Comments from some of the riders after the first round of the team Jumping competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy on Wednesday.
Patrice Delaveau FRA
1st on Orient Express
My horse Orient had a very good day today. I took a big push at the Rolex oxer and it was a good day for me. It was not so good for the team with just one clear, but tomorrow could be a better day. The spectators here are very good, for the sport and the team.
Beezie Madden USA
2nd on Cortes ‘C’
It feels great to be back riding again. I am very thankful to my horse. He had very little showing this summer when I was hurt. There is still a long way to go and I hope to be back here again.
Rolf-Goran Bengtsson SWE
3rd on Casall Ask
Of course it is always nice to get a medal, but we have only done two rounds so far and will still have five more to go. My horse is motivated and in good form. I am really happy with how my horse managed to do today’s course.
Daniel Deusser GER
4th on Cornet d’Armour
I was lucky today and we didn’t lose our position. My horse is always more careful at the beginning, so he was a bit slow, but after a few jumps he got better and better. Overall I’m satisfied with him.
Tomorrow will be harder since we’ll only have the best teams remaining. I’m enjoying these championships a lot, but so many things can happen until the very last day.
Jeroen Dubbeldam NED
5th on Zenith SFN
The course is more difficult than yesterday but my horse felt good and fit. The oxers were extremely wide but Zenith is very good at that. I believe in taking time to prepare a horse for this kind of competition. I took two years with this horse and it’s going well because all the buttons are there!
Maikel van der Vleuten NED
10th on VDL Groep Verdi
I’m very happy, it wasn’t easy and I lost a stirrup at one stage so I was a bit out of balance.
Marcus Ehning GER
11th on Cornado NRW
Christian (Ahlmann) was very unlucky with one down and I had a really good round. The course is nothing crazy, it’s a championship and it’s technical with a few really big oxers … the last double is very hard, I think it is a good world championship course. If you go to a championship as a German rider there is always a lot of pressure. But in our sport I think it’s a bit closer. You can see after yesterday the first six teams within one fault (of each other), then if you have one rail down it can be not so good! The pressure is on every jump.
Rodrigo Pessoa BRA
15th on Status
Confidence was good as the horse warmed up really well, and this course suited him and his big stride, and he responded very well to everything that I asked. We needed this clear round to stay in touch with the good ones. But we still have to do a lot tomorrow, so it is far from over. The crowd has been really good; imagine they arrived here at 9am and have stayed all the day and been really enthusistic from the morning up to this evening. You really want to do well when you have the crowd like that behind you. From tomorrow on I think the stadium will be louder with more people with and an even better atmosphere.
Yann Candele CAN
17th on Showgirl
I came a little bit early to see McLain (Ward) ride. It’s a step up from yesterday, and you probably won’t see as many clear rounds as yesterday either. It’s bigger, wider, lighter but fair at this level, and Showgirl jumped it really well. I really appreciate that the French also cheer for me since I used to live not far away, in Soliers, for about 10 years.
Ian Millar CAN
19th on Dixson
The sport today is such a game of inches. There is such quality and quantity out there. You miss by that much and they are going to get you for sure. There is no mercy. The other teams are not going to let you get by with that one.
On the other hand, tomorrow is another day. “We are the eternal optimists. As a small (show jumping) country, we have achieved some amazing results, and there is no reason why we can’t do the same here.
Simon Delestre FRA
23rd on Qlassic Bois Margot
My round wasn’t bad but having one down is always painful. It is a very subtle course, the fences are beautiful and the course is well built and the time is tight. You have to ride each fence very carefully, they are all light, and there are quite a few verticals at the end of the lines.
Eric Lamaze CAN
24th on Zigali P S
I wasn’t a big fan of that line [referring to his dropped rail at 12 a of the double]. That’s Zigali’s lack of experience; I knew I was going to have to be a little bit lucky there. I thought he handled everything else quite well.
Yann is an early riser; we are going to keep him first thing in the morning, doing his thing! He did a great job, and the horse is experienced; he knows her well now. You need clear rounds, and no more than four faults. As a team, it’s not over, and individually, anything can still happen. There’s a long way to go!
Jur Vrieling NED
52nd on VDL Bubalu
I hope to do better next time but my horse felt a bit tired. I had to push him a bit. He didn’t jump as well as usual, maybe due to the warm weather, but he just seemed to lack energy.
Michael Whitaker GBR
78th on Viking
I’m frustrated because I rode good but my horse was distracted by the atmosphere – he was spooky and tense so I had faults.
Pius Schwizer SUI
85th on Toulago
My horse is quite young, only nine years old. He is still quite sensitive and showed it today. He never makes mistakes like this at home or at other shows, and he never makes a mistake twice. But here I think he was really impressed by all the things around the fences, and the difference of light between the sunny part of the course and the parts in the shade. He kept shying at all this and felt like a piece of wool under my saddle. Switzerland is lucky to have other good riders on the team.