The second Olympic Grand Prix day confirmed the standings of the leading nations for the team medals Great Britain, Germany and The Netherlands. British Charlotte Dujardin finds herself with Valegro at the top of the leader board (83,663%), while Dutch Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival follow (81,687), being closely followed by German Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill (81,140%). What a day of exciting sport it was! While Carl Hester yesterday was emotionally drained as he said, today his pupil Charlotte Dujardin was quite the opposite. “I am certain that she slept like a baby and woke up thinking lovely day, are my nails done, it is the Olympics lalala”, Carl said. And Charlotte indeed rode a brilliant test, not affected by any tension at all, although she kept everyone keeping their breath for the last seconds she had to enter the arena as she almost missed the time! “I had watched the clock and had still 5 seconds to go so I knew I would be in time”, she said afterwards very confident.
Superstar Negro-son Valegro showed marvellous gaits and lectures like he is simply born with the gifts and doesn’t have to practice this at all. Relaxation was all over it together with brightness in all exercises. His two tempi changes brought the ‘wow’ over the knowledgeable crowd as it must have scored tens with the average mark of 9,5. Charlotte commented afterwards: “I loved every minute of my ride, it was unbelievable. I wanted to go and show out what this horse can do and now I’m told that I broke an Olympic Grand Prix record with my 83,663%. Unbelievable!”
An Olympic Grand Prix-record for Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro of 83,663%, while the Grand Prix record at championships is still in the hand of Edward Gal on Totilas reaching 84,09% at the EC Windsor 2009.
Charlotte confirmed the golden medal position status for the British, leading the provisional medal board with average of 79,407%, almost one percent more than the silver provisional score of Germany.
There were no boring moments in the Grand Prix today. Spanish star Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz used the expressive movements and behaviour of his stallion Fuego to its favour and came up to 75,605%.
Swedish star Patrik Kittel was not that fortunate this time as he sometimes lacked the right conversation with stallion Scandic. Scandic sometimes overreacted, for instance in piaffe. It had been quite an emotional experience already for Kittel being at the Olympics together with his Australian wife Lyndal and having to help Anky van Grunsven yesterday as her husband Sjef had fallen ill. He commented: “I have a photo of Anky winning gold at home, so boy I was nervous when I had to help her, But she is a super rider and has a very kind heart. We were both in tears after she did a super job with Salinero. His third Olympics, unreal. My Scandi-Man was a little too eager in the arena today and probably me also, but he did perfect things as well. I am too proud on my 74%.” The 74% brought the Swedes on a preliminary sevenths position, just qualified as a nation for the Grand Prix Special next Tuesday.
Italian Valentina Truppa had to miss the Kentucky WC as no insurance could be made for her fantastic horse Eremo del Castegno. The London Olympic Games are her first Olympics and a new experience. She felt her ride as a reward for bringing him all the way from a foal as a six months old until now. Quite precious!
The Danes had a very good performance with Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein and her home bred Digby scoring 74,524%. Her mistake in the tempi-changes are unnatural for Digby and Nathalie had no explanation.” The Danes have a preliminary fourth position now after the Dutch.
Worldcup winner and European champion Adelinde Cornelissen had the audience also almost shocked by the spooky behaviour of her horse Parzival before the start. Parzival kept on looking to the camera and Adelinde took her time. Afterwards she said: “I must say he surprised me again a bit. But I took my time in the arena with the halt and reign back and after that he understood that all of this was the normal easy work he is used to. He really enjoyed the piaffe, passage and extensions. So all went well!”
Germany had the last Grand Prix ride. With Kristina Sprehe and Desperados soring not least as 79,119 for a wonderful ride, Helen Langehanenberg did also a great job with her former world champion stallion Damon Hill. What a fantastic performance, with wonderful riding skills, and an exemplary passage with a very good elevation and use of its joints! The judges rewarded this great ride with 81,140%, good for third position.
A great end of a wonderful Olympic Grand Prix, to be followed in three days with the definitive medal rounds in Grand Prix Special. The seven best nationals are qualified, together with the eleven best individuals..
Provisional results Nations after Grand Prix:
Great Britain - 79.407%
Germany - 78.845%
Netherlands - 76.809%
Denmark - 73.845%
USA - 72.801%
Spain - 72.467%
Sweden - 71,940%
Poland - 68.536%
Australia - 68.521%
Canada - elim.