The 2023 European Dressage Championships in Riesenbeck kicked off early in the morning of Tuesday 5 September 2023 with the horse inspection which traditionally opened the door for dressage horses to bring out their most froliky behaviour in hand.
Wild and Free
The breeding stallions like Jovian and Glamourdale were first to go at 7h50 in the morning, with Andreas trotting up his boisterous stallion himself, while Lottie Fry arrived to the trot-up street in the saddle, jumped off, untacked him and then a Van Olst groomed ran a fresh and fit Glamourdale in the chifney/stallion hoop. After a few stallions, the normal order of the day happened with each country presenting their horses in alphabetical order and Germany, as the host nation, having the privilege of going last. I wonder what the advantage is a host nation believes to have?
Plenty of dressage horses did not run in a straight line, or bucked and jumped around giving the impression that this trot up is there only free moment in life, never been turned out in the field or paddock in their lives... as if. Some horses (like Habibi DVB, Thiago GS) seemed purely accepted by the ground jury for "safety reason" unable to show a proper trot on a straight line for 10 meters. There were also plenty of well behaved ones, who followed the cue of their rider and showed impeccable behaviour.
Fortunately at this horse inspection all horses were braided and groomed to a T, with one PRE stallion giving a bit of a "street-style" vibe with his massive forelock still loose.
Judge Ulrike Nivelle and veterinarian, Dr. Genn, led the horse inspection while ring master Pedro Cebulka was the speaker of the moment, infusing plenty of jokes into the presentation this morning, making one wonder if we are at a comedy show or a life-and-death FEI Championship. His final joke was on the mark, though, when multiple Olympian Isabell Werth and Quantaz were the last to go and Pedro said, "both are accepted."
Two Up for Re-inspection
Most horses have a fit and healthy look, a few were clearly not as muscled as what you expect of a Grand Prix horse, and a handful of them were iffy in their movements.
Nabab (Justina Vanagaite), Dante Weltino (Therese Nilshagen), and Fairtrade (Delia Eggenberger) were trotted up twice before hearing accepted.
Four horses ended up in the holding box: Quincallo de Indalo (Alejandro Sanchez del Barco), Turbo (Sorrell Klatzko), Christianslund Furstino (Trude Hestengen) and Ultrablue de Massa (Marta Sobierajska).
Two of those - Turbo and Ultrablue de Massa - will return tomorrow morning for re-inspection before the Grand Prix starts
- Text and Photos © Eurodressage (this article expresses Eurodressage's' eye-witness account and opinion about the competition)
Eurodressage will be taking photos of all dressage competitors. If you are interested in photos for social media use or print, send us an email and you can BUY our photos. No reproduction allowed!
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2023 European Dressage Championships