Windsor Europeans blog: Britain beating Germany at dressage? Surely not!

  • We’re sitting here over lunch at the Windsor European dressage championships wondering if Britain will take the silver or bronze team medal — we’ve never had this conversation before. Normally we’re mumbling about making the top six.

    After Carl Hester topped his best score on Liebling by 3% to get 72% yesterday, bronze looked in the bag failing a disaster — just what Laura Bechtolsheimer wanted to here right before her test, no pressure… She scored over 76%, a personal best — excellent timing. So now we’re waiting for Germany’s Monica Theodorescu (Whisper) to go, and then we can calculate how much our own Emma Hindle (Lancet) will have to score to bag silver, because we’re geeky like that, and find this stuff deeply exciting.

    So there’s Britain lining up for memorabilia, and in other news, Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands, multiple Olympic medallist with Salinero, scored 3% less than Laura B. Having been sitting in stands at internationals for three years I’ve never seen Salinero enter the arena and thought, ‘you know, I’m not sure she can beat our rider’. We’re either in a parallel universe, or it’s the beginning of a new era, which is rather a good one.

    People keep texting saying ‘how good was Adelinde Cornelissen’s test on Parzival?’ except spelt wrong because that’s a nightmare on predictive messaging. And I’m not sure if they’re tuning into our live web commentary and this is an observation, or they know nothing and this is an actual question — so yes, seriously good, awesome in fact, nines all over the shot and a 10 for the first extended trot.

    And it gets even more exciting again this afternoon when Edward Gal brings out Totilas The Wonderhorse, who is capable of doing even more. There were a few aneurisms from bystanders at the trot up on Monday when Totilas was spun and sent to the holding box. Gah! How many tickets have been sold off the back of that horse?! Fortunately for all concerned he passed on second inspection.

    It’s a fabulous atmosphere here all round, better than anything I’ve been to in Britain in terms of organisation and the loos and food would meet the approval of Pammy Hutton I’m sure. I’m off to get a grilled halloumi wrap now, and to take a seat for something I’ve never experienced before. Hi Ho Silver…

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