Kristina Sprehe’s eyes were shining even hours after her test: She is in the lead of the Grand Prix with 78,814 percent on the first dressage day of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, also the German team ahead of the Dutch and the Brits. “That was the best international Grand Prix for a long time”, the rider of Desperados FRH said. The Hanoverian stallion was in an excellent form in his first test in Caen, the rider always had a good connection and was always concentrated.
Hans Peter Minderhoud and the twelve year old KWPN stallion Glock’s Johnson finished in second place. They got 74,357 percent – although they had to ride in the heaviest rain today. “It was really wet. In the warm-up we stayed long in the tent. The footing in the stadium was not slippy, but sticky. I felt it a little bit in the first trot. He was not so expressive as he could be. But it went better.” Three years old the son of Jazz came into the stables of Minderhoud, but he had not done so much in sport – instead he was breeding a lot. “But now he really made a step to the big sport”, the Dutch said. “He is developing really well and I’m proud of him.”
Carl Hester (GBR) and Nip Tuck ranked on third place after the first day. The KWPN gelding that is ten years old now, came to Carl Hester when he was one year old. He bought him for 1.000 Euro. “Some they that you hae a horse in a lifetime – and perheps it is him. I really love riding him. He has a lot of energy. For sure he is not a top medal horse – not yet – but he is a worker. There is a lot to improve, but we will work on that. But the co-owner an me have always believed in that horse and today we will be drinking till we drop.” The score was more than Carl Hester had expected. And even when he believes that he could have got higher marks with Dances with Wolves or Uthopia, the decision fell on Nip Tuck: “I trusted him. Garreth as the first rider has a sensitive horse – we knew that. And therefore we needed a horse we can trust on. And I know him for so long. He is a bit naive, but he’s like a teddy bear, He was quite nervos. As we came through the tunnel into the stadium and there was a lot of applause, I thouth: This is the end of my test! But how do you prepare a horse rinding in a tunnel into such a stadium? Sometimes in such situations I only say: Please, God, I hope you’d gonna listen.” By the way: 24 years ago Carl Hester was riding his first World Equestrian Games – in Stockholm. His comparison: “Back then the test were much easier, but the marks are higher today.”