Germans dominate after eventing's first dressage day

October 1, 2010

Simone Deitermann and Ingrid Klimke of Germany set the standard today in the first day of dressage in the Eventing World Championships, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.


Simone Deitermann and Free Easy NRW. © Peter Nixon/FEI

Simone Deitermann interview
In German


Ingrid Klimke and FRH Butts Abraxxas. © Kit Houghton/FEI


William Fox-Pitt and Cool Mountain. © Kit Houghton/FEI

William Fox-Pitt interview

Deitermann, 29, scored 36.00 penalties aboard Free Easy NRW. Klimke scored 41.30 penalties aboard FRH Butts Abraxxas. Deitermann, competing in her first World Games, is riding as an individual, while Klimke, a veteran of several previous World Games and Olympics, has put the German team in first place. Combined with Dirk Schrade's score of 42.50 on Gadget de la Cere, Germany stands in first place (83.8), ahead of Australia (91.0), Sweden (91.7), Great Britain (93.2) and the United States (96.5).

William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain rode Cool Mountain into third place (42.00), just ahead of Schrade. Fifth-placed Paul Tapner is leading the Australian charge (43.80).

Deitermann has been studying economics and working as an accountant while preparing for these World Games. She said that she is riding as an individual, and not as a team member, because the other riders on the German squad are more experienced than she is. "I work half a day as an accountant and half a day on riding. It's enough time to train, and it works for me," she said.

Of her performance today, Deitermann said, "I am so very happy. He was so god. The first trot was not so good, but the rest was very good. He was a bit nervous the first time I had him in the stadium, but he has gotten better each time."

Klimke, 42, expected her horse to score better than he did this afternoon. "He was soft in my hand and very supple. Normally he would get more marks for such a test. I would expect to be in n the 30s," she said. But she allowed, "The atmosphere is quite something. We don't ride much in this kind of atmosphere."

Of the Kiwi riders, Mark Todd aboard NZB Grass Valley and Jonathan Paget on Clifton Promise both posted personal best scores, with Todd notching 48.5 points and Paget 44.

With 40 of the 79-strong field now completed their dressage, Paget is sitting in sixth spot, with Todd in 13th. Caroline Powell on Mac MacDonald, scored 57.2. The handsome chestnut, who has strong Kentucky ties through his bloodlines, bit his rider this morning, leaving her with a rather sore finger, and was a little tight in his dressage test.

Paget is riding as an individual in the competition, with Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Powell and Clarke Johnstone riding as a team.

While Pagete was disappointed not to be named in the team, he says it gave him extra incentive to do well, while taking some pressure off.

"I'd planned to work him quite hard this morning before the test but he came out so settled, I only ended up working him for 20 minutes."

Paget has been working closely with Todd, who was pleased to see his pupil do so well.

"When we had our practice event with the Australians, Promise went really well," Paget said, "so I knew he was capable, it was just a matter of putting it all together on the day," he says. "It was very satisfying out there ... and there's still more to come."

Todd was somewhat surprised with his own score, saying he'd hoped for 50 to 55 points. His injured Achilles tendon is not affecting him at all.

"It's taken a while to get back to where I was in 2000, and there is not the same expectation now. It's been about getting my team back together and competitive," Todd said.

"I am certainly not a favourite for an individual place and I'm really enjoying some of the younger ones in the team."

Todd says he has a slightly different perspective these days.

"I'm just thrilled," he said. "To get a 48 - it's amazing. But it's everything coming together at the right time really - between the vet, massage, acupuncturist and others, it's all working well and he (Grass Valley) feels really good."

Eventing resumes on Friday at 9am (US time) and continues until 4.30pm.