Category Archives: Dressage

The Discipline of Riding Dressage

Germans Establish Authority ahead of Dressage Team Medals Finale

Charlotte Dujardin and Gio. (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Team Germany continued to build up a head of steam when moving to the top of the Dressage Grand Prix leaderboard at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Two great rides, from Dorothee Schneider with Showtime and the living legend that is Isabell Werth with Bella Rose, secured pole position at the end of the competition which decided the eight best nations that will go through to Tuesday’s medal-decider, the Grand Prix Special in which all teams start from scratch.

Joining the defending champions will be Great Britain, who finished second, followed by Denmark, USA, Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, and Spain.

Meanwhile, the 18 individuals that have made the cut to Wednesday’s Individual medal decider are also confirmed. The two best from each of the six qualifying groups – Charlotte Fry and Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), Therese Nilshagen and Juliette Ramel (SWE), Cathrine Dufour and Carina Cassoe Kruth (DEN), Edward Gal (NED), Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Dorothee Schneider and Isabell Werth (GER), Sabine Schut-Kery and Adrienne Lyle (USA) – are through. Also qualified are the six next-best individuals, Nanna Skodborg Merrald (DEN), Beatriz Ferrer-Salat (ESP), Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED), Carl Hester (GBR), Rodrigo Torees (POR), and Steffen Peters (USA).

Top two spots

Denmark’s Cassoe Kruth and America’s Lyle claimed the top two spots in Group D when the action resumed, and then Germany’s Schneider headed up Group E after a lovely test. Schneider said her horse was “a little bit tense but it’s normal for him on first day.” She’s had a late return to top competition for a range of reasons.

“Showtime competed at the European Championships in 2019 and then he was at home, because I wanted to keep him safe for the Olympic Games in 2020, and then there were no Games! I wanted to start early in 2021 but then I had an accident in April. But he’s an experienced horse and once he gets out to compete three or four times, he’s fine,” she said of the gelding who carried her to team gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and who she has ridden since he was a three-year-old.

A fall when a horse she was competing dropped dead during a prizegiving ceremony left her with a broken collarbone, “but it’s all good now!” she said. “It took a little time to come back and it wasn’t so easy mentally, but we are back now and I’m happy again,” she explained.

Solidity

Compatriot Werth headed up the final group of 10 horse-and-athlete combinations and, last to go, underpinned the solidity of the German challenge. With her beloved Bella Rose who scored 82.500 she pinned Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and the charming little chestnut gelding Gio into second place in that group. However, both of these ladies look to have a lot more in store for the coming days. And Dujardin, whose reign of supremacy with the great Valegro changed a lot about the sport of Dressage in recent years, is clearly super-excited about her latest rising star. You could feel that rivalry between her and the evergreen queen, Werth, filling the air once again.

Talking about Gio, Dujardin said, “I was so happy; he’s a very green inexperienced horse, so it was a bit of the unknown what to expect. Hagen (Germany in April this year) is the biggest show he’s done and he delivered there. I couldn’t ask for any more today; he went in there and he tried his heart out. He’s just unbelievable; he keeps giving. I felt emotional on the last centreline because when you have a ride like that, win or lose, that’s what it’s all about for me.

“He’s like a little powerhouse: he’s small but definitely mighty;for where he is at his training, I know he can give even more and I’m so happy with him,” she said.

Rivalry

Werth clearly enjoys the renewed rivalry with her British counterpart because it feeds her competitive edge. “It’s always very important that you have strong field of competitors because then you push each other to top performances and that’s the spirit of competition,” she pointed out.

She described the 17-year-old Bella Rose as “my dream horse and when she’s in top shape she is the best – her way of moving, her character, her charisma, her piaffe/passage down the centreline – of course Weihe (her other mare Weihegold) is super and the younger ones too, but with Bella you have the feeling there is always something more possible!”

Talking about these “Games like no other” in Tokyo, the multiple Olympic champion said the lack of an audience could be influential. “Mostly you will see it in the medal decisions, especially in the Freestyle. There will be music but no crowd to carry the horses and riders – it makes a big difference – but on the other hand we are so happy that we can be here, can compete that we have an Olympic Games. We are in a discipline that is really depending on Games, because then we are more in the focus of the media and the world and it gives the younger riders at home the motivation and support, so it’s a big package we have, and we are very thankful to be here.”

Facts and Figures:

If Isabell Werth wins double-gold she will become the most decorated female German Olympic athlete of all times.

The IOC and FEI have given special permission to Irish athletes across all equestrian disciplines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to wear a yellow ribbon in memory of young rising star, Tiggy Hancock, who tragically suffered a fatal fall last month. Dressage rider Heike Holstein was the first to compete with hers. She said, “We are very proud to wear it, and grateful to the IOC and FEI for allowing us to do it.”

The judges awarded the maximum score of 10 on 14 occasions during the second half of the Grand Prix, which is the Team and Individual qualifying competition, and 13 of them were earned by Isabelle Werth’s Bella Rose (GER) – 7 for piaffe, 5 for passage/piaffe transitions, and one for halt. A single 10 was awarded to Charlotte Dujardin’s Gio (GBR) for two-tempi changes.

Quotes:

Christian Schumach (AUT) who scored 70.900 with Te Quiero SF: “I’m super happy with my horse and super happy with my riding. Overall, there was one mistake in the twos and that was clearly my mistake. I was enjoying the surroundings and the Olympic experience too much so it wasn’t his fault; he did a super job! he’s really young (10 years old) and this was only his seventh Grand Prix.”

Heike Holstein (IRL): “It’s special when you breed a foal that you know from when it is running around in your fields as a baby, breaking it, competing it, and taking it all the way to the Olympic Games!”

Steffen Peters (USA), talking about his ride on Suppenkasper: “He’s a hot horse so to do a relaxed clean test was a very good start. This was not the test to go crazy in; we’ll do that in the Special! It’s been four years of a complete love affair with him; he’s such a big, kind teddy bear. He’s 18.2 hands tall but there’s not a mean bone in his body; he always tries and I’m one of the fortunate riders who gets to ride him!”

He complimented the judges on the scores they gave his team-mate Sabine Schut-Kery, whose pathfinding ride got the US off to a great start.

“Sabine is a cool, calm competitor with a helluva horse. Not too many people know her that well, but I appreciate that some of the judges who had never seen her before gave her a very good score.”

Results

by Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Executive Advisor
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Olivia Robinson
Director, Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 35

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46+

Sensational Start to Race for Olympic Dressage Titles

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl. (FEI/Shannon Brinkman)

It may have been a long time coming, but the opening day of Equestrian Dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games more than lived up to expectations. Emotions ran high and so did the scores as superb individual performances saw The Netherlands take the early lead in the battle for the Team title, while Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl set a personal-best when posting the biggest mark of the evening with TSF Dalera.

Groups

With the competition divided into six groups in total, and three of those groups taking their turn, it was Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry and Everdale who set the early target score when posting 77.096 to top Group A. But only two athletes earned marks over 80%, and Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour was the first of these when putting 81.056 on the board with Bohemian to take complete command of Group B.

“It was important for me to give him a really great feeling in the ring today,” Dufour said. “I didn’t want to push too much because I wanted him to be comfortable in there. And even though there’s no audience there’s a vibe in the arena and they can feel it!”

Much of her previous success has been achieved with the diminutive Cassidy, who carried her through Junior and Young Rider level to triple-bronze at the Senior European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE) in 2017 and bronze again in the Grand Prix Special at the Europeans in Rotterdam (NED) in 2019. She admitted she felt a bit guilty about leaving the 18-year-old gelding at home and bringing the 11-year-old Bohemian to Tokyo instead.

“Cassidy has been my partner in crime for 11 years, so I felt a little bit like I was cheating on him!” But she feels Bohemian is “one of the best horses in the world! He doesn’t have any weaknesses.”

Firm basis

Meanwhile, Edward Gal’s score of 78.649 left him second in Group B and gave The Netherlands a firm basis on which to build their team challenge. His black stallion, Total US, is only nine years old, and a son of the great Totilas who, with Gal onboard, set the world of Dressage on fire a decade ago.

“You feel so much comparison, the same feeling when you give your leg, the same reaction. Totilas was more confident at his age – he (Total US) is a bit shy but I’ve done some more competitions with him now and I feel him getting more confident,” said the Dutchman who was sporting an eye-catching new tailcoat.

Previously Dressage riders were only permitted to dress in modest colours, but following a change to those rules the Dutch Dressage team have joined their Jumping counterparts in wearing the brightest of bright orange jackets so they stand out in every sense.

Show-stopper

A show-stopper in the final group of riders was America’s Sabine Schut-Kery who steered the 15-year-old stallion Sanceo to a superb mark of 78.416. The German-born rider who lives in California’s Napa Valley produced a test filled with lightness and energy. This is a lady with a fascinating background, as she began her equestrian career performing in exhibitions across Europe with Friesian and Andalusian horses.

She’s had Sanceo since he was three years old, “and it’s so special to have him now at the pinnacle of the Olympics representing my country!” she said. “In my past I’ve done a lot of entertainment with horses. The passion for Dressage was always there so we taught them to lie down, bow, or sit or rear on command. But with that we were always very passionate about correct Dressage and training the horse correctly and making it look beautiful,” said the lady who has performed with her exhibition horses at top venues including Aachen and Stuttgart in Germany.

Second-last into the arena, Hans-Peter Minderhoud bolstered the Dutch position with a score of 76.817 with Dream Boy, giving his country the lead going into the second half of the Grand Prix ahead of Denmark in second and Great Britain in third. But some shuffling of positions can well be expected by the end of the second day.

Thrilling test

And that was made clear by the thrilling test produced by von Bredow-Werndl for the biggest score of the evening, despite a big spook from Dalera before entering the ring following a rain shower.

“She wasn’t scared; she was just excited by the atmosphere. She didn’t expect it because it was so silent every day here!” said the German star after posting a massive 84.379.

Talking about how testing it was for the riders as well as the horses in the conditions at Baji Koen Equestrian Park, she added, “To be honest I’m very fit, but at the centreline where I started the pirouettes I thought ‘Gosh, it’s so exhausting!’ It was so hot in there and the humidity is extreme after the rain. It was tough,” she said.

Quotes:

Brazil’s Joao Victor Marcari Oliva, who is based in Portugal, first rider into the arena with Escorial: “I knew this horse for a long time because he is a famous Lusitano breeding stallion, but I never thought I would be riding him. It’s a pleasure to open the Olympics. How do I cope with the heat here? Portugal is warm; I am Brazilian so it’s fine; it’s like home!”

Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry: “At the end he got a shock that there were people watching; he was so concentrating on my ride! He knew it was a big occasion; he was so concentrated all day; he knew it was coming; he is so intelligent. I’ve been riding him since he was 7 and he’s now 12. I’ve done Young Riders with him and U25 Grand Prix and he’s moved up to Senior Grand Prix in 2019, so we’ve really grown up together and built a really good partnership. He’s fun to ride and I love every day riding him.”

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Executive Advisor
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Olivia Robinson
Director, Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 35

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46+

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Equestrian Dressage Preview

Celebrating Germany’s 13th Olympic Dressage team gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games: (L to R) Isabell Werth, Dorothee Schneider, Sönke Rothenberger, and Kristina Bröring-Sprehe. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Can Germany make it a fabulous 14?

Germany has a long and formidable record in Olympic Equestrian Dressage. Since the team competition was first introduced in Amsterdam (NED) in 1928, when the German side pinned Sweden into silver and The Netherlands into bronze, they have won 13 of the 20 Olympic team contests. And it’s looking very much like gold number 14 is just around the corner.

The loss to Great Britain at London in 2012 was the only blip in an otherwise seamless run that began in Los Angeles in 1984 when the great Reiner Klimke and Ahlerich led the victory gallop. Despite all the disruption of the last 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) outbreak in mainland Europe, Team Germany arrive at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as defending champions and strong favourites to do it all over again.

Isabell Werth heads the line-up with the mare Bella Rose and holding the World number one slot. And underpinning the sheer strength of the German challenge, she will be joined by World numbers two and four4, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl with TSF Dalera BB and Dorothee Schneider with Showtime FRH. With Helen Langehanenberg and her mare Annabelle in reserve, they seem like an unstoppable force.

However, the three-per team format introduced for this year’s Games could prove highly influential. One off day for just one team member and the story could be very different indeed, because every ride will be critical.

Dynamic duo

At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Great Britain claimed silver and The Netherlands took team bronze and this time around the British send the dynamic duo of Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester once again, but both on relatively unexposed horses.

Dujardin’s decision to take the 10-year-old Gio instead of her considerably more experienced 12-year-old mare Mount St John Freestyle, who was in great form at Hagen (GER) in April and who swept all before her at the home international at Wellington (GBR) in May, came as a surprise. But the athlete, whose record-breaking partnership with the now-retired Valegro has helped popularise this sport like few before her, is backed up by the evergreen Hester and Charlotte Fry with Everdale, and she’s always going to be highly competitive.

Edward Gal with Total US and Hans Peter Minderhoud with Dream Boy headline the Dutch team, Patrik Kittel (Well Done de la Roche) leads the Swedish contingent, and Steffen Peters (Suppenkasper) will be a strong anchor for Team USA. Meanwhile, Team Belgium will be making a little bit of Olympic history as they make their first appearance since 1928.

When it comes to the individual honours all eyes will be on Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and her fabulous horse Bohemian. The pair posted a back-to-back double of wins at the first leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2020/2021 series on home ground in Aarhus (DEN), pinning Germany’s Werth and von Bredow-Werndl into second and third.

But when the Covid cloud broke long enough for another leg to take place in Salzburg (AUT) in January, von Bredow-Werndl showed a whole new level of performance with her 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ gold-medal partner TSF Dalera BB, who has gone from strength to strength ever since. Now this pair looks a real threat to all the rest in the battle for individual Olympic glory.

Less obvious

However, at Olympic Games, the show-stealers are often the less obvious. Australia’s Mary Hanna, whose horse Calanta was the very first to arrive into the stables at Baji Koen Equestrian Park in Tokyo earlier this week, is a case in point. Because equestrian fans all around the world are already putting their hearts behind this mother of two and grandmother of four who, at the age of 66, is tackling her sixth Olympics.

Apart from the Beijing Games in 2008, she has been a member of every Australian Olympic Dressage team since 1996, and that’s quite some record. She’s as proud as ever to be flying her country’s flag alongside Kelly Layne riding Samhitas and Simone Pearce with Destano.

The last time Olympic Games were staged in Tokyo in 1964, Baji Koen was the venue for Dressage, which was a very different sport back then.

In the Grand Prix, the scores were announced after each ride and after the ride-off – which was filmed and then mulled over by judges Frantisek Jandl, Gustaf Nyblaeus, and Georges Margot; the public, the teams, and the media had to wait for two hours before the final results were announced. It should be a bit quicker this time around!

Swiss supremo Henri Chammartin with Woerman was eventually deemed the Individual champion, and the team title went to Germany’s Harry Boldt with Remus, Josef Neckermann with Antoinette, and Reiner Klimke with Dux.

How it will play out….

The FEI Grand Prix test, in which all athletes must participate, will take place on 24 and 25 July and is a qualifier for both the team and individual competitions. The qualification ranking will be decided by the results of all three team members.

Athletes compete in six groups, with three groups competing on each day. The composition of the groups is based on the FEI World Ranking list position of the athlete/horse combination on the date of definite entries (5 July 2021).

The top eight teams in the Grand Prix (and those tied for eighth place) will qualify for the FEI Grand Prix Special on 27 July.

During the period between the Team Qualifier (Grand Prix) and up to two hours before the start of the Team Final (Grand Prix Special), the Chef d’Equipe may substitute an athlete/horse combination. However, the substitute combination will not be entitled to compete in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle.

The FEI Grand Prix Freestyle test is the Individual Final Competition which is open to 18 combinations qualified from the FEI Grand Prix. The qualified athletes will be the top two combinations from each of the six groups and the combinations with the six next highest scores.

The Dressage Tests are the FEI Grand Prix, the FEI Grand Prix Special, and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Executive Advisor
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Olivia Robinson
Director, Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 35

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Horses Really Can Fly, Even If They’re Not Called Pegasus

Photo: Haneda history-making: the first full cargo load of horses ever to land in Tokyo’s Haneda airport ready for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Equestrian competitions. © FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi.

Can horses fly? Well yes, they can if they’re Olympic athletes!

In a piece of history-making, 36 of them flew into Japan last night – the first full cargo load of horses ever to land in Haneda, the waterfront airport that serves the greater Tokyo area and which is now welcoming a very different group of Olympic athletes.

“To see these horses arriving at Haneda airport is a truly historic occasion, and what makes it even more special is that these are not simply horses; they are Olympic horses,” Administrator of Tokyo International Airport Takahashi Koji said. “It’s a really big night for the airport, and particularly for the cargo team, and we see it as one of the major milestones of the final countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”

The four-legged time travellers are all Equestrian Dressage horses and include some Olympic superstars, among them Bella Rose, the mare ridden by Germany’s Isabell Werth, the most decorated Olympic equestrian athlete of all time.

Also landing at Haneda en route to the stunning equestrian venue at Baji Koen, owned by the Japan Racing Association, is Gio, the ride of double Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), who will be bidding for a three-in-a-row title in Tokyo.

The 36 equine passengers will be flying the flag for teams from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Portugal, and host nation Japan, as well as individuals from Brazil, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, and Morocco. They will be joined by a further group of Equestrian Dressage stars flying into Tokyo.

The first Olympic flight out of Europe saw the horses travelling from Liege in Belgium, where there’s even a special airport horse hotel, flying on an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F to Dubai, a 90-minute refuel and crew change and then on to Tokyo.

From a sustainability perspective, Emirates has implemented a number of initiatives to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions where operationally feasible, including its long-standing operation of flexible routings in partnership with air navigation service providers to create the most efficient flight plan for each flight. The airline, which operates one of the world’s youngest aircraft fleets, also uses advanced data analytics, machine learning, and AI in its fuel monitoring and aircraft weight management programmes.

Like human passengers, all horses travel with a passport. They will already have undergone a 60-day health surveillance period prior to a seven-day pre-export quarantine. They all also have an export health certificate and are thoroughly checked over by veterinarians prior to boarding.

Business class travel

The horses fly two per pallet, or flying stable, which is the equivalent of business class. Their comfort and safety is ensured by flying grooms and an on-board veterinarian. Unlike two-legged passengers, the horses not only get their in-flight meals (including special meal requests of course), but are able to snack throughout the trip, on hay or haylage, except when they are taking a nap.

So as they are flying business class, does that mean the horses get flat beds to sleep in? Although horses might occasionally indulge in a spot of lying down to snooze in the sun at home, they actually sleep standing up. They have something called the “stay apparatus,” which allows tendons and ligaments to effectively lock the knees and hocks (in the hind legs) so that they don’t fall over while they’re dozing off. So there’s no need for flat beds on the flight.

A total of 325 horses will be flown into Tokyo across the two Games and the complex logistics for this massive airlift have been coordinated by transport agents, Peden Bloodstock, which has been in charge of Olympic and Paralympic horse transport since Rome 1960 and is the Official Equine Logistics Partner of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), global governing body for equestrian sport. Peden Bloodstock became title partner of the FEI Best Athlete Award in 2019.

A convoy of 11 state-of-the-art air-conditioned horse trucks, owned by the Japanese Racing Association, transported the precious equine cargo – and 13,500 kilograms of equipment – on the final transfer from Haneda to Baji Koen where the equine superstars had the chance to settle into their Olympic Athlete Village, a.k.a. the stables.

“Like all the athletes arriving into Tokyo for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the horses are honed and ready to compete on the sporting world’s biggest stage,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “After all the challenges the world has faced, finally we’re almost there and now it’s only a matter of days before we hear those magical words, ‘Let the Games begin!’”

Equestrian sport in Tokyo 2020

A record number of countries – 50 – will be competing in the equestrian events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games following the introduction of new formats that limit teams to three members, meaning that more countries will have the opportunity to compete on the Olympic stage than ever before.

A total of seven countries will be fielding full teams in all three Olympic disciplines, including the host nation Japan. The others are Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, and United States of America.

Unique gender equality

Equestrian is the only sport in the Olympic movement in which men and women compete head to head throughout the Games, making it a totally gender neutral sport. And the FEI doesn’t need a policy regarding transgender athletes as there are no requirements for our athletes to state their gender in order to participate in FEI competitions, or at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Equestrian is not a gender-affected sport that relies on the physical strength, stamina, and physique of an athlete as there are no gender based biological advantages. Success in equestrian is largely determined by the unique bond between horse and athlete and refined communication with the horse.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a key theme across the Games, and equestrian is very much a part of that. In line with Pillar 1 of the IOC Sustainability Strategy: Minimum Environmental Burden, the redevelopment of the Japan Racing Association-owned Baji Koen Park as the equestrian venue for Tokyo 2020 has minimised environmental impact and ensured the legacy of the venue used for the Tokyo Games in 1964.

“The original plan for equestrian put forward by the Tokyo Organising Committee was for a totally temporary venue in the Tokyo Bay area, but when the FEI was consulted on this as an option, we pushed for the alternative which was to re-use the 1964 Olympic equestrian venue at Baji Koen,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez says. “This was the optimal choice from a sustainability perspective as it minimises environmental impact, but it also ensures the legacy of this wonderful venue.”

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic & Paralympic Games (TOCOG) has incorporated a further sustainability initiative into the equestrian venue with the incineration of used bedding from the horses’ stables for power generation.

Aligned with Pillar 2 of the IOC Sustainability Strategy: Urban environment plans harmonising with nature, only native species that integrate well with local flora and fauna have been planted at the Sea Forest cross country venue. This includes the use of a native grass species, Zoysia japonica, for the footing on the course itself.

Click here for more information on Equestrian at the Olympic Games.

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

It’s All Go for Tokyo

Photo: Baji Koen Equestrian Park.

Before the action even begins, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are already unforgettable. Running a year later than scheduled and with multiple challenges along the way, the best of the best are now putting in their final preparations ahead of the Opening Ceremony on 23 July 2021.

It has been a difficult lead-in period, with so many interruptions due to the pandemic that has affected the entire world and the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) impacting Mainland Europe, then this week’s news that there will be no spectators at any of the venues in order to ensure safe and secure Games. But the statistics for equestrian sport are more impressive than ever, with a record number of countries fielding teams and individuals in the three disciplines of Dressage, Eventing, and Jumping.

The Tokyo 2020 sport entries (FEI Definite Entries) reveal that the flags of 50 nations will fly high during two weeks of spectacular sport. A total of 200 athlete-and-horse combinations are listed, along with an additional 48 Alternate/Reserves.

Formats

The new three-member format has changed the dynamic of the team competitions. Not only is the pressure more intense as each individual performance will count for so much, but it has also opened the door for many more countries to take part.

At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games a total of 27 nations lined out in Jumping, with 15 of those sending teams, while this time 20 teams and individuals from a further 15 countries will take part to boost the number of National Olympic Committees (NOC) represented in Tokyo to 35. In Eventing the number of participating countries has increased from 24 to 29, with 15 teams compared to 13 in Rio, and in Dressage the numbers jump from 25 to 30 nations and from 11 teams to 15.

Centred

The equestrian events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be principally centred at Baji Koen Equestrian Park in Setagaya. This is a public park owned by the Japan Racing Association, which was also the venue for Dressage at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games.

Back then Eventing was staged in Karuizawa and Jumping took place at the National Olympic Stadium. For the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the fully refurbished Baji Koen will host Dressage, Jumping, and two of the three phases of Eventing.

Course designer, Derek di Grazia (USA), has spent the last five years creating the Eventing Cross Country course on what was previously a landfill site at the waterfront at Sea Forest with a stunning backdrop of Tokyo Bay and the city. Equestrian shares the venue, which will become a public park after the Games, with Olympic rowing and canoeing.

The Games of the XXXII Olympiad promise to be like nothing that has gone before and equestrian sport is already breaking records.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Executive Advisor
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Olivia Robinson
Director, Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 35

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Kati Dagge to Campaign Zen Elite Equestrian Center’s New Grand Prix Import

Kati Dagge riding Sai Baba Plus. (Joanna Jodko Photography)

Southwest Ranches, FL (July 2,2021) — Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Kati Dagge is excited about the talented new horse she will be campaigning as part of her association with an idyllic equestrian center. The USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist scored the ride on Sai Baba Plus (Sir Donnerhall – Daylight, De Niro), a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, also known as “Rolex,” owned by Heidi Humphries. Humphries owns Zen Elite Equestrian Center in Southwest Ranches near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where Dagge is the head dressage trainer.

“She’s really good with the horses,” Humphries said of the 2014 Young Adult Brentina Cup Champion. “She’s really gentle with them and I like her style of riding. Every horse she gets on seems to respond to her. She’s more than a trainer; she truly cares about every horse.”

Dagge and Rolex are just getting acquainted, so the “Rollout for Rolex” is yet to be determined, but Humphries thinks their competition debut in the Large Tour in the Florida isn’t too far off. “They’re just getting to know each other, but they’re already clicking very well,” she said.

Endel Ots, who will be collaborating with Dagge as her coach on Rolex’s training, found the talented Grand Prix horse for Humphries with Kati in mind. Rolex was competing internationally in Europe and Humphries thought he was the perfect horse for Dagge to ride and represent the Zen Elite Equestrian Center.  Earlier in the year, Humphries purchased the young KWPN approved stallion King’s Pleasure (Dark Pleasure x Johnson) for Ots to develop through the levels. “Endel has an amazing eye for selecting horses. He found King’s Pleasure and now Sai Baba Plus. I am thrilled with both these horses,” Humphries shared. Dagge and Ots have known each other for about 10 years, and he has coached her on other horses she has brought up through the levels.  “Kati is young, ambitious, and a very talented rider. I am thrilled to have her as lead dressage trainer at Zen Elite. I am so excited to watch Kati and Rolex in the show arena. I truly believe this dynamic duo will be a winning team,” added Humphries.

Dagge, who grew up in a horse-loving family, knows she hit the horse jackpot with Rolex.  “I’m super thankful to Heidi for the opportunity to ride such an amazing horse and for the trust she has in me to be the one to represent the farm,” she said. “She’s got an incredible vision for what she’s doing there. I really think we’re going to have one of the top facilities.” From a huge covered arena to dry and wet treadmills to cold water therapy and an air-conditioned barn, Humphries has thought of everything to make the equestrian center first rate. “She’s an avid horse and animal lover with an amazing vision for the sport,” Dagge continued. “I’m so thankful that I’m part of it.”

Humphries’ goal when creating the facility was to develop a world-class sport horse center with the feel of a spa featuring amazing trainers and fantastic horses. She noted there are several first-class facilities in Wellington and Ocala, but there are horse enthusiasts, ambitious riders, and their equine partners in Dade and Broward county as well.  “Why should they have to drive an hour or two to Palm Beach when they can have it here in Broward County?” she said. “We want our boarders to think of Zen as their home away from home or a vacation close to home, a place where they can shoot for the stars with their amazing horses and learn from top-quality trainers at a state-of-the-art facility.” With a 20,000 sq. ft. insulated covered arena, two huge outdoor arenas, and a full rehab/spa/gym for equines and humans, Zen Elite Equestrian Center is poised to be the premier boarding and training center in the area.

For more information, email zenelite6200@gmail.com or find Zen Elite Equestrian Center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zenelite6200 on in Instagram @zeneliteequestriancenter.

Double World Record Day for Trunnell and Dolton at Tryon Summer Dressage 1&2 CPEDI 3*

Roxie Trunnell and Dolton ©Lindsay McCall, USPEA.

Mill Spring, NC – June 20, 2021 – The final day of Perrigo Tryon Summer Dressage CPEDI 3* competition hosted Freestyle tests in Tryon Stadium, capping three days of international competition and the final U.S. Olympic Observation Event before the naming of the Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Olympic Team. Most notably, Roxanne “Roxie” Trunnell produced a second consecutive personal best and new world record for Para Dressage, bringing home a score of 89.522%.

Trunnell and Dolton, the 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone x Lady x Londonderry) owned by Karin Flint and Flintwoode Farms LLC, had just shattered their own previously held world record score of 83.334% with an 84.702% in Saturday night’s team test for Grade I, but blew the competition – and the Ground Jury – away with her Freestyle performance Sunday morning. Scoring 89.522%, Trunnell and Dolton claimed the weekend’s championship title as well as the world record score. Syd Collier and All In One, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphina x Dauphin) owned by Going for Gold LLC and Katie Robicheaux, gave strong performances of their own, scoring 74.145% to claim second in Freestyle competition. In third, Deborah Stanitski and her own Skovlunds de Nice, the 2006 Danish Warmblood mare (De Noir 3 x Miss Kiki x Diamond), collected a score of 65.845%.

“He kept getting better and better every day!” Trunnell recapped. “It feels really good [to have earned two world records in a row]. His [Dolton’s] mom is really happy with him!” Coming into Tryon Stadium Sunday morning with a personal best in her pocket, Trunnell shared that she prepared by “just keeping it calm, and hanging out with [my dog] Yoda in my tack room. We’ve been working really hard on his Freestyle. I felt pretty good about it!”

Chef d’Équipe Michel Assouline was overcome by the performances produced by the Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team, and shed tears after Trunnell’s stunning performance in the rain in Tryon Stadium.

“I think we have a horse-and-rider combination that is taking us to a different timeline… a Twilight Zone is the phrase [I keep coming to]! She’s leading the team into other dimensions where we haven’t been before! And the world is watching us. It’s an absolutely wonderful feeling,” he emphasized. “She beat the London 2012 record now, which is absolutely fabulous.”

Assouline is thrilled with the team as a whole, noting that each rider’s plans to build their performances throughout the weekend were executed smoothly and to good results. “I’m very pleased [with the team]. They all wanted to start very conservatively so as to not start with any hiccups or failures, and we are trying to increase everything [carefully] and not peak too early. Our goal was to do that, and the mission was accomplished.”

Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 improved all weekend in Grade IV competition, producing a 77.375% in their Freestyle performance to earn Reserve Champion in Perrigo CPEDI 3* competition. Shoemaker and the 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit x Dynastie x De Niro) owned by Kate, Craig, and Deena Shoemaker rode a brand new Freestyle test, and she was thrilled to hit all her markers in her first outing: “I feel so, so proud of my horse. We were riding a brand new Freestyle with brand new music. It was our first time going through it and we hit our markers. That comes down to Sully being so rideable for me today, and the music also just felt so good. It made it easy to ride to, and I loved it!”

Though waiting for the Olympic Team to be announced is now what feels like an eternity away, Shoemaker is proud of her weekend’s performances and grateful for the support of the entire Para Dressage community, she emphasized.

“There were a lot of people and a lot of work that went into getting here this weekend. It may look like one partnership in the arena, but of course, we all know there are trainers, grooms, and countless people that are behind us,” she continued. “I’m just so appreciative, especially to Perrigo, Adequan, and Tryon who made this show possible. We have to wait for the team to be announced, because of course, the selectors need to make the best decision for the team going forward into Tokyo. We really hope that we’re what they’re looking for, so that we have the opportunity to show what we can do in the Paralympics.”

Rebecca Hart (USA) collected her third win of the week in Grade III competition, topping the day aboard El Corona Texel, the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel x Goodtimes) owned by Rowan O’Riley, on a score of 76.934%. In second, Charlotte Merle-Smith (USA) and her own Guata, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Vivaldi x Zuata x Haarlem), earned a 72.311%, while Ignacio Trevino Fuerte (MEX) rode to third place and a score of 62.822% with Delegada X, the 2002 PRE mare (Airoso XXVI x Lusitana x Farruco XIII) owned by Beatrice De Lavalette.

Continuing her fortunate weekend, Hart rode her mount, El Corona Texel, to a new Freestyle test choreographed by Marlene Whittaker. Despite it being the debut of this new test, she and her mount performed to a top score. “We actually hit all of our marks the way I wanted to, so that was nice!” Hart exclaimed.

Fortune 500, Hart’s second mount throughout this weekend’s competition, did not compete in the Freestyle portion of competition. Hart wanted to show El Corona Texel not only because he is a more familiar mount, but because “he’s just so much fun,” she said, elated. She was ecstatic to be able to carry their energy from the warmup ring, through the tunnel, and into the arena. “That was a really nice feeling to have him with me in the ring and have him listen. When I challenged him a little bit, he rose to the occasion.”

Hart emphasized her gratitude for the officials, volunteers, and staff who are assisting with the weekend’s competition. “It’s so special to have a venue that can kind of replicate the situations we will have in Tokyo and all the people that are doing long days in the rain and the heat make this so special.” After a successful weekend, she will be awaiting U.S. team decisions in hopes of competing in Tokyo.

Local athlete from Spartanburg, SC, Emma Jameson (USA), made her debut in Grade III under the lights in Tryon Stadium Friday night in CPEDI 1* competition with Cortesana LA, the 2007 PRE mare (Kabileno XV x Insolencia x Insolente) owned by Misha Marshall. The duo earned a personal best score of 61.071% in their first ride under the lights.

“It was absolutely incredible!” Jameson reported of her experience riding the Para Novice Test B Grade III CPEDI 1*. “Cortesana LA was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better dance partner than her. I had never shown under the lights, so it was a new experience for me and I can’t wait to do it again. It was incredible.”

Having previously competed at the Grade IV level, Jameson is exploring her relationship with “Tessie” in a new way, she revealed. “We’re really working on our partnership, especially in Grade III because I just got reclassified a few days ago at Grade III. We’re looking at those tests and trying to figure out how to incorporate those movements and make sure that my right leg can support those movements as well.”

Next on Jameson’s competition bucket list is to move up to the CPEDI 3* level, before one day being named to the U.S. Paralympic Team, she shared. “This week has been a dream come true. I love coming here and watching people like Roxanne Trunnell, Becca Hart, and Kate Shoemaker, because I’ve watched them since the World Equestrian Games in 2018. Watching them and what they can do is what made me really fall in love with Dressage and Para Dressage. It made me realize that I could do that too, now. It’s an amazing feeling to have. Moving forward, our plans are to move up to the CPEDI 3*. One day, I hope to be named to that Paralympic Team!”

Jameson concluded that she had many people in the Carolinas region to thank, including the therapeutic riding programs that have kept her in the saddle since she was just two years old. “I want to give a huge thank you to not only Ashley Parsons, my trainer, and Misha Marshall, Cortesana LA’s owner, but to HALTER, which is a therapeutic riding program in Spartanburg, South Carolina,” she concluded. “I got started there when I was two years old. I want to thank TROT, another therapeutic riding program in North Carolina, that took me on as well and helped me advance to this level. It’s been a huge experience. I don’t think when we got started with therapeutic riding that we ever imagined it would lead to riding on an international stage. It’s been an absolute dream come true!”

Grade V saw Cynthia Screnci (USA) and Sir Chipoli, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Vivaluciene TKS x Carabas) co-owned by Chris Von Martels and Select Equine International, earn another win, scoring 73.242% in their Freestyle test. Cayla Van Der Walt (RSA) claimed reserve with Daturo II, the the 2006 Andalusian gelding (Mirlito XI x Datura x Pestillo) owned in partnership with Christine Heathman.

Grade II resulted in another win for Beatrice De Lavalette (USA), who received a score of 73.845% with Clarc, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Dreamcatcher x Miss Sinclair) owned by Elizabeth and Nicolas De Lavalette. Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) and Comte du Baccara C, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Johnson TN x Baccara x H Ulrich) owned by Laurietta Oakleaf and Tammi Nowicki, combined for a score of 66.278% and second place.

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Team Tests & World Records at Perrigo Tryon Summer Dressage CPEDI 3*

Cynthia Screnci and Sir Chipoli ©Lindsay McCall, USPEA.

Mill Spring, NC – June 19, 2021 – The second night of competition at the Perrigo Tryon Summer Dressage CPEDI 3* saw team tests performed in Tryon Stadium under the lights, part of the final U.S. Olympic Observation Event before Tokyo. The Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team is firing on all cylinders ahead of team selection announcements, and Team Tests thrilled spectators Saturday evening as well as live stream viewers from around the world.

Cynthia Screnci (USA) scored a personal best aboard her new mount, Sir Chipoli, in Grade V competition after winning the previous night as well. Screnci and the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Vivaluciene TKS x Carabas) co-owned by Chris Von Martels and Select Equine International scored a 69.225% to earn first place, while Cayla van der Walt (RSA) and Daturo II, the 2006 Andalusian gelding (Mirlito XI x Datura x Pestillo) owned in partnership with Christine Heathman, received second place honors on their score of 68.333%.

Screnci has already formed a show-stopping partnership with her horse, despite having only known him for four weeks. This is only the pair’s second show, with podium finishes in all competitions thus far. “He got here on my birthday, so it was kind of like a meant-to-be thing,” she said with a smile. “He’s got all the movement and he has such international quality, but some things we are just going to need to smooth out. But, like I said, we’ve only had him for four weeks!” Screnci is setting her sights on the World Championships in 2022, hoping the pair will shine even brighter under the lights after a year of working together.

Sir Chipoli, her “meant-to-be” mount, and Screnci have already taken the Para Dressage ring by storm, but Screnci herself is new to the sport. No stranger to the equestrian world, she has owned and ridden horses for over 40 years, competing in barrel racing, hunters, and jumpers. After an injury in a jump-off in 2015, she decided to try her jumper mare in the Para Dressage ring after some coaxing by Robert Dover. “I’ve only been doing Dressage for the last two years!” she admitted, “We won last night and we won again today, and that’s just really incredible.”

The night also held special meaning for Screnci, who pointed out a special pin on her coat that could also be seen worn by other competitors, as a tribute to her mother who passed away in May. Screnci’s mother was an active supporter of not only Screnci, but the entire U.S. Para Dressage community, she emphasized. “She loved everybody here, and she had bought these for everybody to show that she supported them all.”

In Grade II competition, Beatrice “Bea” De Lavalette (USA) piloted Clarc to first on a score of 71.414%, catching a second win on the weekend with the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Dreamcatcher x Miss Sinclair) owned by Elizabeth and Nicolas De Lavalette. In reserve, Laurietta Oakleaf and Comte Du Baccara C, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Johnson TN x Baccara x H Ulrich) owned by Laurietta Oakleaf and Tammi Nowicki, combined for a score of 63.434%.

De Lavalette reported that her weekend with Clarc has only improved as competition has continued, sharing, “It went really well. I’m very happy with tonight’s test. I worked on some of the judges’ comments from last night, and adjusted my riding for tonight. My horse was really good. He spooked, but that’s no big deal! Honestly, I thought it was a very good ride and I’m very happy with it.”

Since traveling to Germany in May, De Lavalette revealed, she has grown as a rider, and her focus is on continuing to improve her skills. “So much has changed since my trip to Germany, and during those three days in Germany, my riding completely changed,” she emphasized. “From there, we’ve been working on how much my riding has changed and how to improve it.” Her growth is evident, as she performed her test with grace and ease, earning the top spot in her class.

For De Lavalette, the highlight of Saturday night’s test was seamlessly handling a spooky moment in the sandbox, she concluded: “Right after the spook, I didn’t let it fluster me. I just went straight back and said, ‘Okay, let’s go!’ So that’s probably my proudest moment [from tonight] because I didn’t let it get my mind off what I was doing.”

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Perrigo Tryon Summer Dressage CPEDI 3* Sees Para Dressage under the Lights at TIEC

Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton ©Lindsay McCall, USPEA.

Mill Spring, NC – June 18, 2021 – Para Dressage was front and center in Tryon Stadium Friday night at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort as part of Perrigo Tryon Summer Dressage 1&2 CPEDI 3* competition and the final U.S. Olympic Observation Event before Tokyo. Individual Tests were performed Friday evening starting at 8:15pm, with Team Tests taking place Saturday evening and Freestyle performances closing out the weekend Sunday, June 20, starting at 10:00am.

Grade I Competition kicked off with a win for Adequan® U.S. Para Dressage Team member Roxanne Trunnell (USA) and Dolton, 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone I x Lady x Londonderry) owned by Karin Flint and Flintewood Farms LLC, after the duo collected a total score of 82.500%. In second place, with a score of 70.059%, was Sydney Collier (USA) and All In One, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphina x Dauphin) owned by Going for Gold LLC and Katie Robicheaux. Deborah Stanitski (USA) and Skovlunds de Nice, her own 2006 Danish Warmblood mare (De Noir 3 x Miss Kiki x Diamond), received third place with a score of 67.143%.

Trunnell and Dolton have shined in the TIEC competition rings before, but competing under the lights at TIEC provided a new layer of atmosphere to the venue and some cooler temps than typically felt in Florida, she shared. “It was [such a good test!] He was a good boy,” Trunnell recapped. “He felt really relaxed, but forward, too.

“I’ve competed [under the lights] in Wellington, and it’s a lot colder out this time!” The weekend that is also serving as a final observation event for the U.S. Olympic Team selection trials is giving high performance athletes and their horses a practice outing, and Trunnell concluded that she hopes to continue her momentum from her win at TIEC into future rides both in North Carolina and beyond. “Hopefully, [the plan is] keeping the good scores going, and making it to Tokyo!”

Rebecca Hart (USA) piloted two mounts through Grade III competition, earning first place aboard Fortune 500 on a score of 72.500% and claiming second place with El Corona Texel, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel x Goodtimes) owned by Rowan O’Riley, after their performance, which earned them a score of 70.245%. Third place honors were presented to Charlotte Merle-Smith aboard her own Guata, a 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Vivaldi x Zuata x Haarlem); the pair received a score of 69.461%. Ignacio Trevino Fuerte and Delegada X, the 2002 mare (Airoso XXVI x Lusitana x Farruco XIII) owned by Beatrice De Lavalette, claimed fourth place with a score of 60.441%.

Hart and the 2010 Oldenburg Gelding (Fidertanz 2 x Weinrose x Don Romantic) owned by Rowan O’Riley have only danced together under the lights twice now, but her “happy soul” of a young horse took to the atmosphere with ease, Hart recalled. “He is just such a cool horse. He’s really starting to come into his own, which is nice, and he’s just a fun, happy soul. He’s such a pleasure to ride and show because he’s just a happy dude!”

After piloting two horses around the Grade III tests, Hart reflected that she’s grateful that she’s been focusing on fitness lately: “You know, I think it’s amazing that we’re doing this at night to, sort of, simulate Tokyo, [but] I’m really glad I’ve been working on my fitness because these are long days, and with two [horses], it kind of doubles!” Hart went first and last in the Grade III competition, without a spare minute between rides. “But,” Hart emphasized, “it’s an absolute privilege to have two horses at an event like this, so I cannot ask for more than that.”

Para Dressage has been featured at TIEC numerous times throughout the years, but Tryon Summer 1&2 is markedly scheduled to showcase all CPEDI competition at evening hours to simulate conditions that will be expected in Tokyo. After her first tour of Tryon Stadium under the lights, Hart was thrilled with the results she achieved. “I love showing under the lights. Para is really starting to come into its own as an international discipline, so I think any time that we can highlight it and bring it to an event like this, in a venue like this, under the lights and now that we’re able to bring back some spectators, it’s great for growing the sport of Para Dressage.”

Going forward throughout the weekend, Hart will work on achieving increased energy in the ring while maintaining El Corona Texel’s relaxation, but is excited to give “Moolah” more miles under the lights Saturday night. “That was a really good test for him and this is his second time under the lights, so to have him come out and really want to play is a really special feeling,” she concluded. “Huge thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors that are putting on this event and staying into the late hours for us. We couldn’t do it without them, so huge thank you to everyone that’s putting on this event!”

Kate Shoemaker, D.V.M. and Solitaer 40, the 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit x Dynastie x De Niro) owned by Kate, Craig, and Deena Shoemaker, were the solo competitors in Grade IV individual competition, producing a score of 73.049%.

One of the last rides in Tryon Stadium for the night, Shoemaker raved about the evening’s atmosphere. “It’s so amazing in this venue under the lights,” she shared. “I don’t know what it is, but just the way the lights bounce off all the different wood, and the rocks, and the colors, it just makes this amazing atmosphere. The horses are loving it!”

She’s starting to see her homework pay off with “Sully” in the sandbox, she detailed. “We’ve really been working on bringing a lot more power and cadence into our riding. Everything is always behind, [between] what you’re getting at home, and what you’re getting in the arena, and it’s just so exciting right now because I’m starting to get that work in the arena. I think it showed today!”

The only thing Shoemaker will tweak going forward is her warmup routine, she revealed. “We’re trying to figure out what the ideal amount of warm-up time is, just to make sure he’s as ‘through’ as possible. I think today was a little bit short, so tomorrow we’ll do just a touch more and see if we can get a bit more. I’m just so happy to be here, and that Perrigo is sponsoring, [and for] everyone here at Tryon, the USEF staff, and everybody’s personal support staff. It’s amazing what goes into putting this on, and I’m super thankful,” Shoemaker concluded.

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Royal Windsor Horse Show to Provide Final Preps for Team GB Olympic Dressage and Eventing Squads

Royal Windsor Horse Show is delighted to offer a unique opportunity for spectators to see the British Olympic Dressage and Eventing squads in action, as they make their final preparations before departing for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The selected horse and rider combinations, which will include the squad of four plus two reserves from each discipline, will be taking to the Castle Arena at 4pm on Wednesday 30 June to perform their respective Olympic Dressage tests in front of a crowd of 1,000 people.

The squads, which are to be officially announced on Monday 28 June, will be practicing their respective Olympic tests, with the Dressage riders performing either the Grand Prix or the Grand Prix Special, and the Eventers riding the new Olympic Eventing test. This public training session will give the horses a much-needed chance to perform in an atmospheric international arena in front of a crowd – an opportunity that has been very limited in the past year. The tests will be formally judged and the judges will be feeding back to the squads after the Show.

After the tests, the audience are also invited to stay to watch the rehearsals for the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry and the Musical Drive of the Kings Troop RHA. The Show is expected to end at 8pm.

To find out more, or to book tickets, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com