‘I’ve always known I could do it’: flawless performance earns plus-80% score

  • A truly stellar performance meant Latvia’s Rihards Snikus and King Of The Dance scored a whopping 80.4% to head the proceedings in the grade I team test in the Orifarm Healthcare FEI World Para Dressage Championships results.

    His win comes only a few days after securing Latvia’s first ever equestrian gold medal when topping the individual grade I results.

    An elegant, expressive walk helped the pair score nines and 10s across the board.

    Rihards’ performances here go one better than his result at the Paralympic Games last year, when he finished second in the grade I individual test and freestyle.

    “My test was very good, and all our exercises were nice,” said Rihards. “There are still things we can improve on, but it got better and better as it went on.

    “King Of The Dance is a true king and a star; he felt really keen and is very sensitive. You need to find a very correct and sensitive connection with him, but I’ve always known I could do it.”

    Daria Tikhomirova, Latvia’s chef d’equipe, said: “Rihards has already had a huge impact on para dressage in Latvia – our wonderful new rider Alise Muizniece [who finished 15th in the grade IV individual test], wrote to me after watching Rihards in Tryon and said she would like to do the same, and now she is here at the World Championships. Maybe some other guy or young lady will watch him and want to do it, and we’ll have a team.”

    Sara Morganti and Royal Delight’s final performance of the day was a huge addition to the Italian team results, finishing with an incredible 77.25% to leave her in runner-up position.

    Penultimate competitor Michael Murphy’s seamless test with beautiful medium trots and immaculate walk work, landed him and his 15-year-old KWPN Cleverboy 76.072%, which was good enough for third.

    Don’t miss the final day of team competition tomorrow.

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