Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum: “I wanted too much.”

The first round of the decision about the individual ranking was thought to be too easy by many – but Meredith michaels-Beerbaum and Swedish gelding Fibonacci by For Feeling/Corland already had to forfeit at the second obstacle. What had happened? The rider from Thedinghausen, who succeeded Marcus Ehning, and Fibonacci had the wrong distance at the first obstacle and jumped directly into the oxer. The 46-year-old rider then let her horse jump the second obstacle in order to assure him and then she gave up. “I wanted it too much,” she explained. “I knew that there was no place for mistakes or being over the allowed time and was not concentrated enough for the first obstacle. When I noticed that the distance wasn’t right I couldn’t correct my mistake in time.” Then she gave up since she didn’t knew if her horse was injured. “But at least he’s o.k. He scowled at me and shook his head.”

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s colleagues did better. Christan Ahlmann and KPWN stallion Taloubet Z by Galoubet A/Polydor and Daniel Deußer with Balou du Rouet son First Class had a clear round – like 13 pairs all in all. A very big group. Otto Becker’s fear that the course could be too easy came true. “Unfortunately there were too many clear rounds,” Deußer said. “I don’t know what the course designer is waiting for.” He also said that the course hadn’t been optimal for his horse “but he was very focused.”

Christian Ahlmann said: “I had expected more. I hope that the course designer won’t go ballistic in the second round and build the course based on the motto ‘take it or leave it’. Then there rather should be a jump-off.”

Rene Tebbel, who competes for the Ukraine and who had no fence down in all the days in Rio but got a time penalty point every day should get into trouble due to his slowness. “Today’s time penalty point really sucks,” he grumbled. “Before the water I lost one stirrup and made one canter stride extra.  But I didn’t have the feeling that I was slow.” He still was content: “It’s great. I stayed clear four times. It cannot get better. It’s unbelievable. That’s why the time penalty annoys me so much.”

Instead of 20 now 27 riders will participate in the second round – so many riders have either zero or four penalty points. At 18:30 German time the competition will go on.