Tension is rising this weekend as the American Olympic Dressage riders will undergo their final trail on the road to Athens. Especially for Lisa Wilcox, the CDI Lingen show is the moment of truth. Not having competed since February 2004, Wilcox and her Oldenburg stallion Relevant (by Rubinstein) have to testify in the ring their worth as an American Olympic Team combination.
Team trainer Klaus Balkenhol visited Wilcox regularly at her home base in Cappeln, Germany, to check upon her training status and is confident that Relevant showed the necessary form to be a key player on the American team.
The CDI Lingen kicked off yesterday with the Prix St Georges. Wilcox won that class, which featured a starters' line of 13 combinations, aboard her up and coming FEI horse Jazz Time (by Jazz). Also owned by Gestut Vorwerk, Jazz Time is a horse in which Wilcox has put much hope and she believes him to be a strong Grand Prix prospect.
Wilcox scored 854 points, beating Julia Katharina von Platen aboard Brookhouse stud's stallion Rubioso N (by Rubinstein). Steffen Peters and Marlando (by Balzflug) placed fifth with 797 points and Guenter Seidel and Metropolitan (by Ferro) ranked 13th with 640 points.
Today the Grand Prix for Special is ridden. Entered to compete are Leslie Morse on Kingston, Cesar Parra on Galant du Serein, Oded Shimoni on Falco and Steffen Peters on Floriano.
Wilcox' ultimate pre-Olympic ride in the Grand Prix for Freestyle is on Saturday.
by Astrid Appels of Eurodressage.com