London 2012 | Dressage, Drama & An Inspirational Leader Board

Truly Inspirational | Day 2 of London 2012 Olympic Eventing

The lead up to these games has been nothing short of an epic novel or Hollywood Blockbuster. You really couldn’t make this stuff up. Day 2 of Dressage for the London 2012 Olympic Games Eventing at Greenwich Park has been nothing short of inspirational, surprising and full of stories that will make this competition the most interesting of recent times.

Yoshi Oiwa | Leader After Dressage

It promised to be a truly ground breaking day of dressage, with an ample helping of World, European & Olympic Gold Medalists in the hot seat. I knew we might see a few more break into under 40s club, I think we were just a little surprised at who managed that and who didn’t.

First on my watch list was Zara Phillips. To my untrained eye this was a beautiful test. Both horse and rider totally composed, soft, yet energetic and “in sync”. 3 of the flying changes looked faultless, but perhaps not as expressive as judges seem to like to see. Lenamore threw out some nice extended trot but didn’t seem to really steal the show today, and suffered as a consequence posting a score in the fifties. 

Today’s drama was brought to us courtesy of Andrew Nicholson, who after a performance on Nereo that was far from a career best, where his canter work lacked any real energy, complained about being held for 10 minutes after tuning his horse in the warm up “to the minute”, whilst the treat of thunder and lightening was allowed to pass, whereas Tina Cook, had been allowed to continue in appalling conditions. With a score of 45.2 he is now left with little option but to ride fast and clear over the next few days with no margin for error.


As expected the leaderboard continued to change throughout today, only to everyone’s surprise and delight, the three horses holding the medal positions currently are not the horses we might have expected to see. First one of my favourite horses, and one we rarely see, Apollo, produced the most phenomenal dressage display, that included extended trot with suspension & rhythm the likes of which you rarely see in an event horse, and taking the lead on a score of 38.3. Michael Jung, who many (including me) expected to see tipping in under 40 on wonder horse, Sam, but that was not to be leaving him out of the top ten and 3 of his team mates ahead of him.

Mark Todd | Within A Whisker of Gold No. 3

This just left Mark Todd and NZB Campino to pull of the legendary Todd miracle, which they did in a truly inspirational display to score 39.10 and just a point off the surprise leader Japanese rider Yoshi Oiwa who has been based with Andrew & Bettina Hoy in the past and now with Dirk Schrade.

There are little more than 6 points separating the top 20. which can only mean more fiercely competitive riding over the coming two days, as we move onto one of the least predictable cross country courses tomorrow. This is turning out to be the mother of all eventing competitions that we have seen. Once again, I can only guess all the possible headlines we might see after tomorrow’s competition.

I’ll leave you with a few patriotic punters – thanks to everyone for letting me snap their “Games Face”, and also a few fences from the cross country: (see anyone you know?)

I didn’t walk all of the course today but my first impression is it’s what’s around you that will influence the course most (terrain, blind corners and summits, spectators, a big screen, etc.) here’s a few cross country fences:

Great Backdrops to this Fence

This is At The Bottom Of The Drop Fence Above

This is followed by a steep run down through some trees to one of the water fences. 

There were hundreds of these guys all over London today, incredibly friendly, cheerful and helpful. Many thanks to them and the Armed Forces for being Games Makers!

The Only Way Is Up!

Amateur event rider, aspiring photographer. Technologist by day.

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