Debbie Adams and her horse D.A. Duras have traveled to the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championship in France to showcase this gelding on an international stage. Their trip has been made possible by the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Lion d’Angers Grant. D.A. Duras is the first recipient of this award, having earned it by being the highest scorer of the 2013 USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old Championship who also qualified for Le Lion d'Angers. Adams is a guest blogger with the USEA to share her inside experience of this event. D.A. Duras has scored a 50.4 to sit in 32nd place with Kelly Prather in the tack.
Today was the second day of dressage at Le Lion d'Angers. As I said 110 dreams coming into the competition to represent the 110 competitors. Unfortunately, not everyone has their dreams come true and as they say, sometimes you leave your best in the warmup. D.A. Duras looked quite special as he worked in preparation this week. His test that was obedient, but not what [he and rider, Kelly Prather] are both capable of. Still I am quite proud of him today, and he belongs here with the best of the 7-year-olds the world is bringing along. Equally as important is how much we are all learning as we live the European Eventing experience. He is placed in the top half and now let's hope he finishes on that score. Photo Right; Kelly Prather aboard Adam's D.A. Duras. Debbie Adams Photo.
I have attached a clip of how the Germans were working their horses in for the first day of dressage. Cantering ground poles absolutely straight and the step never varied in rhythm or length. Simple and difficult exercises which produced terrific canters.
German Riders Preparing for Dressage. Debbie Adams Video.
And we have our minds on the cross-country already. The 7-year-olds will run a ten-minute course with many combinations of very demanding terrain. The placement of the fences and distances require a very forward positive ride while maintaining the balance. There is a lot to be said about this course. It features large solid questions atop a hill leading down to skinnies that will require a very precise ride. Next follows quite wide efforts into and throughout the water. There is a lot to do tomorrow out there for both levels and this will be the first time Duras is challenged this intensely. I have been told [Kelly Prather] and I will learn a lot about him tomorrow on course.
The action starts at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow which sounds quite civilized, but actually it isn't even light till 8:00 a.m.. Everything is different here but oddly similar at the same time.
Here is a sneak peak of the cross-country course.
Debbie Adams Photos.
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