The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are just a little more than a year away, so the top U.S. riders are making sure their stalls are occupied with horses capable of helping the U.S. team win medals.
It started like many threads on the Chronicle discussion forums start—with a link to a set of photos of a scruffy, recently off-the-track Thoroughbred and a request for input on a horse’s conformation and possible suitability for a career in eventing.
The answers varied. Some winced at the horse’s lack of condition. Some liked his build beneath the long hair.
How good are they? They're just that good. They've all won four-stars before and they're in the lead at Rolex Kentucky. Tim Price and Michael Jung are tied for the lead aboard Wesko and La Biosthetique Sam FBW, with William Fox-Pitt on Bay My Hero in a close third.
(Jung's also in fourth on Fischerrocana FST. Because. He's Michael Jung.)
Price set the pace on Friday morning when he rode Wesko to this lovely test...
As Day 2 of dressage starts, Michael Jung of Germany is in first. Here's his test on Fischerrocana Fst, which scored 39.3, thanks to the live feed from USEF Network. You can watch all the rides this weekend at USEF Network.
It was perhaps the most dramatic last fence of a World Cup Final. Steve Guerdat came around the corner to the Longines oxer, saw a ridiculously long distance, and started kicking and flapping his elbows.
Albfuehren’s Paille left the ground, stretched out, and then crashed through the back rail. Guerdat seemed to be doing the math in his head as he galloped through the finish timers. He’d had two rails. Had he won? He shrugged up into the stands at his friends.
Steffen Peters rode Legolas to a score of 80.35 percent in the freestyle of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final, which should have put him into fourth in the final standings, but he does not appear in the final results.
Peters was eliminated from the competition by the ground jury for blood on Legolas' side.
“It is clearly my fault," Peters said. "At the end of the day, I rode the horse, and I am responsible for the welfare of this horse. I am very embarrassed about it. I’m the one who feels guilty."
As we're here in Las Vegas getting ready for the thrilling finale of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, let's look at just why Valegro, or "Blueberry" to his friend is the dressage world's most famous and loved horse right now.
Don't miss the Chronicle's coverage of the World Cup freestyle—we'll have a horse-by-horse commentary with Chronicle blogger Lauren Sprieser, great photos from in the ring and behind the scenes, and the stories behind the results.
Reason #1 That FACE! How can you not love that face?