Gal disappointed but confident

Edward Gal is in defence of the three gold medals he earned four years ago in Lexington where he was partnered with the phenomenal Totilas but after the withdrawal of his initial horse, Glock’s Undercover, the Dutch rider had to call up Glock’s Voice, a replacement mount that lacks experience at this level of competition.

Gal disappointed but confident
© PSV Photos

Four years ago, you dominated the World Equestrian Games in Lexington with Totilas. Here, in Caen, you were not even able to perform with your top horse. How are you managing such a big change?

It’s true, but eventually I was forced to make the decision to leave Glock’s Undercover at home. It was hard to accept but I told myself that if he couldn’t come to Normandy at least I could compete with another horse, which is when I turned my attention on Glock’s Voice. Of course I’m disappointed and a bit sad but in two weeks Undercover will be better and be back performing. I was hoping that Voice’s test would be a little better. There were some excellent moments but then I would completely lose him before he’d eventually come back to me. During the entire test the feeling was off and it’s too bad because I know he’s capable of doing it. It was his first major championship and in a huge stadium like this one it’s hard. He’s a stallion and found himself a bit all alone out there in the big space. I really felt like he was busy watching things around him. It was tough to maintain contact with him and execute the test cleanly.

This loss of concentration cost you precious points…

That’s right, on the first piaffer, he started to complete the movement then saw something, lifted his head and I had to get him focused again so I wouldn’t completely lose him. Then, the same thing happened in the flying change. He started off very well, I had a good feeling and then all of sudden he lost his concentration again and we made a mistake. He still needs to learn quite a bit but I know he can get there because we’ve already completed several excellent tests together.

After withdrawing Glock’s Undercover, what were your expectations with Glock’s Voice?

I was hoping to score a 76%, as I’d already scored in that range with him. It was feasible but I knew that it wasn’t possible with those types of errors. I accept what has happened but it’s a shame for the team. It would have been a lot simpler had I scored a 76%. Now, the pressure is on Adelinde’s shoulders and I hope that she will perform well.

It’s going to be a tight competition then?

That’s for sure, which is good for the contest but tough on the nerves (laughter).

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