The German eventing team got off to a good start yesterday at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon. After a good performance from Kai Rüder with Colani Sunrise and a superb test from Julia Krajewski with Chipmunk FRH, the defending champions are in 1st place at the start of the 2nd day.
After her test, which put the German team at the top of the leader board, Julia told us: “As I rode into the dressage arena I felt Chipmunk relax under me and thought, okay this could work – and then it just did work, he was unbelievably willing and easy to ride. Chip was really relaxed, even in the walk phase, which isn’t always the case. Yesterday in training we had slight problems with the changes, today everything functioned really well. I was close to tears at the end because he had done such a great job and stayed with me the whole test”. Apparently the judges were of the same opinion and her score at the end was over 80%, a score which the pair has achieved twice so far this year in Bramham and Aachen. With this result she is in the lead in the individual rankings so far with the American rider Boyd Martin with Tsetserleg (27,1) in second place and the British rider Piggy French with Quarrycrest Echo (27,8) in third place.
Kai Rüder rode his test with the not always easy Colani Sunrise before Julia. As first rider for the German team his main role is to be pathfinder for the other team members on cross country day. The pair who came 6th last year in the European Championships scored 30,2, he lost points in the first walk phase. “The first walk phase was not good, he wanted to trot”, explained Kai. “That was 2 points gone and as I saw the score on the first diagonal I decided I couldn’t change that the points have gone and concentrated on the second walk phase, following the motto “new game – new luck” and it worked. The second one was good.”
The Australian team is so far in second place behind the German team. There first rider is the 3 x Olympic team gold medal winner Andrew Hoy with Vassily de Lassos who is only 9 years old and called attention to himself by coming fourth in Aachen. Andrew said, “It is a privilege to ride a horse like this”. Hoy scored 29,8 just behind his fellow Australian Christopher Burton with Cooley Lands (28,6) giving the team a score so far of 58,4.
The French have moved into third place with a score so far of 59,4, The first two riders being Donatien Schauly ADJ with Pivione des Touches (29,30) and Maximo Livio with Opium de Verries (30,1) . Two of the other favourites, Great Britain and New Zealand, who recently won the Nations Cup in Aachen follow in 4th and 5th place.
However this is just the beginning, there is not only a further dressage day but also the highly anticipated cross country test and the show jumping on Sunday. Julia Krajewski gave us her first impression of the course; “The cross country course is challenging, but at the same time awesome – what I mean is it looks really good. Let’s wait and see to what extend the horses are influenced by what they are faced with. Technically it contains all possible questions, but there are also a lot of easier routes offered that can be taken. It is just a case of making the right decision taking into consideration the risk and time involved”
Translation: Heather Reimer
Photos: Liz Gregg