27 juni 2014

Sandringham: Nederland aan kop

The Netherlands team has taken the lead after dressage at the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships at Sandringham – much to the delight of the ‘Orange Brigade’ of supporters who lined the ringside. The team’s score of 77.4 was boosted by a superb dressage test of 35.9 from Jacques Poppen, who won Individual Silver at Breda in 2012, and Adriaan Struijk on 41.5.

Jacques Poppen. Photo Jutta Lehmeyer.

In second is Germany on 80.6, thanks to Alexandra Roeder (36.6) and reigning World Champion Heiner Lehrter with 44.0. USA put up a great fight, scoring 85.80 to lie in third place; Virginia Fitch on 42.1 and Robert Giles on 43.7. It’s a first World Championship appearance for both Fitch and Giles.

Team GBR produced accurate tests to finish on a total of 94.8; Deborah Daniel on 47.2 and Mick Ward on 47.6.

In the Grade I class Jacques Poppen leads from his team mate Adriaan Struijk; in third place is Norway’s sole representative Liv Ryen Kristiansen on 43.0 with Sweden’s Birgitta Kronqvist, who lives in Britain, a whisper away on 43.6. Grade II is led by Alexandra Roeder with Virginia Fitch in second and Robert Giles third with Mick Ward in fourth.

A tremendous thunderstorm and torrential rain part-way through the afternoon did little to affect the competitors and their ponies who stoically carried on regardless.

Attention is now focused on tomorrow’s marathon which runs in reverse order (ponies followed by horses); the first para-equestrian to start on Section A will be America’s Mary Gray at 11.03am.

Click here for the results

Click here for the photos.