Dressage: A word from the president of the ground jury
What are your first impressions with regard to these test events?
The venue is fantastic; the surfaces look to be very good. There is a lot of space in which to relax, so it’s great. The stables are outstanding. The overall impression is a good one.
What is the role of the president of the ground jury?
The president of the ground jury sits at the letter C for each competition. They give the order to start and, if the rider makes a mistake in the test, they are responsible for letting the rider know that they have taken a wrong turn. Similarly, they have the important task of stopping the rider if the horse looks lame or its mouth begins to bleed because it has bitten itself. Finally, they represent their colleagues in the press conference.
What kind of horse do you think can win the Games?
Any horse can win if it has the right skills and it is in the right shape to perform best on the day. We expect the horses to be on top form, but they must also have adapted well to what is going on around them, as this kind of competition is not often held inside a stadium. Things are not exactly as normal. We saw this at a recent European Championships. In a stadium, the noise is very different, for example. The horses must be able to cope with this. It is the same for going through the tunnel that leads to the arena. As they come out, the horses can become stressed by the applause for the previous competitor. The best horses can be very sensitive to what is going on around them. The winning horse must be capable of carrying out the exercises required in the Grand Prix, such as piaffe, passage, collected gaits and pirouettes, but it must also demonstrate well-developed gaits in the extensions. In addition to its dressage skills, it must also have a good state of mind. It is all about the pair’s relationship and the years of work that have gone into it.
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