Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato were the third British riders into the Rotterdam Arena in the Grand Prix. It wasn't just the crowd in the stands who were keen to see what the man dubbed the Master of Dressage could do – a couple of crows landed in the corner of the arena to get a closer look. Luckily, Carl's horses are well used to working with an avian audience because he has a free-ranging collection at home, so Hawtins Delicato didn't bat an eyelid at these unusual spectators. A fault-free performance secured them a score of 78.32%, which was a new personal best.
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With three strong performances in the bag, attention turned to the final member of the squad – Charlotte Dujardin and her ride Mount St John Freestyle. They put in a brilliant performance to score 81.91%. Celebrations were cut short, though, when the ground jury announced Charlotte's disqualification due to a trace of blood being found on Mount St John Freestyle's flank. A full statement has been released.
The four horses competing in the para-equestrian dressage squad had their first inspection today in front of the ground jury. Despite heavy rain, all four sailed through with flying colours, and special mention must go to the support team who trotted them up.
Later that afternoon, the riders had their arena familiarisation sessions in the Para Arena. Competition begins tomorrow with the individual tests for Grade I, II and III.
Following yesterday's horse inspection, the jumping squad entered the Rotterdam Arena for their first official training session over fences.
Competition gets underway tomorrow with the speed class, which will decide the rankings for the first round of the team competition.