Dressage: Get ready for an exciting event!
How do you feel right now? The stakes are very high for these test events.
First, I should tell you that the last time I was at D’Ornano Stadium was for a football match. You can imagine how blown away I was when I saw, just a few days ago, the transformation of the pitch into an incredible sand arena! I couldn't believe it, and am very excited to think that this will be the second largest arena ever created in terms of seating. 20,000 spectators, it’s just unbelievable! We have only ever exceeded that capacity once – during the Olympic Games in London, with 23,000 people in Greenwich.
The atmosphere at D’Ornano Stadium can be a bit intense. Any worries about that?
Well, horses are horses. You can never really anticipate their reactions, and you can't know whether they'll be afraid of the audience or if they'll be calm. The Normandy 2014 Organising Committee took this into consideration by limiting situations that could scare the most skittish horses as much as possible. But regardless, we know there will be nervous horses. They’ll come into the arena, wonder if they should be scared, find a reason to be and then will be (laughs). A horse that looks for a reason to be scared will always find one (laughs).
What kind of event do you expect as the FEI Director of Dressage?
We expect that this will be a spectacular event with the highest results ever seen in a championship! Dressage has reached a remarkable level of quality on the world stage. I don’t want to make any bets on world records being broken in Caen, but there will be more top horses than ever competing for the trophy. The excellent facilities here will obviously contribute to the achievements we expect to see!
CLICK HERE to check all the start lists, results, and live scores of the 2014 test events