NZ Olympic dressage rider aims for first cut

Louisa Hill's Antonello at the dressage trot-up.
Louisa Hill’s Antonello at the pre-competition vet check. © ESNZ

New Zealand’s sole dressage contender at the London 2012 Olympic Games has her first competition on Thursday afternoon local time (3am Friday NZ time) at Greenwich.

Louisa Hill and Antonello (AJ) will compete in the individual dressage competition, and the rider says it will be a relief to get under way.

Hill, 50, from Auckland, is competing at her second Olympics. She is hopeful of getting through the first cut, which will see half the field of 50 dropped off.

“It’s all in the lap of the gods now,” said Hill. “I will go into that arena and do the very best we can.

“It would be absolutely fantastic to make it through to the special.”

But for now, she is taking things a step at a time. The combination had their first arena familiarisation earlier this week.

“It’s a massive arena and extremely open. AJ is better in something a little more closed in but he was still good.”

The only thing he spooked at was one of the eventing cross country jumps.

“He thought he was going to be shot by one of the cannons!”

Hill has her German coach Andreas Mueller with her, as well as her mother Jenny Hill and groom Catherine Scott.

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