Germany leads the way in the teams eventing competition after the first day of dressage at Tryon, with an 8.3 penalty lead over Australia, who are on 58.4.
The German team score was helped hugely by the overnight leader Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH, who did the most amazing test to score 19.9. They had been touted as possible individual gold medalists well before putting in what could be a winning performance, and have certainly started the best possible way, with a 7.2pen lead over the next-placed rider, American Boyd Martin with Tsetserleg.
The other member of the German team was Kai Ruder on Colani Sunrise, and he also produced a good test, to score 29.1. The Germans still have defending champion Sandra Auffarth on Viamant du Matz to come (riding as an individual) plus the last two in their team, Andreas Dibowski and FRH Corrida And Ingrid Klimke on SAP Hale Bob OLD.
The Australians have sent two excellent dressage performers out first, with Andrew Hoy on Vassily de Lassos and Chris Burton on Cooley Lands, and they certainly made a great start for the team, with Chris in fourth place on 28.6 and Andrew on 29.8 in 9th position. Shane Rose and Virgil, Bill Levett on Lassban Diamond Lift (individual) and Emma McNab and Fernhill Tabasco are on tomorrow and they will be hoping to replicate or better the first two.
France, always ones to look out for, are right behind Australia on 59.4, and breathing down their necks is Great Britain, sitting on 60.2. British rider Piggy French is in third on Quarrycrest Echo on a score of 27.8.
The New Zealand team is on 61.1, so we are 11 penalties adrift of the leaders, but still in a very handy position. Of course, it is very early days and while there is another day of dressage to go, we all can safely predict that the cross-country and then the show jumping will have a huge influence whatever the weather conditions.
Blyth Tait is in eighth position individually on Dassett Courage, having scored 29.7, while Sir Mark Todd and MaClaren are 14th with 31.4.
For Sir Mark, the team medal is the main focus. “For me, I knew my little fellow was probably not going to be an individual medal chance, so if I can put in a really solid performance, and all going well, hopefully I won’t add to my dressage score. That will be a very strong team score.”
Jonelle Price is due to anchor the team with her dressage test tomorrow, and has made no secret of her desire that the cross-country phase will be both testing and taxing, as this will best suit her mare, Badminton winner Classic Moet. “She is very experienced at four-star and has been run fairly lightly since Badminton. She knows her job, and her strength is cross-country. I am hoping that hill at the end of the course, the speed and the going will be influential, as if not I’m going to be going to be in trouble!
“Let’s hope we get 10 inches of rain and it’s hot as hell and the hill is a minute longer than everyone realised!”
Jonelle was asked at yesterday’s press conference whether this is strongest team NZ has fielded for some time. She acknowledged that the team has “banked on Andrew Nicholson and Mark Todd for the last 20 years” and also acknowledged the contribution Blyth made earlier in his career. “We are feeling on-form, and have had some good individual results over last few years… but over the last 15 years Mark and Andrew didn’t have the right support from the team, or from a new generation. It has taken Tim and myself a little longer to get into the top end of things, but we have done this in last couple of years so hopefully we have strengthened the gap that was lacking. We hope we are in with a fighting chance.”
Tim Price says that it is very much a team effort here, and not about one single performance. “We work with each other in mind, and we work for a consistent result.”
Tomorrow there are some other stars to look out for, besides Jonelle and Tim, and New Zealand individual rider Dan Jocelyn. As well as the two Germans, Padraig McCarthy from Ireland on the popular Mr Chunky will be well worth watching, as will Philip Dutton on Z, riding for USA. Brit Rosalind Canter on Allstar B will be hoping to head Julia off, and could be capable of it, and Ludwig Svennerstal from Sweden on Stinger is the last to go, but it’s worth staying to watch his test too.
Another one to watch is Stefano Brecciaroli from the Italian team, riding Byrnesgrove First Diamond. The horse is part-owned and was produced by Andrew Nicholson – who is here at Tryon to help his Italian friend.
Good luck to our three Kiwis riding tomorrow.
|Team standing after first day of eventing dressage|
|6||UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||62,70|
*Only one rider in the team of three went today
Individual Standings (top 20)
|3||Piggy FRENCH||Quarrycrest Echo||27,80|
|4||Christopher BURTON||Cooley Lands||28,60|
|5||Kristina COOK||Billy the Red||29,10|
|6||Donatien SCHAULY ADJ||Pivoine des Touches||29,30|
|7||Renske KROEZE||Jane Z||29,50|
|8||Blyth TAIT||Dassett Courage||29,70|
|9||Andrew HOY||Vassily de Lassos||29,80|
|10||Maxime LIVIO||Opium de Verrieres||30,10|
|11||Kai RÜDER||Colani Sunrise||30,20|
|12||Pietro SANDEI||Rubis de Prere||30,50|
|14||Sir Mark TODD||McClaren||31,40|
|15||Ryuzo KITAJIMA||Queen Mary||32,00|
|16||Anna FRESKGÅRD||Box Qutie||32,20|
|17||Niklas LINDBÄCK||Focus Filiocus||32,20|
|18||Kazuma TOMOTO||Tacoma d’Horset||32,20|
|19||Gemma TATTERSALL||Arctic Soul||32,40|