Dressage Medals Controversy
Olympic dressage competition joins the ranks of ice dancing with accusations of nationalism in judging. In the Grand Prix Freestyle, held last night, Germany’s Isabell Werth earned a score of 78.100 percent to win the individual silver medal despite a major disobedience by her mount, Satchmo, who backed and bucked instead of piaffing at one point during their ride. It was essentially a repeat of the disobedience Satchmo showed in the Grand Prix Special test three days earlier.
The gold medalist, for a history-making third consecutive Olympics, was Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands, paired again with her 2004 Games partner, Salinero. Their freestyle in Hong Kong earned a whopping 82.400 to secure the pair the undisputed top spot. Winning the bronze — her first individual Olympic medal — was Heike Kemmer of Germany, who had a lovely freestyle test aboard Bonaparte. I’d never met Kemmer before last night, but she was thrilled with her horse and their performance and struck me as someone I’d like to get to know better. If she comes to town to clinic, I’ll sign up.
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