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September 2008

Port Royal Affiliated Dressage, 6 Sept

Went to Port Royal to have a practice on Indi before the BD Nationals in a couple of weeks time. I had been at Sue's all week with both horses and Indi was going really well. I was delighted to win both Elementary tests quite convincingly. I just missed out on part qualifying for the winter regionals, scoring 65.93% - I needed just one more mark to get the magic 66% but was still very happy.

Sue brought her 5 year old, Kevin (DHI Clementine), and was 1st= in Novice 30. He behaved really well and she was very pleased with him as it was only his 2nd ever outing.

Paralympic Games 2008

The Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games took place on 6th September with the equestrian events starting on Sunday 7th.

Visit the new FEI Paralympic website for up-to-date information or the Beijing Equestrian Events website for full results as the events take place.

Eilish has been keeping everyone updated with her progress on her blog, and Will Connell's news on www.EquestrianTeamGBR.co.uk also makes interesting reading.

So far she has completed a warm-up test for those riders not competing in the Team event - she came 2nd behind Felicity Coulthard of GB which is excellent. Unfortunately this competition did not lead to medals but it's a really good start for Eilish. I don't think the full results of the warm up have been published anywhere. Debbie Criddle from GB won the Grade III warm up.

Day 1 - 7th Sept

Grade II and Grade III Team tests have taken place in the morning of 7th September. Only those competing in teams can take part. The Grade II was won by Angelika Trabert and the Grade III was won by Hannelore Brenner. Both are from Germany giving the Germans an excellent start to the team competition. GB rider Simon Laurens was 2nd in Grade III.

Following the Grade Ia and Ib Team tests, Team GB have pulled themselves into a commanding lead in the Team competition and have probabky already done enough to secure Team Gold. Anne Dunham won the Grade Ia with a massive 75.176% ahead of team mate Sophie Christiansen on 72.00%, and Lee Pearson won Grade Ib with 73.294% quite easily, from Jens Lasse Dokkan of Norway.

The Germans, Danish and Norwegians and the team of 3 from Italy will be hot on their heels but there have been some disappointing performances from the USA and Australia who had high hopes prior to the Paralympics.

See the results here

See photos from Day 1 here

Day 2 - 8th Sept

We had high hopes for Eilish after her 2nd place in the Grade II warm up test, but unfortunately, after working in well, Youri became tense and she placed 11th with 62.818%. This was not up to her usual high standards so she was understandably disappointed. The Grade II was won by the German, Britta Nappel on Cherubin 15 on 71.909%, with Lauren Barwick of Canada in 2nd place.

Grade IV ws won by Philippa Johnson of South Africa with 69.290% with Ann Cathrin Lubbe and the great Zanko from Norway close behind in 2nd and Georgia Bruce on top Australian dressage horse, Victory Salute in 3rd.

See the results here

Day 3 - 9th Sept

Today saw Grade III and Grades 1a and 1b so most of Team GB was in action.

Grade Ia came first and Anne Dunham scored her first individual Gold with 73.1% closeley folowed by Sophie Christiansen on 72.8%. Singapore's Laurentia Tan, who has trained in the UK came 3rd.

Debbie and Simon were up next in the Grade III Championship and I expected one or other of them to win a medal. However, the German's and the Danish rider Annika Lykke Dalskov dominated this class.

1st Hannelore Brenner GER 71.44%
2nd Annika Lykke Dalskov DEN 71.04%
3rd Bettina Eistel GER 70.88%

Australian Sharon Jarvis put in a much better performance than in the Team Test to clinch 4th from Deb Criddle who was 5th - from her interview it seems Pavaroti was very tense and she forgot the test so had 2 marks deducted by each judge - very costly. Simon Laurens said Ocean Diamond was also tense which spoilt his test - I'm sure he'll be disappointed with the 8th place he achieved.

In Grade Ib, Lee Pearson lived up to expectations to win yet another Gold medal with ease from Jens Lasse Dokkan of Norway in 2nd, and Marcos Alves of Brazil in 3rd.

With such high marks achieved by the Grade Is, GB was assured of the Team Gold, as expected. Well done to the team!

See the full results here

See photos from Day 3 here

**I've just found Alison Mastin's 'blog' on the Dressage Ireland website. Irish judge, Alison, is President of the Ground Jury in Hong Kong (Chief Judge) so she gives a really interesting, judges eye view of the competition.**

Day 4 - 10th Sept

In the morning, half the riders in Grade IV and Grade II completed their freestyles to music. The draw is based on the position riders achieve in the Championship test, so the top riders in these grades are still to come later today.

Eilish scored a solid 65.833% but 9 riders in Grade II were due to ride in the evening so there was tough competition still to come. However, this turned out to be a very good score and she ended the competition in 8th place which is brilliant! Well done Eilish! I'm sure it made up for earlier disappointment - luckily, unlike some other sports, the dressage riders get more than one chance to compete.

Lancashire based GB rider Felicity Coulthard, making her debut at the Paralympics in 2008, will be delighted with her silver medal, behind Grade II freestyle champion, Lauren Barwick of Canada.

In Grade IV, the placings were the same as the Championship test, Philippa Johnson of South Africa winning over Ann Cathrin Lubbe of Norway (2nd) and Georgia Bruce of Australia (3rd).

See the full results here

See photos from Day 4 here

Day 5 - 11th Sept

The last day of the Paralympic equestrian events saw Team GB dominating the gold and silver medals to achieve their most successful Paralympics ever. In Grade III Simon Laurens was back to his usual form to win silver behind Hannelore Brenner of Germany. Deb Criddle narrowly missed out on the medals in 4th place.

In Grades Ia and Ib it was Team GB in first and second places. Lee Pearson maintained his 100% gold medal record with a massive 77.057% folowed by his team mate Ricky Balshaw who won his first ever medal with 70.444%. Marcos Alves of Brazil won the bronze.

In Grade Ia, Sophie Christiansen turned the tables on Anne Dunham to win gold with 76.166%. Anne had to settle for silver with 73.333% and Laurentia Tan from Singapore won her 2nd bronze medal. UK based Laurentia is the first ever Paralympic athlete from Asia to win a medal - a great achievement.

See the full results here

See photos from Day 5 here

British Dressage National Championships, Sept 19th

Here are the KBIS Grade III results - I came 2nd! (and only just missed out on 1st place, thanks to the judge at E!).

  Rider Horse
1st Emma Kent Gentle II
2nd Kathryn Wheelock Indi
3rd Natasha Baker Waldminor
4th Toby Pawson Oyster II

Judge at E: Sarah Leitch, Judge at C: Sarah Rodger, Judge at M: Chris Porterfield

Full results here.

Ka and Gerry

Irish para riders at the BD Nationals



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