If I’d been able to just beam down to my shooting spot for the afternoon session of the Grand Prix, instead of dealing with the “dragon slaying” of the past few days, I would have been in dressage heaven.
The final rotation was probably the best few hours of dressage ever.
There was Laura Bechtolsheimer’s Mistral Hojris, with probably the most correct competitive dressage ride ever. I shot every single stride of the last passage up the center line, and those photos show that every single stride was exactly the same.
There was Warum Nicht, a most unlikely looking horse standing still, but a bounding powerhouse in motion.
The entire stadium was practically shivering with anticipation before Edward Gal and Totillas’ ride, and I don’t think anyone was disappointed. It’s rare for a horse to move me to tears, but there’s just another dimension to Toto. More trot, more passage, more canter, more pirouette, and a serenity about him throughout the test that is incredible. Edward must ride him with an unbelieveably light touch, because this horse is so happy in his mouth that I don’t think I saw him even twitch a lip.
After Toto came Fuego XII, ridden by Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz from Spain. I can just imagine what I’d be thinking if I knew I had to follow Totillas’ ride, but these two laid down a pretty ballsy test!
And finally there was Ravel, who put in his good steady test, and the home crowd went completely wild.
Here are a few shots – more tomorrow, I promise!