… the German’s have decided they like diet Coke! And regular water (not carbonated)! The same lady that told me the other day that they weren’t popular in Germany and not available for sale served me both with a smile this morning. I was thirsty. I also found fresh fruit…. The gods were smiling on me.

I had an early start to the day yesterday to watch the EY Cup final. I was disappointed to learn that the classes weren’t cumulative. Seems to me that the purpose of these types of shows is to teach the next generation what “Finals” are all about. The World Cup classes are cumulative so it would have been nice if theirs were as well. I would try to calculate what their results would have been, but nobody seems to know the formula that is used to convert penalties into points. I even tried looking it up on the FEI website but couldn’t find the details. One seasoned reporter asked me why I would even bother trying. Suffice to say, the Americans had a pretty good showing and would probably have been near the top of the list. 

The group certainly would have benefitted from cumulative scoring because their earlier good results would have helped buoy the day’s disappointments. Of the group, only Reed Kessler and Ligist were able to make it into the jump off where she had a cheap rail but a good quick round to finish fifth. David Arcand had a positively miserable day ratcheting up 21 faults – it looked to me as though Catwalk was a bit tired. Full result here: http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/546/sta_erg/15_ergENG.htm?style=engarde_leipzig

The Royal wedding was playing in the media room so I got to catch some of the action between classes. There was a fairly large group of reporters sitting around a TV offering various remarks. In a previous life, one of them had been in the army and had worked for the Royal family. His Prince Charles imitation was priceless but he was also helpful offering details on who each of the personalities were which was particularly helpful as the coverage we watched was in German… of course. I got to see Kate’s dress (I love the top half but not a huge fan of the bottom) and part of the ceremony before the next class.

The second World Cup jumping qualifier was after lunch and was more entertaining than the previous day’s speed class. As promised, and expected, the jumps were higher which caused some questionable moments for those less experienced riders. There were several loud gasps from the crowd as some riders, on VERY forgiving horses, demonstrated very poor riding skills. I could only think a) how much money was paid for these wonderful horses and b) how successful they would be with somebody who knew how to ride well.

After the first quarter of the class things started to improve, particularly so when Eric and Hickstead went clear just past the mid-way point. There were only 7 clears rounds of the 40 starters but it was a fair course with each of the jumps coming down at least once. The jump-off was also a good test with the perfect mix of roll-backs and long gallops to keep things entertaining. Eric emerged the victor which shot him up to 5th place from 17th. Eric has 6 points now, while the German leaders Ahlmann and Kutscher are tied with 0 each, Gerco Schroder (NED) has one point in third, and Katie McVean (the Kiwi representing the ladies at the top) has four points in fourth. It stills seems unlikely that Eric could make the leap to the top in Sunday’s final but anything is possible, so fingers crossed!

The individual vaulting competition for men and women was at night but I was helping to host a dinner for the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists so couldn’t make it.

The dressage freestyle is later tonight (Saturday) and will surely be exciting. I’m particularly interested in the top five who will be battling it out for top honours and are sure to be pulling out all the stops.