‘This doesn’t happen every day’: Alex Baker gets Ireland’s hopes underway at World Dressage Championships

  • Alex Baker has got Ireland’s team hopes underway as she made her senior championship debut at the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Championships.

    Alex was drawn sixth to go with Daniel Champion and the Baker family’s 14-year-old gelding Dutchman on the opening grand prix day (6 August) in Herning.

    The pair had a couple of mistakes, losing balance at the beginning of the first extended trot and dropping some marks in the twos, but produced a lovely last line finishing on a square halt to post 67.53%.

    Despite the mistakes Alex was delighted with the Jazz son, known at home as Jack.

    “I just wanted to smile and enjoy it. This doesn’t happen every day so I just wanted to take it all in,” she said.

    “I was happy with most of it apart from the mistakes. I was happy with my zig zag and my ones, and I think the piaffe and passage came off as well.

    “At the end I wanted to wave at the crowd but didn’t know if it was appropriate. But I was patting Jack and thought I’m going to wave – why not, we’re here.”

    Alex, who is based in England with Anna Ross, is enjoying her senior championship debut.

    “It’s been amazing, and really cool to see other sports and countries,” she said.

    “We’ve been wrapping Jack up in bubble wrap and not telling him he’s coming here – we told him he was going down the road so he couldn’t think of anything! We’ve been really careful.”

    Alex will now have to wait and see if her grand prix score will be enough to qualify for the World Dressage Championships grand prix special on Monday (8 August), with the top 30 combinations going through.

    In the team competition, the medals will be decided solely on the results of the grand prix, with the three best scores per team to count. Sorrell Klatzko will be the second Irish rider to go later today with Turbo. France’s Pauline Basquin and Sertorius de Rima Z IFCE currently head the World Dressage Championships results on 69.94%.

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