Rolex Dressage Day One Morning Open Thread: Michael Jung Takes The Lead

Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Jenni Autry. Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Welcome to Rolex day one!

The USEF Network will be streaming live all day today for those in the U.S. and Canada, and you can click here for times and options for watching if you are not in North America.

It’s a lovely, albeit crisp, morning, so we can expect to see some fresh horses this morning. Refresh this page frequently for the latest updates from dressage this morning, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live scores and commentary. Go Rolex!

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11:46 am ET: We’ll be back at 1:08 pm with Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star, after the lunch break.

11:45 am ET: Tim Bourke and Luckaun Quality of Ireland finished off the morning dressage tests. Tim struggled to keep Luckaun Quality round and he experienced some resistance in the rein back, but Tim helped make up for it with accurate riding. They finished on a 68.7 provisionally.

11:36 am ET: Please.
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11:33 am ET: If only I could please get a #westcoast selfie with David O’Connor. Oh, thank you.
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11:26 am ET: Ellie MacPhail is living the dream this weekend as the first Rolex rookie to enter the dressage arena. Ellie came up through the ranks riding at Team O’Connor and she now rides with Clayton Fredericks in Florida. She is part of the U25 list this year, so she also works with former Olympic Champion Leslie Law. You wouldn’t have known she was a rookie from watching her ride, scoring a 54.3. Shown above — their strike off to canter from the rein back.

11:19 am ET: I know everyone is joining me right now in total shock that Michael Jung is leading early here at Rolex. But, as much as this weekend is Michael’s event to lose, the 2015 Rolex field is filled with extremely talented and hungry competitors. Who will take the top spot from the terminator today?

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11:13 am ET: Lainey Ashker and Anthony Patch put together a perfectly rhythmical test for the USA. Lainey should be thrilled with her much deserved 44.2 to take the crown from Phillip Dutton as the highest placed American, currently. Lainey and Al will be piloting the first ever selfie helmet cam on Saturday.

11:09 am ET: James Alliston of Great Britain demonstrated great technique in riding a horse that is challenging to put into a frame that the judges are looking for. Parker’s test won’t go down in the Rolex history books, but it’s a great watch if you want to see horse and rider working together to get the best score possible. USEF has completed test videos on demand here.
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10:57 am ET: Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High show off how much their dressage has improved under Clayton Frederick’s coaching for Team Canada. One overly expressive change perhaps held their score back a bit, but Selena will be thrilled with that performance, scoring provisionally a 55.8

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10:50 am ET: Michael Jung of Germany rode the lovely mare fischerRocana to an extremely correct and pleasant 39.3. Fun fact: “fischerRocana” is German for “ridden by the terminator.” 39.3 — not a bad score for Michael’s warm up ride. He rides the amazing Sam at 3:54 pm ET on Friday.

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10:19 am ET: 61.2 for Jessie Phoenix of Canada, who did a great job keeping First Romance paying attention. The pair suffered only a one small bobble. The next time I hear a rider saying how many distractions there are at Rolex, I’ll remind them that Jessie is nursing her newborn daughter this weekend along with riding two horses. Have a child, compete 10 days later, ride at Rolex 6 weeks later. Jessie, from all of us at EN, we salute you.

10:14am ET: As we’re getting things started off this morning, let’s establish the bar that I’m trying to beat. This is the best .gif in the history of EN, capturing the Silver Fox in top form last year here at Rolex. It’s sad that we won’t see Andrew here this year, but he made it onto the open thread at least.

10:09 am ET: The first few riders have done a good job keeping a lid on things on a windy spring morning in the Bluegrass.
10:07 am ET: I saw a bumper sticker on the drive over to Kentucky: “Decaf is for quitters.” That’s the EN team motto for the weekend. Along with Go Eventing, of course.
10:05 am ET: Karen O’Connor and John Kyle are kicking butt on the USEF Network live video feed. We’re watching along with them here at the Kentucky Horse Park. Can we get a link? You betcha! [USEF Network]
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10:03 am ET: Canada, how are you feeling this morning? This is John taking over for Sally, btw. Thanks for getting things started this morning, Sally.
10:02 am ET: Buck and The Apprentice score 57.5.

9:57 a.m. EST: Buck is calling on his experience to squeeze as much as possible out of a slightly tense The Apprentice.

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9:55 a.m. EST:

9:53 a.m. EST: Buck Davidson will have his first ride of the day now, The Apprentice.

9:52 a.m. EST: OBOS O’Reilly was a bit tense as his test progressed, but Will did a great job keeping him in check. They score a 52.7 provisionally for their first day score.

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9:44 a.m. EST: Next up, Will Coleman and OBOS O’Reilly.

9:43 a.m. EST: A 47.5 for Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive to start off the weekend. Phillip should be very happy with that score, and Jack gets big pats on his way out.

9:42 a.m. EST: “This is one of the best tests I’ve seen from this horse,” Karen O’Connor says as Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive complete their canter work. A bit late behind in their final change, but otherwise a great looking test from Big Phil. A great start for his first ride of three this weekend.

9:40 a.m. EST: Phillip and “Jack” showing off in the ring. Karen O’Connor is providing some wonderful and insightful commentary on each movement alongside John Kyle.

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9:38 a.m. EST: Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for score updates and commentary! Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive are in the ring now.

9:36 a.m. EST: 59.8 for Colleen and Shiraz. This is their lowest CCI4* score to date. Well done, Colleen!

9:35 a.m. EST: A lovely test to start the day for Colleen and Shiraz. “I would be very pleased if I were Colleen,” commentator Karen O’Connor said.

9:31 a.m. EST: Shiraz looks obedient for Colleen. A bit of tension in the rein back, but an otherwise quiet test so far.

Screenshot courtesy of USEF Network.

Screenshot courtesy of USEF Network.

9:29 a.m. EST: Colleen noted yesterday in an interview that there is no other horse she’d rather be first out on cross country with. They’ve completed every CCI4* event in the world with the exception of Adelaide, which is rumored to be on her bucket list.

9:29 a.m. EST: Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz are down center line. And we’re off!

9:22 a.m. EST:

9:19 a.m. EST:

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