Gemma Tattersall lying sixth in Rio Olympic eventing dressage: ‘We just had one mistake’

  • Britain’s first team member Gemma Tattersall lies sixth after the first morning of eventing dressage at the Rio Olympics.

    Gemma and Quicklook V scored 47.2, with their only serious error being a break into canter early in the extended trot. The mare was also a little inconsistent in the rein contact through the test and snatchy in some of the flying changes, although they were correct.

    “She did all the movements well except for that one mistake and walked really well,” said Gemma, who was a touch disappointed with her mark.

    The Olympic debutant described the whole experience as “amazing” and “random”.

    “We’ve been here a whole week not doing much with just one horse, so it’s been difficult to keep ourselves busy,” she said. “We’ve been doing pilates as a team!

    “The facilities are amazing, the stables are beautiful and the horses seem relaxed and happy.”

    This morning’s action at Deodoro took place in intense heat and some riders later in the session had to contend with enthusiastic spectators clapping when horses halted at the start of their tests.

    Sandra Auffarth leads

    As expected, German world champions Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo lead individually after the first rotation of team riders. However, their score of 41.6 is not as high as might have been expected and they had an error in the flying changes.

    “It’s a shame everyone’s saying, ‘What happened?’ as overall I was very pleased,” she said. “It’s a tough cross-country — we haven’t lost it yet!”

    Sandra Auffarth Rio Olympics

    Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo at the Rio Olympics. Picture by Peter Nixon

    France’s Astier Nicolas holds second with Piaf De Bneville on 42. He was disappointed with problems in his changes.

    “It took him two years to learn them and sometimes he worries,” he said. “When he does them well, they are high quality — it’s black and white.”

    Australia’s Sam Griffiths lies third with the 2014 Badminton winner Paulank Brockagh after receiving a mark of 46.3.

    “My horse went really well,” he said. “My personal best is a few marks better than that and I wanted to get close to that, but they are marking pretty tough out there. I’ll be a few marks behind the leader.”

    Continued below…

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    Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy sits fourth with Simon Porloe (46.8), and Tim Price, who was called into the New Zealand team yesterday from the travelling reserve spot, is currently fifth with Ringwood Sky Boy (47).

    “I’m a bit disappointed, but I can understand the mark with the three mistakes,” said Tim.

    The rider added that the horse can often have problems with the halts and they “weren’t as bad as they can be” but said it was a shame he missed a flying change, normally a good movement for him.

    William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning will be Britain’s second pair into the arena at 2.18pm local time (6.18pm in Britain). Follow all the action with H&H Live.

    Full 25-page report on the eventing from Rio 2016 in H&H next week — out Friday, 12 August. H&H is published on Friday instead of Thursday next week only to allow us to report the full competition from the Olympics.

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