Carl Hester rode the Don Ruto gelding Nip Tuck to a 75.529% performance at the Rio Olympics in Brazil this morning.
He was the third rider for the British team of four. Carl was hoping for a score akin to his 79% grand prix at Hartpury CDI in July, but Nip Tuck was spooky in the early movements and jumped out of his skin in the transition to extended walk — a pace which can often be fragile in dressage horses anyway.
“One minute it’s a camera, one minute it’s a flower; he’s got a tiny mind,” said Carl. “In the transition to walk he saw a tiny flower. I think he needs glasses; we’ll have to see if someone can invent them.
“I wanted a higher score, but Nip Tuck used to get that score when he was at his best. I’m disappointed, but it’s not a terrible score.”
He added on Facebook: “Frustratingly a Pokemon at P! A lot of points lost but lots to like! Tomorrow is another day!”
Britain now has a team average of 75.125% and are currently in fourth place. Germany leads the way with an apparently unassailable average of 80.19% with Isabell Werth (Weihegold) still to come later today. The Netherlands are lying in the silver medal positition despite being down to only three horses, while the USA have crept above the UK into the bronze position thanks to a cracking plus-77% test from Steffen Peters and Legolas.
Germany’s Kristina Bröring Sprehe, 29, is top of the leaderboard both as part of her team and the individual standings. Last to go before the lunch break, she pulled off a stunning 82.257% with her black De Niro stallion Desperados.
“Desperados was a really great today,” said Kristina. “I had a few mistakes, but apart from that he was really concentrating.”
Ireland’s sole representative, Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K, put in a clean and accurate test to score 74.7%.
“I’m just really happy with ‘JP’. He didn’t get nerous and was really with me,” she said.
In this grand prix, the final rotation of riders happens this afternoon, including Charlotte Dujardin, Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, Laura Graves, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Isabell Werth. Charlotte and Valegro go at 14.24 (18.24 British time).
The team medals will be decided tomorrrow based on the resutls of both the grand prix and special tests. Individual medals are won through performances in the freestyle alone.
16eq. Spencer Wilton and Super Nova II (GBR) & Allison Brock and Rosevelt (USA) 72.686%