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Diary from Athens - Grand Prix Freestyle

There was showmanship, there was brilliant horsemanship, there were glitches – and they all made Freestyle day at the Markopoulo Equestrian Centre today an incredible event.  The spectator stands were full with huge patches of  orange, or red, or blue  – depending upon the partisanship of the group in each area.

Judges' Comments Following the Freestyle

"SALINERO's strength today was in the extensions, his passage and the transitions. RUSTY was very good in the series of changes, and in the half passes, both in trot and canter". Mariette Withages (BEL) - President of the ground jury

Anky Van Grunsven and Salinero secure Individual Gold for the Netherlands

With a combined score of 79.253 % the Dutch Freestyle Queen, who won six World Cup Finals, ended up with a deserved score of 85.825 % after a stylish Kür on “L’Esprit Chanson” including a number of French famous songs.

Rider Comments from the Grand Prix Freestyle

"My horse likes classical music and flamengo tunes. You see he is Andalusian and he carries the rtythm in his blood". - Rafael Soto (ESP)

Anky van Grunsven Wins Second Consecutive Gold

Any van Grunsven & Salinero rode away with her second consecutive individual Gold medal after today's freestyle performance. The judging panel were virtually unanimous in their decision.

Canadian Olympic Dressage Team Improves World Standing

By way of its ninth place finish at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, the Canadian Dressage Team improved its world ranking, moving into ninth position.

Diary From Athens - Another Day

The wind blew up again today and caused some problems in the dressage arena, especially for Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty.  His usual error-free performance was marred by late transitions and difficulties with the flying changes, along with a spook in one corner.  Nevertheless I’m sure their score of 74.840% would be gladly accepted by most dressage riders.

Germany’s Ulla Salzgeber Clings to Narrow Lead in Individual Olympic Dressage

The race for individual medals in Olympic dressage is playing out according to predictions, in spite of questionable performances from the leaders and outstanding tests by their followers. Still in the lead is Ulla Salzgeber of Germany on Rusty, but the gap has been eaten up by defending Olympic champion Anky van Grunsven from The Netherlands on Salinero.

Riders' Comments about the Grand Prix Speciale

"RUSTY today was very fresh and I was afraid that I might have problems because of the wind. I made too many mistakes and I hope that I will not make them again on Wednesday." - Ulla Salzgeber - Germany

Salzgeber Loses Advantage with Grand Prix Speciale

German favourite Ulla Salzgeber lost her advantage further to the windy conditions brought on by the Meltemi. After several mistakes from her 16-year-old gelding Rusty, mainly in the flying changes, the German rider has now a slight advantage on 76.524 % finishing her Grand Prix Special on a score of 74.84%.

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