The Refined Palate of the International Dressage World
The month of June usually means good weather. It's 35° on the European continent and the young riders amongst us all have to sweat out their high school exams. Not fun, but it's part of life. With the sun heating up the continent, Eurodressage thought it good idea to do some investigation into the social/cultural taste of the international dressage riders, judges and officials. What is their favourite cocktail/aperitifs or refreshment drink.
Monica Theodorescu prefers a 'Weizenbier' that also goes very well at summer barbecues.Isabell Werth keeps it simple by choosing water or apple cider, which is known as "Apfelsaftschorle," something Margit Otto-Crepin confessed loving as well. Michael Klimke likes beer with fanta, but when "it's boring I drink apple juice," he said.
The International Dressage Riders Club (IDRC) should start a Campari Orange branch as many of its members swear by the drink. Monica Theodorescu and Richard Davison prefers it, but Davison was more specific by stating that the Campari had to be with freshly squeezed orange juice and served by the swimming pool.
Two American Olympic team members seem to abstain from alcohol. Debbie McDonald drinks a fruit smoothie when it's hot or a coffee frappacino but she added that it's hard to find the drink in Europe as there are no Starbucks near Klaus Balkenhol's yard. Robert Dover told us that his "favorite thirst quencher is a mixture of ice tea and fruit juices such as cranberry over ice." Former Olympian Kathleen Raine likes grapefruit juice, but adds some vodka to it to spice it up. Her husbandDavid Wightman goes for Corona Light or Starbucks Coffee.
Riders who like some 'potency with their punch' are, for instance, Israeli Oded Shimoni who goes for an Absolut Vodka tonic with a twist of lime. Belgian up and coming international rider David Engelen likes a vodka-martini but with more vodka than martini. Engelen also confessed to drinking Absinth, which impressed us much as this drink used to be illegal in many countries (it recently has been legalized again throughout Europe). American Leslie Morse was very specific in describing her favourite cocktail: "Kettle One (vodka) on the Rocks, in a short glass, and a splash of club soda, and a small wedge of lime."
Belgian Carmen de Bondt likes Amaretto Disarrono, I-judge Lorraine Stubbsprefers Pimm's and tonic water with a slice of orange or lime. Swedish Bo Jena keeps it very simply with a cold dark beer, while Brit Pammy Hutton likes a Lucozade Sport when she's really tired.
Canadian international rider Shannon Dueck said that "gin and tonic wins hands down". Dutch former Olympic medallist Arjen Teeuwissen and Australian CDI riderSicca Dijkstra concur. American Kamila Dupont likes it too, but says they are calorie bombs and sometimes she chooses a Jever Light beer instead ("only 26 calories and super taste," she explained)
South Americans love their beer. Pia Aragao from Brazil prefers the Brazilian "Skol" or a freshly squeezed fruit juice. Aragao picks her fruit from the trees in her own garden. Dr Cesar Parra loves an Astel Light or a margarita. Dutch trainer Diederik Wigmans, who trained several riding in Central America in the past, loves the Mexican Corona breed with lime.
Carlos Lopes, the Portuguese Dressage selector, is patriotic in his choice and said he prefers white (Portuguese) cold wine. Wine is one of the most popular drinks with all riders who replied to the Eurodressage Cocktail poll. British team member Wayne Channon needs a daily dose of "a beautiful Bordeaux red wine." German Isabell von Wendorff loves Italian prosecco, the Dutch Olympians Marlies and Coby Van Baalen drink white and red whine in the evening, but during the day, Marlies goes for water, while Coby drinks 1,5 liter of milk. Doesn't it come in handy when your husband runs a milk cow business on the same yard as your dressage stable?!
Some riders were very detailed in describing which wines they favoured. Kamila Dupont loves the L'Aurore Chardonnay from France. The silver medallist at the 2005 U.S. Dressage Championships Arlene "Tuny" Page has a very refined taste for wine. She only goes for the best! "If Dave [Dave Page, her husband] is with me then I'd start with a lovely white Burgundy Montrachet from Batard perhaps, then move to a nice older left bank Bordeaux, perhaps a 1961 Mouton or Latour, then move to 1982 Chateau d' Yquem and finish with port...any Port will do!," Page told Eurodressage. On special occasions, Dave Page gets to pick the wine and he'll go straight for a Le Pin Bordeaux. One sniff of the Le Pin bouquet and Tuny will go weak in the knees. However, she did not forget to mention that "any of the above is followed with copious amounts of water."
FEI Dressage Committee Chairwoman and O-judge Mariette Withages can judge good riding equally as well as good food and drinks. Her refined palate has a demanding wish list to get through the day: During day, Mrs Withages prefers green tea. For dinner she prefers a sauvignon blanc or cabernet sauvignon, and to finish off her dinner she sometimes drinks an espresso or Fernet Branca. "And lots of water in between," she added.