Home side rider Nanna Merrald Rasmussen has stormed into the lead in the grand prix opening day at the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Championships.
Nanna and the 18-year-old stallion Blue Hors Zack delivered a stunning test to post 76.72%, a personal best grand prix score.
Nanna, currently ranked 10th in the world, said she was “thrilled” with Zack.
“My favourite part was the overall impression, there were no big mistakes. It’s really so expensive to make mistakes,” she said.
“He was fresh and I was maybe a little bit careful in the beginning. In the extended trot I was not going for a nine, but slowly building it up. I’m so proud of him and myself that we could do it.”
Zack, the former ride of Nanna’s teammate Daniel Bachmann Andersen, has only made one international appearance since his Tokyo performance last year.
“He has been very busy breeding,” explained Nanna, who added the lack of outings had been part of the plan.
“He has done so many shows, so he has to be a little bit hungry to go out. If I do too many shows with him he gets a little bit bored with it. He has to be really fresh and happy to go out, and that was really the plan here. It’s why I didn’t take him to Aachen; I did the Danish Championships [in June] and that was a ‘Maybe it will be fun to go’ – and he was on fire. Then we thought ‘Ok, maybe if we do the same routine for here’, no shows before and a lot of normal work at home.”
The home crowd showed appreciation for Nanna’s test, rewarding her with an applause as she made her way down the final centre line.
“I’m super proud. It was a super atmosphere – [the crowd] supporting me like crazy. My tears were almost coming out, it was really nice,” said Nanna.
Nanna’s thrilling ride puts Denmark into the lead in the World Dressage Championship results at this stage. 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.
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.