Lead changes in dressage: Over to Weber
After movement six Weber took the lead and the score board was ablaze, including a 10.0 for presentation. “It felt like dancing on clouds”, the young father of Douglas described his dressage test. For welcoming his first child two- and-a-half weeks ago he had interrupted his preparation in Europe and left his horses with his team and coach, German world champion Michael Freund. Undefeated all year, Weber went into the arena full of confidence, risking it all in the extensions. “I didn’t see one rhythm mistake”, he said on his light brown team, flashing their white socks. After winning silver with the US team in Lexington 2010 Weber is now aiming for his first individual title.
Germany’s third competitor Michael Brauchle drove on 50.85, loosing points in the walk when the horses on the left got impressed with the video screen in front of them. “Our preparation in Aachen and Caen has paid off”, the 24-year old soldier in uniform is looking forward from tenth place to his specialty phase which is the marathon. WEG-veteran Christoph Sandmann is the leading German driver (7.)
At his third World Equestrian Games, Swedish veteran Tomas Eriksson had a disappointing dressage. “I lost at least ten to 15 points”, the current national champion, three-times back-to-back said after his most experienced horse did not pass Wednesday’s veterinary inspection. On 65.2 points Eriksson is ranked 20 before the marathon, leaving it to Fredrik Persson (12.) to lead the way.
Hungary’s Jozsef Dobrovitz, world’s No.2, was the last driver in the dressage test, taking 46.78 and moving in sixth position. “I had expected more”, the veteran said twenty years after his first World Equestrian Games. His right leader got tense and disturbed the horse next to him as well. “On gras this would not have happened. But in dressage you can always find things to improve”, the 46-year-old said after he had bested Zoltan Lazar (8.) and his son, Joszef jun. (23.)
The Dutch are on a good run towards their fourth gold team medal, with their three drivers among the top five. They have never left a World Equestrian Game without a team medal. The US-Team is ranked second before the marathon at La Prairie Racecourse begins on Saturday. Australia and Germany are in waiting position behind Hungary in third.
The first team goes out on the course Saturday at 9.30.
Top 5 individuals after dressage (provisional)
1.Chester Weber (USA) – 32.21
2.Boyd Exell (AUS) – 35.51
3.Theo Timmerman (NED) – 37.28
4.Ijsbrand Chardon (NED) – 42.12
5.Koos de Ronde (NED) – 46.25
CLICK HERE for more individual results after dressage