The day dawned bright and sunny for the first full day of the European Championships at Hickstead in Southern England.
At 11.50 am, the sixteenth combination, the eagerly awaited Ulla Saltzgeber riding Rusty appeared, and they completed a test which left all those watching in no doubt why the pair are the current Number One in the world. To tumultuous applause, the five judges awarded the pair 78.25%
The second placed horse at this stage of the competition is the last horse of the day to compete, Bonaparte ridden by Heike Kemmer, again for Germany. She finished with a score of 73.92%
As they did in Spain at The World Equestrian games last year, The Spanish were making their mark in this championship. Thus far they are in team silver medal position, particularly due to Rafael Soto riding Invasor, to be the third best individually on 71.25%
In fourth position so far, individually, is the British rider Emma Hindle, riding her own Wie Weltmeyer with a score which beat any grand prix individual score for any British team member for many years of, 71.08%
There was nothing remarkable about the judging, and the judges; at C B.Maurel from France, at H, Dr.D.Schule from Germany, at E, S. Clarke form the host nation, Great Britain; at M Mrs.F Verbeek von Rooy from the Netherlands and finally at B Dr W. Markowski from Poland. Generally, all the judges were marking at a similar score for each competitor and for each movement performed.
The current Team positions at the end of the first day at these championships, is, gold for Germany; silver for Spain and bronze for Great Britain.
by Bernard Simpson
Photos copyrighted: Goldeneye Photos
Eurodressage Scores of the 2003 European Dressage Championships
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2003 European Dressage Championships