There may be only three Olympic team slots on offer at the Longines FEI Dressage European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands this week but the first-ever side to represent Ireland is still in with a chance of making the cut after the first-half of the competition was completed today.
Scores of 66.180 for Kate Dwyer and Snowdon Faberge on their championship debut and 69.472 for double-Olympian Heike Holstein and her home-bred 10-year-old mare Sambuca leave Ireland still in the race against the seven other countries also hunting down those precious qualifying places.
Heike showed just how tough she is, taking a very nasty fall off a bicycle an hour before she was due to go in the ring and having to cut short her warm-up as she was in the medical centre getting checked out. But once she was in the saddle she got in the zone right away and Sambuca gave her a brilliant ride.
With Peetzy (Anna) Merveldt and Esporim and the one and only Judy Reynolds and JP (Vancouver K) still to go it’s very much all to play for when the action resumes at 08.00 local time tomorrow. Medals will be awarded mid-afternoon and by then we’ll know whether our Girls in Green are on their way to Tokyo …… best of luck!!
Some lovely photos thanks to super-photographer Kim C Lundin today of our first two contestants.
Germany lead (quel surprise) with Britain and Sweden lying in overnight silver and bronze.