was riding. She did not have a very good test either, and that made it (for me) worse. I apologized over the PA to her and the French team when she was done, as I correctly introduced her when she was finished, but the damage was done! Needless to say, I was stunned, upset, and felt really bad. I was hoping for a mistake free Games…..I asked the TD whether or not I should write an apology to the rider, but Mariette told me to find the coach sometime and apologize that way.. I will be on that tomorrow. I started great, had the blunder in the middle, and finished strong again. Let’s hope it goes away….however, all of the other top announcers (mostly Brits) started ribbing me (and rightly so….) but I know this won’t be the end of it! Goes with the turf, I guess……I certainly will feel better about the whole thing….later. I had to tell you guys……we all stumble sometimes…even at the Olympics. I will have my “A” game on , from here on out, I promise you.

Well another medicinal Tsing Tao should help off to bed to replay my fumble….jumping start tomorrow night! The big guns are coming to play…



At Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 2:54:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,
Thanks for the great commentary, you've been by far the fastest & best at getting results back to us, but having worked with you for many years at Devon & Gladstone (tall redhead, always ring/warm-up stewarding), I would have expected nothing less.
Please tell Debbie, Courtney, & Steffen we're so proud of all three,we've been riding every stride with them & our hearts are breaking for Debbie, what a great job she did just to get through that, she needs to know she & "Mamma" will still forever be American dressage icons.

At Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 5:01:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No worries about your little mistake with the wrong rider. Just think of it as a missed 3 footer for the match....

Great reading your commentary. It really brings it home.


At Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 6:26:00 PM EDT , Blogger Cookie said...

Hi Brian
As you are ever the professional, of course you are going to beat yourself up about a mistake. Those that admire you and love you know how great you are but no-one is perfect and none of us are going to love you less for it. The rider got her her ride at the olympics and is in the programme (if there is one)and doubtless the video, she will be fine.
I remember you coming to Pebble Beach in 1987 and making my show a huge success, and you are still doing it in 2008, you are the best, don't forget that.
I look forward to 2009 when you will make our show wonderful again. Don't lose any sleep you are human and no baby died.!!!
A big hug

At Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 9:03:00 PM EDT , Blogger Sallyo said...

it is ok to make a mistake nobody is perfect. I thought I made a mistake once but I was wrong

Thanks for all the great info


At Friday, August 15, 2008 at 7:05:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photos of the sidelines. Always just out of view. Nice to see a little of the atmosphere that never makes it on camera.

At Friday, August 15, 2008 at 8:37:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Brian, you didn't think cuz you were good enough to go to the Olympics meant you were perfect. It's the place for the best in their field to do their best on any day, you are seeing & reporting to us those efforts... none of them perfect.

Think perhaps you are dehydrated & need electrolyte replacement therapy (read beer & citrus). Take Dr.Pats advice & hydrate.

Responding to someone's question earlier, the Live Commentary on the stream is Imtaz Aneese - an event rider(riding for India) who's been living & competing from the Atlanta for the past 10 yrs.

Keep the comments coming.

At Friday, August 15, 2008 at 10:14:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

curiuos to here what Joe and Butch have to say.Rolex party my be interesting. Dale

At Friday, August 15, 2008 at 10:53:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't get to see Debbie's ride. What happened? Is there a video available anywhere? I just love Debbie and Brentina and I'll always be proud of them no matter what happened. I'm just curious to see what everyone is talking about.

At Friday, August 15, 2008 at 10:53:00 PM EDT , Blogger Unknown said...


i've been at many shows where you were the announcer and i think you're great. i've always enjoyed your "mounted" dressage demonstration. i know for you the mistake you made must be a hard pill to swallow, being the professional you are, but don't sweat it. it happens to the best of us.



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