Dinja van Liere has shaken up the leaderboard in the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Championships results in the grand prix opening day.
Riding for the Netherlands, rising star Dinja and the 10-year-old stallion Hermes scored 78.84% to catapult them into the lead.
Overall Dinja was “very pleased” with her test but despite her top marks the world number six rider felt there was still room for improvement.
“The piaffe and passage is always a really good thing from him because he can do those really well. The last piaffe he was a little bit too behind, which is a shame because he can do it so good,” she said.
“My first pirouette wasn’t the best but the second was a lot better – they were tiny mistakes but he can do better, so I want to do better.”
“But I’m very happy. It’s not really a difficult arena but it’s really big, and with the wind today, I was very happy that he fully focused and he did a good test.”
Dinja described Joop Van Uytert’s Hermes as “very smart” with a big character.
“He’s a clown,” she said. “He likes everything! He can be very funny and he likes himself a lot, so you have to deal with the character, but I like his ego. He shows it off in the arena which is really cool,” she said, adding Hermes particularly enjoyed the audience clapping in the final moments of their test.
“When I stopped at the end he was like ‘Ok, this is all for me’. When I come in and the audience starts to clap he’s a little bit scared of it, but in the end when he knows it’s for him he likes it a lot.”
Dinja’s teammate Thamar Zweistra sits in 9th in the World Dressage Championships result after the first day of the grand prix, on 72.38%. Marieke van der Putten and Torveslettens Titanium RS2, and Emmelie Scholtens and Indian Rock will compete tomorrow.
“We have a very young team; young horses and riders. With the girls it’s really nice and fun because we don’t really have the experienced riders so everything is new,” she said.
Under the World Dressage Championships format, the team medals will be decided solely on the results of the grand prix, with the three best scores per team to count. The grand prix will also serve as an individual qualifier through to the grand prix special on Monday, 8 August, with the best 30 results going through.
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.