The Grand Prix at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games certainly did not disappoint! It was a very competitive class with over 100 starters, 98 of which competed over Monday and Tuesday.
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro performed another brilliant test for fist place on 85.271%. Second place went to Isabelle Werth and Bella Rose 2 on 81.529%, and third to Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW close behind on 81.357%.
In the team medals Germany won Gold, Silver to the United Kingdom and Bronze to The Netherlands. The Spanish team had an excellent competition, ranking 5th.
It was great to see the baroque horses so well supported. There was in total 2 PREs, 8 Lusitanos and 1 Friesian in the Grand Prix with riders from Spain, Portugal, Brazil, South Africa and France.
It is very exciting that we will see two PREs and one Lusitano in the Grand Prix Special tonight, with both Norte Lovera, Grandioso and Robinson De Lafront Demassa finishing in the top 30.
José Antonio Garcia Mena rode a fantastic test on the grey PRE stallion Norte Lovera. Norte has a very extravagant ‘uphill’ movement with an impressive reach in the half pass, and a big step in the one tempi changes. The piaffe was very, very good and energized to score 8s, and the passage work was beautiful. The judges scored them 72.414% and they finished 22nd.
José Daniel Martín Dockx rode Grandioso, the striking bay PRE stallion of Hampton Green Farms. They scored 8/8.5s for the piaffe-passage tours, with very nice transitions. The canter tour with flying changes and the zig zag over centre line was marked well with 7.5/8s. Grandioso is getting stronger in his work and this great team has really developed since the London 2012 Olympics. Great quality was shown throughout the test, the judges scoring them 74.243% for 13th place.
Arnaud Serre represented France on the beautiful Lusitano Robinson De Lafront De Massa. The home crowd in Normandy certainly showed their support and a smiling Arnaud was understandably very happy! This Lusitano certainly danced in the piaffe-passage, scoring 9s from Francis Verbeek of the Netherlands, and a 9.5 from Australian judge Susan Hoevenaars. He also showed quite a good walk for 7s, and nice canter pirouettes. This certainly is an exciting pair to watch; scoring 72.843% for 20th.
Wednesday, 27 – Grand Prix Special.
Times below in AEST.
6:10PM Sancette & Mary Hanna (Australia)
7:20PM Norte Lovera & Jose Antonio Garcia Mena (Spain/PRE)
7:50PM Robinson De Lafront De Massa & Arnaud Serre (France/Luso)
9:45PM Grandioso & Jose Martin Dockx (Spain/PRE)
11:55PM Velegro & Charlotte (GB)
Portugal’s riders all performed very good tests, with some very impressive extensions, piaffe-passage and canter tours. Carlos Pinto & Soberano III 68.8%, Maria Caetano & Xiripiti 67.186%, and Manuel Veiga & Ben Hur Da Broa 65.543%.
The Brazilian team did an excellent job for such a young team of riders on an international stage with a very big crowd atmosphere. João Victor Marcari Oliva and brothers Manuel and Pedro Tavares De Almedia all scored above 60%, with 7s marked throughout. Unfortunately the beautiful team of Luiza Tavares De Almedia and Pastor were eliminated and unable to compete.
The sole Friesian to compete in Grand Prix at a World Equestrian Games was Adelprag Anders 451 and South African rider Chere Burger. This was a very exciting time for Friesian breeders, owners, riders and lovers worldwide. To have a horse of this calibre, at this competition, certainly makes a statement! They rode a good test and points averaged 6.5/7s. Awarded a 64.929%.
All in all it was a great start to the WEG. The BHM Team is on scene with Catia Castro and we will have an great issue coming up full of interviews and photos of all of these exceptional horse and riders.
Manuel Borba Veiga & Ben Hur da Broa
Chere Burger & Adelprag Anders 451
Carlos Pinto & Soberano III