Comments from the riders after the team dressage competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
Charlotte Dujardin GBR: “I had such fun, I went out there to do my best. I wanted to get us into medal position, to pull us back up into the medals and we did it. I am so lucky, he felt so good. I had to tell him to keep going, you haven’t finished yet. He has done that test for three years now so knows where to stop.
“As long as I have done my best and Valegro has done his best, that’s what matters. It would be nice to win gold but any medal is great. If he pulls it off, it would be fantastic but as long as I go in there and enjoy it. He loves the atmosphere, I think he thought he had already won, he just loves it.
“The surface wasn’t great. Carl told me to hold back, don’t go for it too much.”
Adelinde Cornelissen NED: “Really happy with the test. It was a safe test. No mistakes, important in a team competition. We will put on extra tomorrow. I like the pressure. The first one or two rounds in the arena he had big eyes, but then said OK, I’m here, and relaxed. He focused on me. It was a good start.”
Belinda Trussel CAN: whose horse, Anton, was given a slim chance of returning to top-level competition after being out with injury for two and a half years; “My horse is unfortunately afraid of applause, so that set him off a little bit in the beginning around the outside. But this crowd is so great and so respectful – they saw him get explosive and they quieted down right away, and he settled into his work. I couldn’t be more pleased with him. He’s a fantastic horse.”
Carl Hester GBR: “As a team we’re really delighted, no-one feels left out, we’re so lucky to have Charlotte who can take the pressure to get the scores to win medals”.
Victoria Max-Theurer AUT: “I’m really happy with my horse today. He was very concentrated despite the noise in the stadium. We have reached our goal, the piaffe/passage were good and so were the pirouettes and the two-time changes. All this in conditions that were quite difficult for the horse”.
Marcela Krinke Susmelj SUI: “My horse was impressed by the arena but I’ve been riding him for three years so he trusted me and gave his best. His walk was good and the passage and piaffe are also strong points”.
David Marcus CAN: “It’s been a long road to get here and, for me, the World Equestrian Games has been an amazing experience. Unfortunately, my 34th place finish won’t get me through to the next round, but I couldn’t be happier or more proud of my horse, my team and my ride.”
Edward Gal NED: who proved quite the personality, and who confessed to liking sushi but wants to know if anyone has found a good sushi restaurant in Caen, said: “I felt sick about Glock’s Undercover not going. But then I just had to focus on this horse. “I think he will be really good. I was hoping it would go better, I know he can do better.”
Michael Eilberg GBR: “I’m a bit disappointed really today with the test that I had. Obviously quite a few mistakes crept in; we’ve had some really good recent form, so the test today was a little bit below par. I’m a bit gutted because I wanted to get a good score for the team, but that’s the way it goes. She (Half Moon Delphi) warmed up really well. That can be a negative because she felt too good! Even around the outside of the arena she was really good, but on the first diagonal she was just a bit ‘looky’ at the camera, and it made her hide just a bit. The piaffe came off well today I thought, and I collected a few marks there as the test went on.”
Valentina Truppa ITA: “It was a nice ride, with no mistakes. We could have given more but I wanted to quietly save him for tomorrow. The stadium is very nice but very loud too so he (Fixdesign Eremo del Castelgno) got a bit agitated at the beginning. We trained a lot at home and went to Aachen and other competitions where we could already see the same judges and train for the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special. Not for the Kur though. I’ll be just happy and lucky enough if I get to the Kur”.
Morgan Barbancon ESP: when asked why the horse goes with his ears back slightly, said “He is really attentive. If he has them in front, I know he is not listening to me. If he has them back, then I know he is saying, ‘right, Im listening, what do you want.
“My horse had a serious injury after the Olympics, an abscess in his hoof. I didn’t think he would make it back. He is 17. I will ride a few more shows, try for the World Cup final and maybe the Europeans next year, if he is still fit and willing. Today was one of our personal bests, I am really, really pleased with him.”
Carlos Pinto POR: “I’m pretty happy with my test because the arena is very impressive for my horse. I made a few mistakes because of the stress, but it’s going to be better and better! My wife rides my horse four times a week and I do the work when I’m here. We tried to keep him mentally and physically ready for the competition”.
Jessica Michel FRA: “I have a really good feeling. It’s difficult when there are 100 competitors and the piaffe has a coefficient of two now so the cards are dealt differently this year. We are the World Equestrian Games and the judges are more demanding, that’s normal. But Rivera gave everything she had. We worked a lot on passage and piaffe but she still lacks regularity. Despite all of this, I’m really proud of the control and harmony I could achieve”.
Joao Oliva BRA whose horse bolted after his final halt: “I’m fine! Just a bit nervous! This is my first big competition and my horse made some mistakes but I’m happy with him. We have a lot of improvement to make and there will be better to come. This event is like a warm-up for me”.
Megan Lane CAN: “She was a little bit more looky than she has been recently. She’s never been in a venue this big, so I was expecting a little bit of electricity from her. But, all in all, she kept it together really well. It’s my first time in the senior team, before I was in the Junior one. I bought my horse five years ago to hunt and I finished up training all alone for the competitions. I’m satisfied with my result!”