Before the cross country nothing has changed in the top places of the eventing competition in Rio: British William Fox-Pitt is in the lead with DSP stallion Chilli Morning and 37,0 points ahead of Australian Christopher Burton with Sandro Hit son Santano II and 37,6 points. A surprise in rank three is French Mathieu Lemoine with Bart L and 39,2 points. The French were really good in the dressage part and currently rank just after the German team, the Australians currently are in third place.
Germany’s last rider was Ingrid Klimke with Oldenburger gelding Hale-Bob OLD by Helikon xx, who performed flawlessly and received the best result for the Germans (39,5 points). Currently they are ranked in fourth place just ahead of Michael Jung with Württemberger gelding Sam FBW.
Ingrid Klimke was content: “It was so much fun. Bobby already was a bit excited in the morning since the gunfire was so loud, but then I just rode the dressage test again and did some cavaletti training. When we came into the arena and the audience applauded the pair before he bucked once and I only thought: please concentrate just this one time. And he did it. He had a great expression, the trot came strong out of the corner, the changes were smooth and he stayed relaxed. Once he wanted to do the transition from walk to gallop too early and I thought ‘Not now’ but rarely performed so well.” It also was nice that the team finished dressage in first place. “But now we all have to concentrate again,” so Klimke, who wanted to tackle the cross country course again after the dressage.
German national coach Hans Melzer was also satisfied: “The distance between us and the others doesn’t play a role. Of course all the results are close, in the end it will not be even 10 seconds or one mistake in the show jumping part. Tomorrow everything begins again at zero, it’s going to be extremely exciting, that’s how it’s supposed to be. That we’re in the lead even if small mistakes have happened that’s an important psychological factor.”
However, Melzer criticised the judges, who already knew before the competition that they would not award 9s and 10s to anyone: “Why does Ingrid get an 8 for seat and influence? As a judge I’d be ashamed. She’s sitting in the saddle like a king. They should ride Bobby dressage!” At the same time he knows: “We cannot change it. Getting angry doesn’t help. It is like it is.”
The line of approach for tomorrow is clear: Sandra and Michi “can, want and are supposed to ride direct lines and quickly – that was the plan of our starting order,” so Melzer. “If we need a result from Ingrid then she may have to take a longer line. But we can’t tell her that she has to ride slowly. I think then she would stop talking to us.”