Yesterday was a fairly quiet day with just Vaulting Finals (the very first World Cup for that discipline) and the Dressage Freestyle Final at night.

I remain in awe of the vaulting athletes. Their grace, rhythm and courage are fun to watch. As with figure skating, the costumes are a part of the performance. Looser (Patrick that is, from Switzerland) was the individual male winner in his fancy, skin tight, white plastic outfit for his “spaceman” routine. I saw him perform this same number at WEG where he won gold. He was a very gracious and happy winner that some riders could take lessons from. I guess when you are in the spotlight as much as the riders from the Olympic disciplines you are less “thrilled” with your victory, it was a refreshing change. The female winner was Germany’s Simone Wiegele who had earned the bronze at WEG.

The Dressage Freestyle was interesting, though this neophyte misses the running scores that were seen in at least part of the Grand Prix. I find it very educational to see how the judges score each movement rather than just the final score at the end. For example, I quite liked Shawna Harding’s test on Come on III. They had an upbeat freestyle to a Black Eyed Peas medley that I quite enjoyed but scored a lackluster 67.625% to finish in 14th (second last). Maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention…. I can be easily distracted. I was, however, riveted by Patrick Kittle’s performance so maybe that should be my barometer: the really, really good ones keep my focus.

Adelinde C. and Jerich Parzival were great and well deserved the win and the World Cup. They went third to last with Isabell Werth and Satchmo going last. Satchmo had one of his Olympic moments where he bolted out of the corner into the canter across the diagonal which was followed a little later by a nasty kick with his hind leg. I was particularly curious to see how the judges (at this German venue…) would score their performance since similar behaviour had earned individual silver at the Olympics. Apparently the judges weren’t as forgiving though, as the pair earned 77.143 for 5th. Still… this was above Kittle who’s performance I thought was much better, if not, at the very least, more obedient. Ahhh… the mysteries and nuances of ballet on horseback continue to mystify me. Final results here:

This afternoon is the jumping final! Woot! Fallen rails and exceeded time limits… something I can understand. Let’s just leave hyper-sensitivity out of this discussion ;).