The minutes and moments have been flying by at the World Equestrian Games for me and for everyone else here. That includes Silva Martin who, as you might imagine, has been very busy what with her husband riding in the World Equestrian Games! We were able to rendezvous just this afternoon to discuss Dressage Day two for the eventing portion of the WEGs. Here’s what she had to say!
Karen O’Connor and Mandiba/ photo courtesy of Josh Walker
I thought I saw a lot of very beautiful horses and a lot of good riding. The Americans really gave it their best. Everyone is getting along and cheering each other on. It’s a very good atmosphere and we’re very lucky to be here.
Karen [O'Connor] did a great job. She’s on a 44. The judges were starting to judge a little easier; I was watching as the day went on. Mandiba was good and worked with the atmosphere very well. Karen rode very accurately and he looked great. She had a few little mistakes but nothing major. The score was really fair. I remember he [Mandiba] was a little unsteady in places but Karen kept him together and being such an experienced rider you could really see that.
Becky Holder and Courageous Comet/ photo courtesy of Josh Walker
Becky [Holder] was outstanding. When she came in the crowd went crazy because everyone loves Comet-he’s like a – what do you call it?- national treasure. He loved the atmosphere and Becky was right on it. It was a beautiful test all around including the changes and all the trot work. She didn’t miss a beat. Obviously he [Comet] has an amazing trot and big extensions. Her canter work was like clock work. Everything was just beautiful. She couldn’t have done any better. She’s on a 39 which is very exciting.
Phillip Dutton and Woodburn/ photo courtesy of Josh Walker
Woodburn is an ideal event horse, actually, because he’s a thoroughbred but looks and moves like a warmblood. We all thought he was going to nail this and go into the lead. His trot work was beautiful but the judges weren’t going crazy for it. He was really going for the extensions. The canter started off good then, at the first and second change he got nervous then had two changes on short diagonal. I don’t know what set it off but Woodburn got upset about making a mistake and he got a little frazzled. That’s where he really lost marks. I’m not sure what it was but he made big mistakes at the end which got his score down to a 48 which is still a great score but we were hoping Phillip would go into the 30′s, which he’s capable of. Those mistakes really got him down a bit.
But it didn’t matter after today!