Dressage Powerhouses of Rio: Day Two

Welcome back to dressage for Rio! We’re now entering the second day of competition, which means another full day of fancy prancing. Today is when we’ll see the majority of the heavy hitters, as the anchors of the four-member teams ride last in the order.

Although we saw quite a few phenomenal horses yesterday (and you can view the results here), there’s a higher volume of must-watch tests today. If you aren’t sure where you can watch, check EN’s guide to How to Watch Eventing at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The competitors will be performing the OG 4* Test B – Short Version, which really means that they are performing the 2009 FEI 4*-B test, but with a few movements edited out to create a shorter test. The 2009 FEI 4*-B test is always used for four-star events held in even-numbered years, which means it was also used for the 2010 and 2014 WEG. Therefore, the more experienced horses will likely be familiar with the test while younger three-star horses will be doing it for the first time.

The first major differences between the OG 4* Test B and the 2009 FEI 4*-B test is the omission of a half-pirouette in the walk at C, which creates a change of rein in the 4*-B test. In the OG test, the extended trot then must go down the long side from H to K instead of across the diagonal HXE.

The next omission occurs in the walk work, where instead of turning to the right at M, performing a halt and rein-back at G, and then crossing the diagonal from H to B, the competitor simply performs the extended walk from C to M to E. Since once again you are on the opposite rein, the canter work is performed first to the left and then to the right, a mirror image of the original test.

Judging the competitors will be Marilyn Payne of the United States, who presides over the ground jury. Andrew Bennie of New Zealand and Sandy Phillips of Great Britain will be joining her as members of the ground jury. All three judges have been in high demand throughout the past two years, and many riders have made every effort to attend competitions whose ground juries consisted of one or more of these judges.

SUNDAY, MORNING SESSION

Col Thibaut Vallette and Qing Du Briot ENE HN. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Col Thibaut Vallette and Qing Du Briot. Photo by Samantha Clark.

Thibaut Valette (FRA) and Qing Briot: These two really excelled over the Olympic qualifying period, stepping up their game on the flat to average a 39.48 over four tests. Their personal best of 35.2 was recorded at Fontainebleau early in 2015, and they’ve been scoring at a similar level ever since.

Aiming for: Top five

Ride Time: 9:24 a.m. EST

Pippa Funnell (GBR) and Billy The Biz at Houghton Hall. FEI photo

Pippa Funnell (GBR) and Billy The Biz at Houghton Hall. FEI photo.

Pippa Funnell (GBR) and Billy the Biz: This British pair has certainly been busy since 2015, executing 12 three-star tests for an average of 41.26. Although this horse has laid it down with a score of 34.7, that mark came more than a year ago at the 2015 Bramham CIC3*. More recently they’ve been hovering closer to their overall average.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 10:20 a.m. EST

Clark Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Clarke Johnstone (NZL) and Balmoral Sensation: Over the past two calendar years, this New Zealand pair averaged a 41.10, but that’s skewed a bit by an outlier of 50.1 at the Adelaide CCI4* last fall. If you drop that out, their average drops into the 30s, which is much more characteristic of what they consistently lay down.

This pair’s lowest score is a 35.5 obtained at the Hastings CIC3* this spring, demonstrating that this horse truly is on form. Having said that, Balmoral Sensation has yet to break into the 30s on a four-star test in two attempts.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 10:36 a.m. EST

Julia Krajewski and Samourai du Thot. Photo by Lutz Kaiser/buschreiter.de.

Julia Krajewski and Samourai du Thot. Photo by Lutz Kaiser/buschreiter.de.

Julia Krajewski (GER) and Samourai du Thot: This is the youngest pair on the German team, but despite that they’ve demonstrated they can shine despite the depth in their country. With an average of 39.83 over the Olympic qualifying period in eight tests, they’ve demonstrated consistency. Samourai du Thot has yet to score above 40 this year, and hasn’t been far off his personal best of 34.2, scored at the 2015 Wiesbaden CIC3*.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 10:44 a.m. EST

Sara Algotsson Ostholt and Reality 39. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Sara Algotsson Ostholt and Reality 39. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Sara Algotsson-Ostholt (SWE) and Reality 39: Sara and Reality 39 have averaged a 41.63 over seven tests in the Olympic qualifying period, putting them solidly in the running. At the 2013 Marbach CIC3*, they scored a personal best of 32.4 but have only occasionally broken into the 30s in recent years.

Aiming for: Top 25

Ride Time: 10:52 a.m. EST

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro. Photo by Jenni Autry.

SUNDAY, AFTERNOON SESSION

Alex Hua Tian (CHN) and Don Geniro: The British-based Chinese eventer got a taste of the Olympics when he competed at Beijing at the age of 18, and he’s back with a strongly competitive horse in Don Geniro.

2This gelding has averaged a 42.19 in eight tests since the Olympics qualifying period began. His best score came at his first CIC3* in 2015 at Barbury Castle where these two laid down a 37.3. Although they haven’t cracked into the 30s yet this year, they have been consistently putting in low 40s tests.

Aiming for: Top 25

Ride Time: 12:30 p.m. EST

Karin Donckers and Fletcha van't Verahof. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Karin Donckers and Fletcha van’t Verahof. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Karin Donckers (BEL) and Fletcha van’t Verahof: Karin and Fletcha van’t Verahof have averaged a 41.18 over the past two years, executing eight tests at the three-star level. This pair represented Belgium in the 2014 World Equestrian Games at what is their only four-star start, scoring a 42.3, but have more recently put down a personal best of 36.5 this spring at the Marbach CIC3*.

Aiming for: Top 25

Ride Time: 12:38 p.m. EST

Mathieu Lemoine and Bart L. Photo courtesy of Saumur

Mathieu Lemoine and Bart L. Photo courtesy of Saumur

Matthieu Lemoine (FRA) and Bart L: Despite having stepped up to the three-star level in late 2014, this horse has only five three-star runs under his belt and has yet to try a four-star. Still, he and Matthieu have become a strong contender for the French, averaging a 40.05 in four tests over the Olympic qualifying period and inching downwards with every test. Their personal best score came this spring in the Event Rider Masters division at the Chatsworth CIC3*, laying down a 38.9.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 1:02 p.m. EST

Stefano Brecciaroli and Apollo VD Wendi Kurt Hoeve. Photo by ????.

Stefano Brecciaroli and Apollo VD Wendi Kurt Hoeve. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Stefano Brecciaroli (ITA) and Apollo VD Wendi Kurt Hoeve: In the Olympic qualifying period, Stefano and Apollo have averaged a 40.68 dressage score over five tests, all at the three-star level. Their most recent score was a 45.1 at Strzegom CICO3*, but don’t let that fool you; their lowest score to date is a 30.4 at the 2012 Montelibretti CICO3*, and they have scored in the 30s at every four-star test they’ve been to. That includes Badminton, the London Olympic Games and the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 1:18 p.m. EST

Shane Rose and CP Qualified. Photo by Julie Wilson/FEI.

Shane Rose and CP Qualified. Photo by Julie Wilson/FEI.

Shane Rose (AUS) and CP Qualified: These two have averaged 39.53 in eight tests, primarily performed down under in Australia. Their lowest mark came in the Taupo CCI3* in May of 2015, laying down a test of 35.0 for the win. CP Qualified breaks into the 30s more often than not, with a string of high-30s scores already this spring.

Aiming for: Top five

Ride Time: 1:26 p.m. EST

Kitty King and Ceylor LAN at Chatsworth this May. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Kitty King and Ceylor L A N. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Kitty King (GBR) and Ceylor LAN: A horse whose entire three-star career falls within the Olympic qualifying period, Ceylor LAN has a strong average of 43.95 over eight events. On a good day though, this horse could be near the top, as they recently bested their average by more than 10 points, laying down a personal best of 32.9 at the Event Rider Masters division of the Chatsworth CIC3*.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 1:58 p.m. EST

Jonelle Price and Faerie Dianimo. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Jonelle Price and Faerie Dianimo. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Jonelle Price (NZL) and Faerie Dianimo: This fire cracker of a mare can lay down as strong a test as any, as demonstrated by a personal best of 32.8 at the Luhmühlen CCI4* in 2015. Over the Olympic qualifying period, she and Jonelle average a 41.13 over seven tests but generally bounce between mid-30s or mid-40s. Her latest score was a 35.3 in Aachen, demonstrating she may be right on form.

Aiming for: Top five

Ride Time: 2:14 p.m. EST

Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Ingrid Klimke (GER) and Horseware Hale Bob OLD: These two have been on fire the past two years, laying down stellar dressage scores one after another through seven tests and finishing on that score more often than not. With an average score of 37.54 in the Olympic qualifying period, they’ll be tough to beat in the first phase.

Their personal best at these levels came just a couple months ago at the May Wiesbaden CIC3*, where they threw down an astonishing 27.3. More typically, they score in the mid-30s or very low 40s.

Aiming for: Top three

Ride Time: 2:22 p.m. EST

Marcio Calvalho Jorge and Lissy Mac Wayer. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Marcio Calvalho Jorge and Lissy Mac Wayer. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Marcio Carvalho Jorge (BRA) and Lissy Mac Wayer: Brazilians will be excited to cheer for Marcio and his mare Lizzy Mac Wayer, who average a solid 41.30 over six tests in the past two years. This mare usually scores in the 40s but is coming off a personal best score of 32.5 at the Event Rider Masters division at the Barbury Castle CIC3* last month.

Aiming for: Top 10

Ride Time: 2:46 p.m. EST

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