‘I wanted to win in Tokyo and I want to win now’: home-side favourite bags impressive lead in World Para Dressage Championships

  • Tobias Thorning Joergensen continued Denmark’s blistering performance between the white boards in Herning to secure a yawning lead in grade III individual World Para Dressage Championships results table.

    Tobias and the elegant 14-year-old Blue Hors Schufro Hit mare Jolene Hill floated into the arena, nailing their early trot work. Jolene Hill, owned by Signe Kirk, Thomas Kirk Kristiansen and Line Thorning Jørgensen, is so light on her feet, and the nature of this test really serves to highlight the suppleness in her body.

    The duo were trending around the 76 mark midway through, which climbed to a final mark of 78.68% in the Orifarm Healthcare FEI World Para Dressage Championships results for this class. The judge at E, Germany’s Marco Orsini, was particularly taken with the pair’s test, awarding them 81.18%.

    “I think that I had pretty good trot moments, especially the extensions,” he said, adding the only moment he was “a little sad about” was the moment of tension in the walk.

    “She is a mare – but she loves competitions. Whenever I go into competition she just gives a little bit more. She’s just much better at competition. At home, she has her own opinions! But that’s also why she’s so lovely to work with, because you need to work for it [with her].”

    This mare is so consistent in her frame, producing a lovely picture, but it was the medium trot where she really shone – showing real expression as she glided across the arena.

    Tobias credited his trainers, which include Nanna Merrald – part of the world gold medal-winning Danish side, for helping up his performance and his ring-craft.

    “We’ve been working a lot on the expression – when I come into the arena I need to own the arena, I need to make it mine,” he said,

    “That’s something we have worked on a lot, especially with Nanna, is how do I make it always look fluent and that I’m present all the time.”

    The 2019 double European champion spoke of the different pressure he feels riding in front of a home crowd, compared to the feeling in Tokyo where he won individual and freestyle gold.

    “It’s always [a different feeling] when you ride at a home ground,” he said. “There is some pressure, but it’s pressure in another way.

    “Now, after Tokyo I’m definitely the favourite going in, whereas at Tokyo I was kind of new to the game still. But I think that because I always want to win – I wanted to win in Tokyo and I wanted to win now.”

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