Fran Jurga's Discover London Olympics Blog

Our horse industry insider has the scoop on horses, people, venues and events in the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics.

Olympic Sculpture: Cross-country “Horses” at Auction

London Auction House Christie's Offers the Ultimate Collectible: An Obstacle from the Greenwich Park Eventing Cross-Country Course

Olympic jumping horses to be sold

They were the two best-shod horses at the Olympics...and now Christie's auction house is offering them for sale.

 

Two of the most famous horses from the London Olympics equestrian events are for sale.

No, not Uthopia and Valegro.

Not jumpers Wonder Boy or Vindicat W.

They’re cross-country horses who never made a wrong move out there on the course. And either one would surely have won the gold medal for “best shod” if there had been one.

They never flinched as horse after horse jumped between them. There was no manure to scoop, no feed buckets to tend, no hay bags to hang, no tack to clean.

London fine art auction house Christie’s will offer Olympic fans and equestrian enthusiasts the ultimate memorabilia collecting opportunity, when the hammer drops on a pair of life-size models of jumping horses by British sculptor Tom Hill.

The now-iconic jumping horses were displayed on the Greenwich Park cross-country course for the eventing portion of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

To be sold as a pair, the horses are expected to fetch between £50,000 and £80,000 (between $80,000 and $130,000 in US Dollars) when the bidding opens on 20 November 2012.

One of Tom Hill's horseshoe horses

One of Tom Hill's horseshoe horses.

The sculptures feature within Christie’s November Interiors – Style & Spirit auction, a regular sale format presenting connoisseurs, interiors designers and private collectors with the chance to buy wonderfully quirky, interesting and decorative objects for the home – from carpets, to lighting, furniture, pictures and decorative pieces.

 

Tom Hill’s Jumping Horses are formed of between 500-600 reclaimed horseshoes each, and took around three months to create. Standing at over three meters high and weighing 300kg (over 650 pounds) each, they featured beside the final fence, Obstacle Number 28, during the Olympics.

After the cross-country ended, the horses were moved to the front of the Queen’s House in Greenwich Park for the remainder of the Olympics.

Since the Olympics the horses have been exhibited at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and will also be on preview exhibition at Ascot Racecourse for QIPCO British Champions Day on 20 October 2012.

The full content of the auction will be on exhibition at Christie’s South Kensington, London from 17-20 November.

Categories: Eventing, Greenwich and The Park, Olympics.

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Jumping: USA’s Jessica Springsteen Buys Gold Medalist Vindicat W

Jessica Springsteen New Owner of Gold Medal Olympic Showjumper Vindicat W; Team GB's Peter Charles Sells Mount

September 19, 2012

Team GB's Peter Charles and Vindicat W

Peter Charles and Vindicat W helped Team GB win a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics. With a barn name like "Vinnie", he'll be right at home in New Jersey. (Kit Houghton photo, courtesy of FEI)

“You’re going to love New Jersey.”

That’s likely to be the farewell message that grooms and stable staff will whisper into the ear of Olympic gold medal winning showjumper Murka’s Vindicat W.

The ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood ridden by Team GB’s Peter Charles in the 2012 Olympic showjumping will soon drop the “Murka” sponsor name…and learn how to speak Jersey.

Charles announced on his Facebook page today that “Vinnie” has been sold to American rider and New Jersey native Jessica Springsteen.

Charles had this to say about the sale of his Olympic horse:

“Vinnie is one of the best horses I have ever ridden, so the decision to move him on has not come lightly.

“He produced an outstanding performance to secure Team Gold for Britain for the first time in 60 years, and I will never forget how that felt and how unbelievably proud he made me and my team feel.

“In order to invest in a new string of young horses in preparation for Rio, we have had to make the decision to allow him to move to another rider. He will now be ridden by his new owner Jessica Springsteen for the USA. I wish Jessica the best of luck with him and I am sure he will make her proud, too.”

Jessica Springsteen

American showjumper Jessica Springsteen. (Tammy Clarke photo)

With a name like Vinnie, the horse is sure to fit in in New Jersey. Or will this case be the opposite? Is the purchase of this horse a signal that Springsteen plans to ride and compete in Europe? She made a splash last summer when competing with a group of American riders at the Royal Windsor Horse Show outside London.

Show jumping is a global sport, and since London we have seen Olympic horses moving around the world like chess pieces. The ultimate next move is a shift toward Rio for 2016. If it looks like a game of musical saddles, perhaps it is: Vindicat is a Dutch horse with a Russian sponsor ridden by an Irishman who competes for Great Britain. He knows his way around the world and now he’ll learn the exits on the Jersey Turnpike and the arenas of Wellington, Florida.

Welcome to America, Vinnie.

 

Categories: Show Jumping, Uncategorized.

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Olympic Dressage: Dutch Medal Winners Celebrate

Edward Gal crowd-surfs with his Dutch fans, and all three ride on.

5 September 2012

Adelinde Cornelissen found out that it’s not easy to dance with one–let alone two–Olympic
medals hanging around your neck. Check out the backdrop of this huge stage, with a mural
of the team.

The staid image of dressage has been blown by The Netherlands. The secret is out: dressage riders can strut their stuff with the best of them on the stage.

The sweat from riding hadn’t had a chance to dry before it was replaced by sweat from dancing as the Dutch dressage team was feted at the Heineken Holland House in London at the end of the Games last month.

In the past few weeks, Great Britain has celebrated its dressage team with parades and parties from the Channel Islands to Scotland. But they weren’t the only ones. Dutch riders were feted in London and at home as well.

We learned that night that Edward Gal could ride a crowd as well as a horse as the Dutch
fans took him for a crowd surf tour.

When she arrived home in The Netherlands, Adelinde Cornelissen celebrated her silver medal win with some of her favorite people–her fan club. They came armed with dozens of cell phones and said they came to see Parzival, but you can tell (if you don’t speak Dutch), that they were hanging on every word Adelinde said!

The tour of her motor home seemed to impress the girls as much as the stable!

If Adelinde seems right at home shepherding a tribe of children through her training center, remember that she was a teacher before she left her job to become a professional rider.

Have you ever seen so many blond girls in one place at one time?

Meanwhile, Anky jetted off for a vacation with her husband. Edward reports that Glock Undercover (a.k.a. Frits) is having a much-deserved rest, but that he and Hans Peter Minderhoud were right back in the saddle, training their clients’ horses.

What’s next for the Dutch team riders? Adelinde and Anky will be giving clinics at the Horse Event at Duerne this weekend, and Anky tweeted today that she has a reining competition coming up.

Edward, meanwhile, is off to Austria for the glamorous new event on the world dressage stage, the CDI 4* “Horses and Stars” event at Glock Horse Performance Center in Austria. Glock is Edward’s sponsor, and owner of Undercover, the stallion Edward rode at London.

The “performance” in the Glock Horse Center ‘s name may not be limited to horses. The weekend-long event also has a star-studded list of musical and movie stars scheduled to appear, including American actors Burt Reynolds and Don Johnson. Who knows? Edward Gal may surf again!

••••••••

Fran Jurga is a freelance writer and editor from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her award-winning blogs include The Jurga Report for EQUUS Magazine and War Horse News on the 2011 Steven Spielberg film. Fran is the founder of Hoofcare and Lameness Journal and writes a specialist Hoof Blog.  Fran wrote the WorldRides blog for the Hong Kong equestrian events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Discover WEG blog for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010.

You can follow Fran on FacebookPinterest and Twitter for more news about the horse world.

This blog has a dedicated headline feed of selected dressage, eventing, jumping and paralympic news from all over the world on the ScoopIt platform.

 

Categories: Dressage.

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Olympic Sponsors: Mark Todd’s Cup of Tea

Soggy tea bags helped sponsor Bell Tea pave the New Zealand Equestrians' road to London

Who sponsored the Olympics?

If you guessed Visa, BMW, and Coca-Cola, you’re right. And then there was P&G (remember all  the Mom commercials?), McDonald’s, BP and British Airways, among many others.

On another level, there were national sponsors, and still further down the sponsor chain were the important companies who backed individual national disciplines. And what a job they did!

German riders  had Fendt, the farm equipment company.  The Netherlands had Rabobank, which provided media support and fun social media blogs and image galleries for each and every rider. Team GB had both sponsors and official suppliers; the only commercial logo on the front page of their web site is for Land Rover, their longtime official vehicle partner.

Bell Tea headquarters London Olympics mural

The Olympic team is coming to visit so what do you do to prepare? If you're team sponsor Bell Tea, you paint a wall in their honor! I can't wait to see photos of the riders in front on this!

Here, it took a metropolis of companies and individuals to support the airlift and maintenance of Team USA. Once the Games began, SmartPak had the most visible role. They took a page from Rabobank’s book and blurred the separation of sponsor and media by hosting daily reports from employees on a spree in London for the USEF Network web site.

And New Zealand? Well, New Zealand had a lovely cup of tea.

Bell Tea Black Pack autographed by New Zealand's Olympic 2012 eventing team

Bell Tea Black Packs autographed by New Zealand's Olympic 2012 eventing team will be given away in New Zealand this week. Remember: black and silver are the national colors. Look closely and you will see the horse and rider printed on these special edition boxes sold (without the autographs) in stores.

Bell Tea has sponsored the Kiwi riders since 1977.

Money is what makes things happen of course, but it’s the little things you remember, like the comraderie of watching Mark Todd ride in the Olympics on television in the middle of the night. Bell Tea had no hard sell attached to its sponsorship. It just did a lot of little things that seem to fit the spirit and perception of New Zealand equestrians to a “t”–pun intended.

Anyone who organizes an event or a fundraising project will tell you that some companies are sponsors, and some become partners. There is a fine membrane between the two distinctions that some companies just seem to cross.

Bell Tea's rider message board on Facebook

Bell Tea launched a special message board on Facebook so people in New Zealand--or anywhere--could send messages to the Kiwi riders in London. It continues through the Paralympics.

I’ve featured some of the little things that Bell Tea did for and with the team, and it all adds up to quiet understatement. The relocation of the New Zealand eventers to Great Britain and the decision to come as close as possible to having a “home field advantage” was brilliant, but it was not inexpensive.

The company’s special Facebook page app for messaging the riders in London is still going strong–the Paralympians apparently like a nice cup to tea, too.

New Zealand is a long way from London. The world will probably never know what sort of corporate and public financing was required to make that tiny nation’s equestrian teams happen, but happen it did…and we can all be glad of that.

As I write this, the New Zealand eventing team is landing in Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand to begin a five-day whirlwind barnstorming monster party of a celebration around the two islands that comprise their beautiful nation.

Caroline Powell's Lenamore

Caroline Powell's horse Lenamore was helped to a bronze medal in eventing by a lot of soggy teabags back home in New Zealand.

They are returning to a hero’s welcome. One of the team’s first stops will be the Bell Tea corporate offices. And while champagne may well be called for–and I’m sure it will be from grapes grown Down Under–I can’t help but think that a cup of tea might be more appropriate.

Congratulations, Bell Tea and Team New Zealand!

Click to watch a Mark Todd commercial for Bell Tea from the 1980s.

Thanks to Monique Caddy at Bell Tea and Diana Dobson, Equestrian New Zealand High Performance Media Liaison, for helping arrange these images and media, and for inspiring me to write this article.

 

Categories: Eventing.

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Olympic Dressage: What do medal winners do next?

Team GB's Carl Hester Skips Disney World to Ride with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna

13 August 2012

Maybe we Americans have it all wrong. You find out you’ve just been named the Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl and what do you shout out to the world about your next move?

I love Disney World as much as you do but if you’re a dressage rider who has just won the Olympic team gold medal, would a trip to Orlando, Florida really be at the top of your list?

Click to go to main page of blog.

What’s a dressage rider’s version of Disney World?

Spin the globe around and the dressage rider’s map tack would stick firmly in Vienna, Austria. Vienna is home to the Spanish Riding School, the world oldest equestrian institution of advanced horsemanship. It’s the school you enter but, like the Hotel California, you never really leave, since enlightened horsemanship is a lifelong pursuit.

And so it is that Carl Hester, kingpin of the British dressage team that won the Gold Medal at London’s Greenwich Park last week, has been announced as a star guest rider in an upcoming performance with the Spanish Riding School when they visit England this fall.

How’s that for a fairy tale post script to a gold medal victory?

“Life doesn’t get any better than this!” was Carl’s comment when he announced his plans for November.

Carl Hester © Fran Jurga

One thing is for certain: Carl Hester's horse will tower over the tiny Lipizzaners. (Fran Jurga photo)

You can excuse Carl if he has a sense of deja vu, he did do a clinic and demonstration ride before the Spanish Riding School performance in London last year. He was accompanied by reigning Paralympic Dressage Gold Medalist Lee Pearson, who will be at his side again. With luck, they’ll both be celebrating gold medals earned in London in 2012.

They won’t be just a warmup act this time. In fact, they might upstage the Lipizzaners a bit. The British riders’ giant warmbloods will definitely tower over them and the crowd will be thrilled to see the riders.

Carl will perform his gold medal winning performance to the patriotic music–including the unmistakable strains of “God Save the Queen”–that he  used in the Olympics and also give a masterclass in some of the dressage moves typical of the modern day sport.

Spanish Riding School by Brian Scott

Let's hope the Spanish Riding School will salute Carl Hester's gold medal. (Brian Scott photo)

The Spanish Riding School just might find that their White Ballet is upstaged by the Solid Gold.

Details: Three performances, November 16-18, 2012, at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.  Visit http://srslondon.co.uk/

Categories: Dressage.

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Olympic Eventing: Vets, Volunteers and a Loose Horse

Great Olympic Moments: Gin and Juice Finds Safety on Cross Country

Gin and Juice kept going after her rider, Team Canada’s Hawley Bennett-Awad met the historic grassy ground of London’s Greenwich Park.

Click to go to the main blog page.

Few things are as scary and upsetting as a loose horse galloping on, whether it is a racehorse or an eventer.

We’ve all helped catch loose horses, but this video makes you wonder if these volunteers and vets had a plan rehearsed or if they just instinctively spread out across the course to slow Gin and Juice down and bring her to safety.

Chances are that they hadn’t seen the mishap and didn’t know if the mare was injured, or where the rider was. They probably just heard cries of “Loose horse!”, figured the horse had stayed on the course and went into action before they saw the horse themselves.

Hawley Bennett and Gin & Juice at Badminton Horse Trials 2011

Hawley Bennett-Award and Gin & Juice at Badminton Horse Trials in 2011 (Mark Bennett image)

It was a tough day for Hawley Bennett-Awad; she spent a while in the hospital in London.

Hawley and Gin and Juice had their Olympic dream cut short but just to show you what they can do, here’s a great video of them on course at last year’s Burghley Horse Trials.

 

Categories: Eventing.

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Olympic Jumping: McLain Ward’s Sidelines Support

Great Olympic Moments: Team USA's McLain Ward Wasn't Alone in the Arena

August 10, 2012

It’s a big arena. The rider leaves the warmup area and walks his horse determinedly toward the ring.

The groom walks by the horse’s side. He or she checks and re-checks the tack, unconsciously watching each hoof fall on the path. The girth, the saddle pad, the bit, the martingale, the rider’s jacket, breeches, boots, gloves, pass his mental checklist one last time.

Horse and rider canter deliberately through the entry and make a loop waiting for the timer to sound.

The groom steps back into the chute where he’s piled a sheet on the wall to throw over the horse. There’s his bucket and sponge, a leadline.  He holds only the spare crop he brought. His eyes are stuck to the horse.

The timer rings and the rider opens up the horse, galloping towards the first fence.

But he’ll never ride alone.

The delightful man in this video is Lee McKeever; he and his wife are part of the barn management team for Team USA’s McLain Ward. Ward rode the stunning gray Antares F in London…and left some psychological room in the saddle for Lee, who was grooming for him that day, to ride along.

Earlier in the week, Lee had done a stand-in for McLain during the veterinary inspection. Ward is recovering from a leg injury and Lee presented the horse for him.

It only looks like they’re in the ring alone.

This video goes right up on the favorites list along with the amazing finish of the 2010 Breeders Cup Mile. Amazing because French champion mare ran by the top American horses as if they were standing still. She won the race for the third consecutive time.

Racing record books will always carry the name of Goldikova, but for many of us, it’s her groom’s obvious love and joy we’ll never forget. Someone captured it for YouTube so we can live the moment again and again.

Thanks to Susanna Forrest, who lives in Germany, for bringing the video of Lee to our attention. Susanna is the author of If Wishes Were Horses (Atlantic, 2012). This video is unusual and it’s great that someone turned his or her camera away from the ring and filmed what members of the horse’s team go through at the gate. Sometimes agony, sometimes ecstasy!

Categories: Show Jumping.

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Olympic Dressage: The Elite Freestyle

Who'll Achieve the Medal-Peak Crescendo of Musical Artistry and Performance Excellence?

8 August 2012

I’ve never told anyone this before. But sometimes I turn up the volume on Totilas’s freestyle soundtrack medley of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits and dance around the office.

Not so long ago, the very concept of “pop dressage” was unthinkable. Now it’s a marketable and palpable concept that may transcend the boundaries of straight-laced dressage.

Click to go to the main blog page.

The musical freestyle dressage at these London Olympics could be a watershed event for dressage. The scores could go through the roof–except that the event will be held in the open air, in daylight.

But the musical dressage has the possibility of high scores because of the artistic vs technical scores. An artistic but precise ride to fabulous music can possibly pull high scores. Will a new record for a high score be set? Dressage could go viral. It might not even need Ann Romney–or Stephen Colbert.

Dansez Maintenant is the title for the London 2012 freestyle created by Cees Slings for Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein and Digby. Slings used a saddle cam to work on syncopation of horse and music and this video puts you in the rider’s seat.

We may have the treat of some experimental uses of music in dressage. We may watch some monumental flops where technical scores will far outweigh the artistic, and–in the eyes of many–the wrong horse may end up with a medal.

But I believe that we will see “Something”. Something that looks like the future.

Prediction: Charlotte DuJardin’s medley of patriotic orchestral classics woven around the theme to the 1960s Steve McQueen film The Great Escape sounds like it is fit for the Queen. It has already brought home a British-record score at Hartbury last month.

Will Charlotte’s music, composed and conceived by British dressage team maestro, composer Tom Hunt,  carry through to individual gold? Charlotte is the very last rider of the day. She’s the one everyone will be waiting for, but don’t count out Adelinde Cornelissen of The Netherlands, who rides right before her. Will Adelinde have new music or will she stick with the Nutcracker? We’ll find out!

Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén & Don Aurelio are the dark horses for a medal at London. They won the freestyle at the CHIO Rotterdam in June and the idea of using the music from the iconic 1980s British rock opera Tommy by The Who in the middle of London at the emotional end of the Games? Nothing short of brilliant. The crowd will roar for this one. Thanks to Cees Slings for his cinematic salute to Tinne’s freestyle.

While you’re watching, think about the origin of all this. The Spanish Riding School has been delicately half-passing to the waltzes and polkas of Strauss for centuries.

And remember to tip your hat to Anky van Grunsven when she enters the ring. She was the pioneer of this genre. She elevated it to an artform, whether it was her James Bond medley in the late 1990s, her dressage with a live orchestra accompaniment at Aachen, or her partnership with composer/arrangers like Cees Slings that pioneered the idea of composing for an individual horse, not for a rider.

The surest sign that dressage has transcended will be if you find yourself humming something from Tommy or maybe whistling that chorus from The Great Escape after the medals have gone home to wherever they’re headed. Or maybe you’ll be out shopping for a saddle cam and a composer. Congratulations. You just might be making a wise investment in the future of dressage.

 

Categories: Dressage.

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Olympic Dressage: Music Mixup Magic

Mismatched Music, a Grand Prix Horse, and a Laptop: Dressage Transcends the Arena

8 August 2012

World Cup champion Parzival and his rider, Adelinde Cornelissen of The Netherlands, probably never heard the strains of Bollywood theme songs in their heads while they were practicing for Aachen last year.

No, their freestyle was really ridden to the dreamy ballet strains of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. But if they had had Mumbai on their minds, it might have looked something like this.

 

Click to go to the blog's main page.

“Mixed music freestyle” took off after a priate remixed the video of the famous freestyle by 2006 WEG superstar Blue Hors Matine. Who knew a Danish mare could be so hip? Someone dabbled in YouTube and deleted the classical soundtrack to her freestyle. Soon she was piaffing to a hip-hop beat, thanks to the pirate’s overlaid music track. And it’s a hit: it’s collected more than one million views.

Now the latest “dubstep” phenomenon in music editing has Blue Horse Matine updating her routine, even though she has sadly been dead for years now:

“Hack” doesn’t just mean a civilized trail ride anymore. Creative freestyle hacking has become a form of free expression on YouTube. Using video pirated from the source of choice, users experiment and share their results. Have you seen Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris’s hip-hop track? How about Totilas and Edward Gal stepping out to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”?

It’s not just the horse that can do it freestyle; pirate-minded music editors take a freestyle approach to genres of music, as well. And they soon find an appreciative audience on YouTube, although videos with music that is in copyright violation are often deleted. So if you’re planning to do it, play by the copyright rules.

composers and choreographers are everywhere
That guy next to you at Starbucks might be composing a dressage freestyle score. 

Dig around YouTube and you’ll be amazed what you find. Tech-savvy freestylistas find music from all cultures to fit their favorite dressage horses, and the software to make it work is built into most computers and even a lot of smart phones and iPads.

Somewhere out there, the next Cees Slings is editing up an MP3 track that will be the perfect fit for a breakthrough YouTube dressage video, and budding composers with horse sense might even even find a new career in a studio working with riders and trainers and owners to perfect a personalized soundscape for a top-level horse.

If the after-effect of the London 2012 Olympics dressage is what it should be, there will be plenty of people waiting to watch their videos and their talents will not go unappreciated.

Laptop user: D. Sinclair Terrasidius image (Thanks!)

Categories: Dressage.

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Olympic Dressage: Musical Freestyle

Riders Rehearse for Musical Freestyle Dressage with No Horses in Sight

7 August 2012

This unusual and intimate video shows German dressage rider Matthias Rath rehearsing his musical freestyle ride in his mind. The music was new to him; he was about to ride it in competition for the second time. Composer/producer Cees Slings watches a video of the freestyle on his laptop to compare the rider’s imaginary ride. By the physical contact he has with the rider (his hand is on Matthias’s back), he can feel the rider’s timing for all the musical cues. Matthias even whistles at certain moments.

It’s a half hour before your ride time. The whole world is waiting to see your new freestyle and to hear your new music.

Discover Horses Equestrian London blog

Click to go to read more of the blog

Is it clear in your head?

Meet top German rider Matthias Rath. He’s not been able to ride at London on his mount, the reigning world champion of dressage, Totilas. But he can still teach us something about the freestyle dressage competition, which will be held on Thursday in Greenwich Park.

For Matthias’s freestyle on a former horse, Dutch composer/producer Cees Slings developed his freestyle score. Cees Slings doesn’t just edit canned music to fit the horse’s routine; he watches the horse and crafts a soundscape that suits the horse. Eventually, he trains the rider, who must memorize not only the sequential movements of the horse but the rhythm and transitions of the music.

There is little room for improvising in a dressage freestyle.

Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival of The Netherlands

Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival know their "Nutcracker Suite" freestyle by heart now. Will they have new music when Adelinde goes for the gold on Thursday? (Jessica Mulley image)

A Grand Prix or Grand Prix Special test is what it is; a methodical test of the horse’s gaits and abilities and attitude going in both directions of the arena. But a freestyle is what you–and your horse–make of it. You can make the judges tap their feet, or make them want to cover their ears.

But the rider can’t easily make up for a lost stride or a horse’s anticipation of a lead change, since the music is carefully edited to count the strides and time the transitions.

recording studioWhich brings us to Matthias Rath in a rehearsal bunker, going over his freestyle in his mind.

When George Gershwin wrote Rhapsody in Blue, do you think he ever imagined that a horse would be dancing to its swelling strain? Did its rhythm ever remind him of hoofbeats?

There are no horses in this video. Look for the horse in your imagination; ride along the brainwaves of Matthias Rath’s mind and be assured that scenes like this will be going on in London from now until the riders enter the arena.

Freestyles don’t just happen. And a freestyle that looks effortless is far from it. They take months of work by dozens of people. Probably the horse world has never seen so many people work so hard for so few horses as have prepared the stunning freestyles for London. The stands could be filled with their musicians, sound engineers, composers, scorers and editors.

Though only a lone horse and rider will execute it, many more will literally know the score, because they wrote it, recorded it, edited it, enhanced it and lived it.

Get ready: you can live it too. The freestyle begins Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Thanks to Cees Slings for this video.

Categories: Dressage.

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