The dressage phase is finished, and while the New Zealand team didn’t end up quite in the place they hoped to be, their performance was still good enough to leave them within striking distance.
Libby Law has been ringside in the Rio sun, to bring you these beautiful photos. We’ve picked out the combinations who impressed us in today’s conditions. While no-one could overtake the first-day performances of William Fox-Pitt and Christopher Burton, there was still some very good work.
Karin Donckers impressed with her test but she said she had been hoping for a better performance and score. “I wanted to get below 40 and that did not work out. But the best so far are 36, so I am not too far out. Judging is judging and riding is riding, and I felt I was one with the horse. This is what we want.”
Ingrid Klimke is one of the most popular sporting personalities in Germany and a good number of German fans were dotted around the partially filled stands. They certainly gave her a huge level of vocal support, and while it didn’t top the reception the Brazilians received, it was pretty loud!
The elegant French horses were very impressive. They are less than a point behind the Germans. Mathieu Lemoine is in third place and we really loved their horses; such beautiful movers. Mathieu describes their team as “quite a new team.”
He went on to explain a bit further. “So we’re all trying to work together. We trained together for 20 days and the goal was really to form this new team and build the links between competitors.” Whatever they are doing is working, and their cross-country performances have been strong lately, so keep an eye on this lot.
The American team is tied with our Kiwi team. Phillip Dutton is their best dressage scorer, as well as being the oldest member of the team (52). He did an accurate test and is currently in 15th place on 43.6.
The sole representative for China, the always-elegant Alex Hua Chian did an impressive test and is in a good position to challenge the leaders if things go right for him in the jumping.