A Shining Day for Dressage at the World Equestrian Games

Blogger and USEF dressage judge Margaret Freeman shares her unique perspective of WEG as a Tryon-area local.

A friend of mine scribing at World Equestrian Games today said she learned what it was like to write “10.0” on a dressage test. And then write it again.

At the WEG on Thursday, the main topics of conversation were something other than hurricanes and problems out on the endurance course: The United States won the silver medal in team dressage in a straightforward day of competition, finishing behind Germany and ahead of Great Britain.

Laura Graves and Verdades of the United States (Photo by Lindsay Paulsen)

I really appreciated the response of the Tryon crowd to all the competitors today. Yes, they cheered loudest for American riders Kasey Glass-Perry and Laura Graves, but the knowledgeable spectators didn’t hold back with their approval for all the top riders.

It was an exciting battle in the afternoon with the top riders going in the final rotation. For sure, Germany had a huge lead, but there was only half a point between the teams of Great Britain, Sweden and the U.S. Then Graves finished second of Verdades, with a score of 81.537 percent to clinch silver after Isabel Werth (who got those 10s on Bella Rose) wowed the crowd with 84.829 percent. Those two will lead the charge for individual medals Friday.

I really had to have sympathy for the Swedish team who came so very close to the medal podium, just .2 points behind Great Britain in bronze. It had to be a tough day for the two Swedish riders who went on Wednesday and then got their horses all braided and dressed up for a possible medal ceremony today, only to just pull out the braids and go home to bed.

Of course, talk of the weather couldn’t be completely forgotten today. The town of Tryon has declared a state of emergency starting Friday and running all next week. Right now, the forecast here seems okay for Friday and maybe Saturday, but we’re supposed to get slammed on Sunday and Monday. The highly anticipated dressage freestyle competition is scheduled for Sunday, and no contingency has been announced, although the WEG organizers have been reassuring everyone here they have emergency plans in place.

I intend to enjoy the individual competition tomorrow and try not to think too much about what it would take to ride a dressage freestyle in a hurricane. The weekend will come soon enough.







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