A great start to the Dressage in Lyon in 2012 with a top quality FEI Reem Acra World Cup Grand Prix and the victory of the pre-event favourite, the Olympic silver medallist and current World Cup holder, Adelinde Cornelissen. The Dutch rider is clearly happy and serene, and just enjoying riding Jerich Parzival: "He's completely at ease indoors and didn't give me any problems with his easy transitions." Although qualified as the defending champion, she must nonetheless finish in the points twice in order to book her ticket for the final in Göteborg. It is hard to imagine her not doing so tomorrow in the Freestyle to music, an exercise in which the couple excel. Her 82.766% in today's event shows that she should not be getting penalised on the technical side.
Moreover, she was the only rider to exceed 80%, since Edward Gal achieved 78.511% with his Olympic horse Glock’s Undercover which has been continually improving since the world champion was given the stallion to ride at the start of the year (for example, he only achieved 75.395%at the London Olympics): "Yes, it's our best score yet here in Lyon, and I hope to do even better tomorrow. I can see small improvements in every sector; the horse is becoming more stable. This is his first indoor event and I was really pleased with how he behaved." Gaston Glock bought Undercover so that Edward Gal, who had lost Totilas, could go to the Olympic Games. The patron also wanted to buy back Totilas from Paul Schockemöhle, but it was not possible. Has Gal given up on this hope? "You never know, maybe I'll get a Christmas gift. I still believe in Father Christmas when there is a wonderful present waiting at the end!" What should we read into his words? To be continued…
Lyon seems to smile on the Italian rider Valentina Truppa, who has always finished in the top three. However, with the quality of the participants this year, she had to pull out all the stops, and particularly her Olympic horse Eremo del Castegno (15th in London) who was just returning to indoor competition: "That's why he was a bit hot at the beginning of the test and took me with him in the first extended trot. But I prefer an energetic horse that you don't need to encourage compared to a horse you have to push all the time." And it is true that this energy and tonus were reflected in the high tempo music, with a particularly dynamic second piaffe.
This first day reassured the FEI in its decision to grant the organisation of the 2014 Finals to the Equita' and GL events teams, as confirmed by Trond Asmyr, the Dressage Director at the International Federation: "This is my third visit here and I am reassured - if ever I needed to be - about the quality of the conditions in which the 2014 Finals will take place. Furthermore, the sport was of the highest quality today with this exceptional line-up. Lyon is a fantastic showcase for dressage."