Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dressage: European Championships: Brits head the dressage leader board at the halfway stage

Thanks to stunning performances from the two British riders Charlotte Dujardin and Emile Faurie, Britain leads the grand prix team competition at the half way stage of the European Championships 2011. The team posted 149.256 to sit 6.733 points clear of nearest rivals Germany (142.523) with the Dutch close behind on 141.490.

Emile Faurie riding Joanne Vaughan’s Elmegardens Marquis led out as trailblazer for the Brits. He rode a cool, calm test with the 11 year old Michellino gelding to bank a reassuring 70.426%.

“I’m really chuffed!” commented Emile “Max stayed relaxed and concentrated through the whole test. We had a small blip going into the arena where there’s a lot going on but as soon as I turned left I knew I had him with me. Everyone knows he is a hot, excitable horse but he has masses of talent. We’ve had a good season, both of us have come here well prepared and this has been our aim for the year.”

“Of course our ultimate goal is London but there are so many brilliant combinations in Britain we’re really going to have to go some to make the cut. We had to get a championship under our belt to even put ourselves in with a chance.”

“I knew I would be first to go for the team and that we had to get a solid base score on the board so I’m really proud of the horse for what he did today. I’m certain there is at least another 5% in him and his owner Joanne has always believed in him.”

26 year old Charlotte Dujardin made her championship team debut count, taking the arena by storm with the nine year old Negro bred gelding Valegro co-owned by Carl Hester and Roly Luard. The pair rode a confident and polished test that belied their relative inexperience, sweeping them into the lead with a massive personal best of 78.830%.

“I’m over the moon and to score a PB is really special, especially with two extra judges sitting there to watch our every move!” said Charlotte. “After Hickstead we’ve been able to sharpen up a few things and come here ready to rock and roll. Blueberry [Valegro] is so brilliant in his mind; he wants to do it and learns so fast.  He grows out of mistakes he makes in weeks, problems that other horses would take a season to get over.”

“I’m so lucky to have Carl behind me; he’s made it all possible really – he’s so supportive and keeps me on the straight and narrow. I’ve just had fantastic opportunities and owe it all to the support of the people around me, Roly Luard, who half owns Blueberry, the Lottery funding behind us, and the whole World Class support team. It’s all incredible.”

34 competitors are yet to ride and with top horse and rider combinations still to come including British team mates Carl Hester and Laura Bechtolsheimer, tomorrow's competition promises an exciting climax before the individual sections, the grand prix special and grand prix freestyle classes take place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August respectively.

No comments:

Post a Comment