Clouds continued to roll in over the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, North Carolina as Hurricane Florence made landfall along the coast of the Carolinas earlier this morning. Nevertheless, the second day of dressage competition at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 (WEG) eventing world championships continued today with the final 41 competitors performing their tests in front of ground jury members Anne-Mette Binder (DEN), Andrew Bennie (NZL), and Jane Hamlin (USA).
While the rest of the leaderboard experienced a major shakeup today, Julia Krajewski (GER) and Chipmunk FRH’s score of 19.9 remained the lowest penalty score of the 83 horse-and-rider field. The only other pair that sat in the top 10 on day one to remain there after day two is Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg (Windfall *PG* x Thabana), Christine Turner’s 11-year-old Trakehner gelding. Krajewski and Dr. Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff’s 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Havanna) will set out on cross-country tomorrow with a 3.4 penalty point lead on second-placed Ingrid Klimke (GER) and SAP Hale Bob OLD.
“He has [scored] 19-point-something twice before, so I actually felt a bit of pressure to produce it again,” Krajewski confided. “It’s all about preparation and certainly I can’t just pull him out of the stable and push a button and then there’s the 19. It’s about having it ride on the exact day. Yesterday Chipmunk felt really relaxed with me and I could really ride for all points. He was very calm and collected like a real pro, even if he’s only 10 years old. I think after a couple of movements I thought it could be something really good, but you never know how the judges see it. When I was finished the audience went really crazy so I thought there might be some really low points. I was very, very happy to see the 19 there.”
Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD (Helikon xx x Goldige), her own 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, moved into second place behind their fellow German teammates after putting in the best performance of the second day of competition, scoring a 23.3. Klimke and Hale Bob haven’t performed a four-star test in competition since they scored their previous personal best, a 36.4 (converted to 24.3), at Badminton in 2017.
“I was very pleased because he was so relaxed and so smooth. I could really ride everything the way I wanted. He came in and right away I [was ready to] start so I was worried, “Why don’t they ring the bell now, because we are ready!” But as soon as he entered the ring it was as if he knows his program. He was listening, waiting, especially in the extended walk and trot, there he was in all the transitions; there was nothing he could do better. I was very pleased with him.”
Rosalind Canter and Allstar B. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Great Britain’s Rosalind Canter and Allstar B round out the top three following the completion of dressage on a score of 24.6. This pair has very strong CCI4* performances on their record from the last 18 months, including fifth at Badminton in 2017 and third at Badminton in 2018.
“I was really delighted with Allstar B today. Throughout his career he has been a really consistent horse in the dressage and he has an amazing temperament. If anything he’s lazy so it’s all about winding him up and pushing the buttons and hoping he wants to go forward on the day. He never preempts the movement, he waits to be told what to do which makes my life really easy. Basically the pressure is on me to make sure I ride and tell him exactly what to do and when to do it and I know he’ll always try his hardest.”
Lynn Symansky and Donner. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
The final two riders for Team USA followed in the teammates’ footsteps, putting in personal best dressage rides and catapulting the U.S. Team into bronze medal position heading into cross-country.
Lynn Symansky and her veteran partner Donner (Gorky Park x Smart Jane), the Donner Syndicate’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, were first out today for the United States, scoring a personal best of 28.3 to sit in 18th place overnight. Symansky and Donner’s dressage scores at the four-star level have improved nearly every time out over eight starts, and he certainly seems to be peaking at the opportune moment.
“I really couldn’t be happier with what he did out there,” Symansky said. “I was worried in the beginning of the week that he wasn’t feeling well because he was so quiet in the jog and has been so quiet around here, but then yesterday afternoon I took him out and he started spinning and bolting so I knew he was feeling fine," Symansky said while laughing." I think with the hot weather and being so close to the barn suits him.”
“I didn’t really think we’d be here 10 years ago when I bought him,” she continued. “I bought him because I thought he was a nice horse, and I thought I’d make him a sales horse. He was a little hard to sell in the beginning because he was so quirky and I just kept going with him, and he’s been the same from Beginner Novice through the four-star level. He’s mellowed a little these last few years. It’s a nice feeling going into a Games like this and knowing what to expect and having a horse you know like the back of your hand.”
Phillip Dutton and Z. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Phillip Dutton and Z (Asca x Bellabouche), the 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Caroline Moran, and Ann Jones, put in a solid test for the United States as the anchor pair, scoring a 27.6 for 12th place. Z, who performed this test for the first time earlier this year at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, bested that score by more than six points.
“It’s as good as [Z] could do at this stage of his career,” Dutton observed. “There’s a lot more to come, but I couldn’t be more pleased at this stage. He was pretty good. It’s fun having a home crowd and supportive, cheering crowd, but the downside of that is if the horse isn’t used to it, but he handled it well so I was pleased.”
Click here to view the individual scores.
Thanks to Krajewski and Klimke’s commanding tests, Germany sits in gold medal position going into cross-country on a score of 73.4, a World Equestrian Games record. Great Britain sits 7.4 points behind Germany on 80.8 and the United States jumped up the team leaderboard from sixth place to bronze medal position on 83.0.
Click here for the complete team standings.
Despite the impending rain scheduled to begin in the afternoon, the FEI has made the decision to start cross-country as scheduled at 11:00 a.m. due to logistical concerns about rescheduling the broadcast.
“It’s a great cross-country,” Dutton said. “It tests you – you have to be thinking all the way around. It’s not overly big or imposing, but it’s suited to those who want to go quick and have a chance at a medal. They’re going to take some chances, and there’s other ways around if you want to get your horse home.”
“For him I honestly do wish it was a little bit bigger and maybe a little bit trickier to make it more of a competition for our team because I know we have some really competitive cross-country horses on our team,” Symansky commented. “It looks like it suits him, I just have to get him focused in the beginning because there’s a lot of combinations to look at, so that would be his biggest weakness is getting a little distracted on what is behind everything.”
“We had a really hot summer in Germany, which I think helps," stated Krajewski. "At least the horses are used to it. What they’re probably not used to so much is the humidity . . . The rest is up to the rider and our feeling during the course tomorrow so if we feel them tiring earlier than normal you have to slow down a little and let them do their job at their pace. I think we are prepared to go fast and we are prepared to slow down.”
Cross-country is scheduled to run from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The FEI will release ride times later this evening; they will be available here.
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“I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it was an amazing experience.” Twenty-five years ago, Kerry Millikin and her off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding, Out and About (who was only 8 years old at the time) won the individual Olympic bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, making her one of five females to have earned an individual Olympic medal for the U.S.