A World Class Rocking Horse

This isn’t just any rocking horse. This is Valegro.

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Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro Take The Lead In Rio

Charlotte Dujardin has taken the lead in the dressage in Rio by turning in a commanding 85.07% on Valegro. Not a surprise, really as they are the reigning world champion, but they really lived up to their billing. If I could ride a horse that well — and ride a horse that talented — I could forego jumping forever!

Thanks to someone posting video from a BBC channel, I was actually able to watch the dressage performances. They are posted on Facebook so I’m hoping the embedding works for all of you.

 

Steffan Peters is currently the highest placing American rider, competing on Legolas.

 
Here’s a nice interview with Charlotte (and Valegro).

William Fox-Pitt leads after Dressage in Rio

William Fox-Pitt on Chilli Morning
William Fox-Pitt GBR riding Chilli Morning, during the dressage phase of the Eventing Competition of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Fox-Pitt currently is in first place.

William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning held onto their leadership position with a score of 37.0. What a come back for William, who had a terrible fall last year. To see him back in the saddle and in such great form is inspiring.

He tells his story best in these two interviews below. Until listening to him, I’d had no idea how much he’s had to overcome in his recovery.

Horses have always been part of my life and I love being around them. During my recovery they gave me something to go for. The horses really got me back to being fit and back on the job.

In the beginning I couldn’t see very well at all and then for several months I had blurred vision. It did effect my riding.

‘The jumping was tricky when you could see one fence that became four and I couldn’t really tell which one I was jumping until the last minute. It’s tough.

Uthopia to stay with Carl Hester

Carl Hester ended weeks of speculation today when he announced that Uthopia would stay in his barn. Uthopia was sold at auction for £165,000 after the bankruptcy of his owners Sasha Stewart and her father Derek Harrison.  Although Hester had attempted to raise fund for a syndicate, he was outbid by an anonymous Irish buyer.

Now it’s been revealed that one of Carl Hester and UthopiaHester’s friends and sponsors has purchased the stallion from the Irish buyer who bought the horse at Wilsons Auctions, meaning that “Uti” will stay in Hester’s yard.

So nice to hear there is a happy ending to this story.

Burghley — William Fox-Pitt now tied for first after dressage

William Fox-Pitt
Listen to William Fox-Pitt interviewed after his dressage test on

William Fox-Pitt rode Fernhill Pimms in a lovely relaxed test to tie for first place with Michael Jung after dressage. You would never know that it was the horse’s first 4*.

You can watch his test on http://www.Burghley.tv

William Fox-Pitt and Fernhill Pimms are tied for first place going into XC at Burghley.
William Fox-Pitt and Fernhill Pimms are tied for first place going into XC at Burghley.

After Day 2 of RK3DE Michael Jung is tied for the lead

As expected, the second day of dressage in Kentucky ended with Michael Jung in first place with a score of 36.3 on La Biosthetique Sam FBW. What was not anticipated was that Tim Price tied for the lead riding his 12-year old Dutch gelding Wesko. William Fox-Pitt is sitting in third place on 2014 Rolex winner Bay My Hero.

Here is Tim Price (New Zealand) with Wesko, a 12-year old Dutch gelding.

I haven’t found a video of Michael Jung’s full ride, but here’s some of it.

Michael Jung is tied for first place
Click on the video to make it play

 

Here’s an interesting fact – while the top three riders all wore top hats, I was really pleased to notice that many, many riders (including big names like Boyd Martin and Buck Davidson) wore helmets for their tests.  So much safer!

Cross country tomorrow should prove interesting. The forecast is not good — thunderstorms are moving in. To try to beat the weather, organizers have moved the first ride to 9:45 EST and will start running the riders every 3 minutes after the first few trips (which are 5 minutes apart). Fingers crossed that the weather holds.