Natascha Barrientos Leads the Way for Venezuela

Natascha Barrientos and Clifton Peekachu after their winning dressage test. Photo by Hector Garrido. Natascha Barrientos and Clifton Peekachu after their winning dressage test. Photo by Hector Garrido.

Go Natascha and Mr. Chu! All of our Venezuelan riders tried very hard, and two of them put in personal bests at this level. Last year when Natascha did her first event ever, she was moaning about how much walking is involved in eventing (a similar theme to my show jumping husband, Brian Murphy’s constant refrain).

I told her that event riders have to be fit, so the only way I would allow her to buy a motorbike was if she went to the gym four days a week AND she scored below a 45 in dressage at a CCI. In all honesty I thought I was pretty safe.

Yesterday she earned her mini bike by putting in a flawless test on the fabulous professional, Clifton Peekachu, to go into the lead. That performance also placed the Venezulean team solidly into the team bronze position going into today’s challenging cross country.

Roberto Delgado and Tatton Winter. Photo by Hector Garrido.

Roberto Delgado and Tatton Winter. Photo by Hector Garrido.

Roberto Delgado was not only the first out for Venezuela, he was the first of the entire competition! Talk about pressure. He rose to the occasion to put in his best score to date.

Gabriela Suarez and Irish Diamonds. Photo by Hector Garrido.

Gabriela Suarez and Irish Diamonds. Photo by Hector Garrido.

Gaby Suarez also put in her usual excellent test, although one of the judges was quite a bit lower than the others, and I honestly felt her score of 55 was harsh. Irish Diamonds was through, up, and forward, and Gay rode accurately….oh well, that’s dressage!

Juan Larrazabal and Alasca LV Z. Photo by Hector Garrido.

Juan Larrazabal and Alasca LV Z. Photo by Hector Garrido.

Juan unfortunately didn’t have the day we thought he would. He is a nice rider on a lovely horse, but sometimes the fates aren’t with you? Alaska fell behind his leg, and it just wasn’t his day.

I am really looking forward to the cross country today, we have the most experienced horses here and are determined to kick some butt!

[Day One Report]

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