FEI Dressage

Warming up in the fog

Warming up in the fog

It was still dark when the volunteers arrived at 7 a.m. this morning. There was a veil of fog over the dressage ring, and so much dew on the grass of the polo field that it shimmered as the sun burned through. Many competitors mentioned that warming up and driving on the plush polo fields was unbelieveable.
The Single Horses went first, and although the judging was tough, it was consistent throughout the day. Fritz Grupe is leading the single horse class. Shelly Temple drove a beautiful test – everyone said so, although that was one of the few I managed to miss. Shelly is leading the Single Pony Class. Tracey Morgan is ahead in the pair pony class, and Lisa Stroud is ahead in the four-in-hand pony class.
The crowd stood as Larry Poulin finished his final dressage test with Natasha Grigg’s beautiful pair. They earned the best score of the day from the five judges – 37.50. He said he was very happy to have earned the best score that pair has received on his final drive. Larry is retiring from competition, and it is a very bittersweet ending.
The big competition is among the 16 four-in-hands of horses. I was very impressed with how all of the team drivers performed. It is evident that they have all improved as a result of their goal to be able to participate in next year’s WEG. In the end, Chester Weber is in the lead by just over a point from Tucker Johnson. Boyd Excell, driving Keady Cadwell’s team is nipping at their heels in third.
Tomorrow the Preliminary and Intermediate competitors will drive their dressage tests. What an opportunity they have to drive in front of this international jury.
Rain is forecast for the morning, but I hope the weatherpeople will be wrong. I had enough rain at the Laurels two weeks ago.
Richard Nicoll, the course designer, will be taking the press (me included) on a course walk tomorrow, so I’m really looking forward to that.
One of the complaints is the distance between the obstacles, particularly for the spectators.
Those who plan to attend the WEG should be prepared and fit enough to do a lot of walking.
From the competitors, it takes them almost a half hour to get from the stabling to the dressage arena. That’s one reason this is a ‘test’ event – so that eveyone can get a feel for the situation we’ll be in next year.
For complete results, you can find that at www. drivingnews.us

Robin Groves

Robin Groves

Jennifer Matheson

Jennifer Matheson

Lisa Singer

Lisa Singer

Mike McLennan

Mike McLennan

Boyd Excell driving Keady Cadwell's team

Boyd Excell driving Keady Cadwell's team

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