Hans Peter Minderhoud and the Dutch warmblood mare Nadine (by Partout/T x Roemer) are temporarily in the lead after the first group of 11 riders in the Grand Prix team competition at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, on Monday 27 September 2010.
Cold weather, rain and drizzle dampen the spirits slightly, though the riding in the Kentucky Horse Park's main stadium is on the edge. The first to go, Norwegian Ellen Birgitte Farbrot on CC Royal, had to withdraw last minute because her horse became unlevel in the warm up.
Second to go, Sweden's Minna Telde on the Danish warmblood mare Larina Hom, set the bar at a good level with her expressive and energetic ride. The mare displayed a powerful trot with good extensions. The rhythm in walk could have been better and there was a loss of impulsion in the second piaffe, but the canter work was promising and the right pirouette was a highlight. She scored 68.000% to finish fourth, for now.
Dutch Hans Peter Minderhoud was the fourth rider to go and achieved their expected level. Aboard Ton Kies' Dutch mare Nadine, Minderhoud executed lovely trot extensions and obtained much ground cover in the half passes. The halt for rein back was not square and the rein back itself was slightly resistant. The passage was bouncy and regular, but in piaffe the mare hardly takes the weight on her hindquarters despite the good rhythm. In canter the mare became a bit tight in the neck but she obediently did the tempi changes and pirouettes. In the final piaffe at X the mare became wide in the front legs and swung from left to right, but maintained her rhythm. The pair scored 72.255% with judge at C (Stephen Clarke) having them at 75.957% and judge at M (Cara Witham) at 68.511%. Their total score put them provisionally in the lead.
The biggest judging discrepancies so far took place in German Anabel Balkenhol's ride. Anabel's hypersensitive Hanoverian Dablino (by De Niro) entered the ring slightly stressed and unsettled and the young German tried to get her horse in a relaxed frame, but she regularly half halted with her hands to make him through and relaxed. The trot extensions were big and elevated, the half passes ground covering but the transition from the right to the left one was sloppy. The rhythm in the first piaffe and passage was lovely, even though the piaffe had to be much more on the spot. In the extended walk the horse lacked overtrick but the rhythm stayed ok. The second piaffe and passage were brilliant, especially the passage but the movement didn't earn them more than 7s and 8s. In canter the horse got slightly crooked to the right (canter extensions). The tempi changes were good and the pirouette right delightful. The final piaffe and passage on the centerline was solid, with the piaffe at X earning them 5s and 7s. The 67.702% was fairly conservative but the shocking discrepancy was the 72.766% from judge at B (Evi Esienhardt) and the totally puzzling 62.979 from the judge at H (Linda Zang). With 9.787 differences, the judges apparently need some time to get on the same wavelength.
Text & Photos © Astrid Appels
More to come later.
See the provisional scores
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