Germany’s quest to retain the team and individual Eventing world titles gathered pace in record breaking fashion on another thrilling action-packed day at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Friday.
German challenger Julia Krajewski not only held her overnight lead with Chipmunk FRH after the second day of dressage, but her closest challenger emerged as team-mate and reigning European champion Ingrid Klimke.
Klimke delivered a trademark display that oozed star quality on SAP Hale Bob OLD, posting a score of 23.3 penalties to trail Krajewski by just 3.4 penalties heading into Saturday’s cross-country phase.
“I am very happy,” Klimke said. “He did such a wonderful test, he was so calm and concentrated. He was perfect. He was ready and waiting to get in there. He is 14 now and very mature. He did a beautiful job and for me it was a pleasure.”
As the last of the British team combinations to complete their dressage on Friday afternoon, Ros Canter produced an outstanding test on her own and Caroline Moore’s 13 year old gelding Allstar B to score 24.6 penalties.
The polished performance sees her sitting in the bronze medal position individually after the first phase.
Commenting afterwards, Ros said; “I’m absolutely over the moon with Allstar B. He’s been such a trooper and he’s so consistent in the dressage. I gave him a day off yesterday because he worked so well the day before. Everytime he comes out he just gives me everything – I’m delighted. No matter what the atmosphere, he never changes. I gave him a day off on Thursday because he worked so well the day before. He has just got that temperament where he puts 100% in for me every time, and it’s more the pressure for me that I want to do him proud and everyone else who has helped get me here.”
British senior championship debutant Tom McEwen posted a score of 28.4 penalties with a fluent, forward and expressive test on his own, Jane Inns and Alison McEwen’s 11 year old gelding Toledo de Kerser.
Tom said; “I was delighted with him, it was a great positive test. It could have been more, I just had a mess with a change at the end but he was fantastic. There was a decent atmosphere this morning and he’s given us a strong team score.”
Although Krajewski has a clear lead, just 3.9 penalties separate the riders placed from second to ninth. That group features riders from six different countries, including French Olympian Thibaut Vallette, Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt, New Zealand’s world number two Tim Price and leading Irish challenger Sarah Ennis, who lies sixth.
Germany hold a convincing lead in the team competition, with their score of 73.4 breaking the previous best FEI World Equestrian Games™ record for a team dressage score set by Great Britain in Jerez, Spain in 2002. Great Britain sit in the silver medal position on a score of 80.8 with the USA in third on 83.0.
But it is certain that the leaderboard will change considerably across the North Carolina terrain on Saturday where concentration and stamina look set to be the key requirements.