That’s a wrap on Day 1 of dressage here at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning showed the brilliance we’ve come to expect from them to score 37.5 to hold the overnight lead. This horse laid down an unbelievable 33.3 at Rolex last year and shines in this phase, giving Great Britain an excellent team score to take forward to tomorrow — and the only score in the 30s so far halfway through dressage.
Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST, who had the best score in the morning group with 40.7, will hold second place overnight, just ahead of his fellow German teammate Ingrid Klimke and FRH Escada JS, who led off the final group of the day, managing a score of 41.2 despite a few costly bobbles to ultimately pull straight 9s for her rider marks. Tim Price and Wesko, this years Luhmühlen CCI4* winners, struggled a bit in the beginning of their test but really pulled things together nicely for a score of 42.0 for fourth place in the early going.
Elaine Pen and Vira, a stunning dressage-bred mare by Jazz, round out the top five on a score of 42.3. This mare just floats across the ground and is so much fun to watch, and Elaine looked thrilled with the test, punching the air after her final halt and salute. Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces led off after the lunch break with a lovely test for 43.8, which is nearly 10 points better than they did at Rolex — truly a testament to how hard Big Phil has worked to develop this partnership. Click here to hear his thoughts on his test.
With the dust settled, Phillip and Oscar are our only American combination in the top 10, with Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM sitting just outside in 11th place on 48.7. Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville are hovering just inside the top 15 on their score of 50.8. Click here for recaps of Buck and Sinead’s tests in this morning’s dressage report.
Jessica Phoenix and Pavarotti are sitting just head of Sinead and Tate on 50.2 for Team Canada, and it’s remarkable how much they’ve improved this test since Great Meadow. Though Rotti came a bit unraveled in the changes, this was truly a lovely performance, and Jessie was all smiles after!
With just two team scores recorded so far — the highest counting toward the team total and the second currently serving as the drop score — Great Britain leads, followed by Germany and New Zealand, with the U.S. in fifth place and Canada in eighth place. Of course, that will change a lot tomorrow as the next two riders for each team go, so it’s still anyone’s game at this point.
The sun tried to make an appearance this afternoon, but it’s mostly been overcast, with rain falling on and off, which is not helping the mud problem at all. We’re officially coining this #WoodstockWEG — there’s even a muddy field next to the venue where a number of the volunteers are camping out. It’s definitely survival of the fittest here at Haras du Pin, and the elements are currently winning.
We still have much more to bring you from WEG, including a press conference report, a look at just how much of a muddy mess it is here, thoughts on Team USA’s day, a trade fair tour and anything else we can scrounge up. Now that we finally have a reliable wifi connection, we #cantstopwontstop. In the meantime, relive all the day’s action with the morning open thread here and the afternoon thread here — GIFs and photos galore! Go WEG.
#WEG2014 must-reads from this morning:
#WEG2014: Website, Schedule & Results, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Guide to Eventing, FEI TV, FEI TV’s YouTube, WEG Facebook, EN’s Instagram, Fantasy Eventing,@eventingnation, Dressage Ride Times, Live Scores