All eyes were on Sir Lee Pearson who worked hard to settle a tense Breezer and complete the grade II team test with a strong score of 73.529%, putting him in third at the Orifarm Healthcare FEI World Para Dressage Championships results.
An unfortunate applause from the showjumping ring just as Breezer entered the ring, unsettled the 11-year-old gelding by Bacardi out of Sedonja, and it took a few movements to get back into a smooth rhythm.
Showing his horsemanship at its best, Lee cajoled Breezer through the test and managed to prevent any breaks in the walk work.
“He did a prize-giving yesterday, and we didn’t realise you didn’t have to take the horses in, and we think it might have just unsettled him – he certainly won’t be doing any more more prize-givings!” said Lee, who secured Britain’s first para dressage medal of the week on Thursday when earning 75.09% for individual bronze. “The aim was a lovely relaxed test, but he was a little tight in his back and wanted to trot in every walk section, so I’m incredibly proud that he didn’t.
“It’s a very difficult test with a hot horse in a big environment, and I would have liked to have earned a slightly higher score for the team, but I’m actually pleased we managed to put a score on the board at all, because there were moments when I had to work really hard to calm him down by sitting really deep in the saddle.”
Lee explains that he imagines he’s hacking in the Staffordshire countryside to help him and Breezer stay in the zone.
“I just tell myself I’m hacking because all my horses hack in walk wonderfully,” he said. “It’s a mental technique that I use. When I go into the walk, my legs go a little bit numb and it’s not an easy pace for me, but I’m just proud he held it together.
“I still love him to bits and can’t wait to get back to dancing on Sunday in the freestyle.”
The overall standard of the class was exceptional, with first place on the World Para Dressage Championships results board going to Denmark’s Katrine Kristensen and Goerklintgaards Quater with 77.18%, and Austria’s Peop Puch and Sailor’s Blue filling the runner-up spot with 75.44%.
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