Rio de Janeiro – August 10, 2016 – On Wednesday, 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Grand Prix Dressage took center stage. Two riders for each team competed in Wednesday’s Grand Prix session, with Steffen Peters and Laura Graves still to come Thursday. The U.S. team effort featured two riders making their international championship debuts, and both delivered good performances that will position the team well for the days to come.
Allison Brock and Rosevelt showed great harmony and expression as they rode to a score of 72.686 percent, putting them on equal footing with Great Britain’s Wilton in a tie for seventh overall. They had a mistake at the end of the two-tempis, which Brock blamed herself for, but otherwise produced a very steady test.
“He felt great coming in and cantered in and halted super,” Brock said. “That first trot extension felt amazing. He was trying really hard. I have to give him a lot of credit. It’s his first Olympic Games and my first Olympic Games, and it’s a lot to be here. But he handled everything quite well.”
She pointed out that the path to the Grand Prix was not easy with Rosevelt, but she and owners Fritz and Claudine Kundrun are happy they persevered.
“He just needed time,” she explained. “The one thing this horse has taught me is that you can’t say, ‘Oh, they’re going to learn it by this time.’ You don’t really know. Every horse is different. They’re all individuals. I had so many people come up to me and say, ‘I can’t believe he’s a Grand Prix horse.’ And look at him now – he’s at the Olympics!”
In the afternoon session, the United States’ Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet earned a mark of 75.229 percent for a confident ride displaying the horse’s highlights in piaffe and passage. They sit in fifth place overall. Perry-Glass noted the sound of guns going off throughout the day posed a challenge for Dublet, but was happy with how he kept his concentration.
“I was really proud of Dublet,” she said. “He hung in there really well for me, especially with all the guns and everything going off. He’s a very sound sensitive horse, so to be able to keep him focused and together was a challenge for both of us. But he was there and he was ready to go.”
Dublet is only in his first year competing at the international Grand Prix level and has taken to the challenge with ease. Perry-Glass said U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover and her own coach Debbie McDonald told her to enjoy the moment during her ride.
“We’ve been working all year for this – the last four years for this,” she said. “So when you’re here, you have to have fun, and work really hard for your team.”
The Grand Prix concludes Thursday, with the final two riders for each team heading down centerline. Team medals will be decided based on results from both the Grand Prix and the Grand Special, which is open to the top six teams from the Grand Prix as well as eight additional individuals.
Action will get underway at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 will compete at 10:54 a.m. EDT, followed by Laura Graves and Verdades at 2:06 p.m. EDT. Live results can be found at https://www.rio2016.com/en, or follow the USET Foundation on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/USETFoundation