The dressage gets underway in Athens tomorrow morning, with the individual and team Grand Prix competitions. First up for Great Britain are Carl Hester (Escapado) and Emma Hindle (Wie Weltmeyer).
All but one of the horses presented for the first inspection this morning passed the judge’s scrutiny. There was disappointment, though, for the Greek rider Alaia Demiropoulou, when her hopes with Heros were shattered at this preliminary stage.
Dutch rider Anky van Grunsven is set to defend her individual Gold medal, although she has somewhat diminished hopes of the Dutch team breaking Germany’s winning streak following the withdrawal of one of Holland’s hot contenders, Edward Gal, following an injury during transit to the stallion Gestion Lingh.
Britain will be hoping to improve on their Sydney result of team eighth, while Emma Hindle and Wie Weltmeyer could prove a vital element to British success. They haven’t been seen on the international stage for some time, prevented from competing at Aachen CDIO due to an injury, but are back on form and raring to go.
Richard Davison, as the National Champion, and like Hester, and Olympic veteran, carries the weight of expectation on his shoulders. His performance with Ballyseyr Royale at the European Championships last year clinched bronze for Britain, and competitive tests in Athens could achieve a similarly impressive result.