Nathalie the Danish princess – I’m pretty sure this is the same Westside Story music she used in Hong Kong. And I’m still not a fan. That musical has been used SO MUCH. There were actually two riders using it in HK. The tempo seldom matches the footfalls. For some reason she seems to canter forever in this freestyle. The crowd seems to be lulled rather than wowed by the music, though the technical execution has been very good. Replay of the ones on centre line revealed them to be almost perfectly straight. Digby looked exciting to watch tonight. Maybe the lights make him flashier than he appears in the daylight. 
Christoph K – such a beautiful horse – he entered to one of my favourite Police songs – Every Breath You Take – Roxanne for the trot – a lot of changes of gait and song. The difficult thing with using pop songs for a freestyle is that when you have really rapid transitions between gaits the effect is, to steal a quote from the person sitting beside me right now, a bit like a bad DJ. Christoph does a very strange thing in his body when he sits the trot and passage. It’s a kind of side to side sashay. I do like the music choices, busy editing notwithstanding – Englishman in NY for the canter – and good interpretation. This is an example of good use of vocals – the original Sting singing – and a very exciting ending with the passage tour. Now if he would just stop squirming in the saddle. 
Brett from Oz – he is opening in passage with a wonderful piece of music that I have used – from Sarah Brightman’s Harem. I loved it all until he put in something Kletzmer sounding for the walk. Don’t  get me wrong – I adore Kletzmer music and have used it in a freestyle I made for myself – but its quirky happy tone doesn’t fit the dramatic middle eastern theme of the rest of the freestyle. He cheated on tempo with the trot work but I have to say I prefer that to the jumping back and forth between songs that Christoph’s music did. 
Anabel – she went around the outside gesturing to the crowd to please not cheer. The music sounds like it’s from a soundtrack. Any ideas out there? I don’t recognize it. Really beautifully put together. Loved her passage half passes. Walk still not good – that needs some work before she can win a medal. The Bonfire days are over. Canter music is too much like the rest and not punchy enough in the rhythm. A mistake in the ones will hurt her. I can almost place the music. She just put some three tempis in – I guess she didn’t want to risk another mistake. That is a first in my experience. I’ve never seen threes in a GP freestyle and I don’t imagine the judges will be fans. Ahead of her music like so many of them tonight. She halted with his feet at the fence and waited for her music to finish. It lacked a bit of power, which was a shame because the horse is a real powerhouse. It’s possible of course that his music is on the quiet side because the horse is a hot tamale and may not be ready for something with a stronger beat.
Isabell – I feel sorry for her. The crowd would have gone wild for her in the past. Oh no she’s recycling that old Pomp and Circumstance number. It is so beige, and so old. I wish she had used Satchmo’s new freestyle. I didn’t love it but at least it had some personality. The walk music sounds like a funeral dirge. He walked out of the right pirouette under the judge at C’s nose. Speaking of the judge at C, Linda Z seems to have been rewarded for her loose cannon judging style this week with the boss spot in the middle booth tonight. What’s with that? Isabell is still the queen of extensions though. Not even the most boring music can take that away from her. She gets the Christmas present tonight. That was a generous score.