It surprised almost no one when the German dressage team came out, dressage guns-a'blazing on day one of competition of the FEI World Equestrian Games. Germany is synonymous with dressage excellence, and even though many of the biggest stars from each country will not ride their Grand Prix tests until tomorrow, the Germans are off to a strong start.
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER) and the 11-year-old mare TSF Dalera BB earned a 76.77, putting her less than 1.4 points over the Swedes. "I watched the first two horses from up in the stand with my brother Benni and I suddenly got the shivers and felt motivated because I realized how many other people would like to be in my shoes!" said the 32-year-old rider. "So I went in there feeling full of power and Delera was just brilliant!"
Juliette and Burial KH
The second placed-score for Sweden was earned by Rio Olympics partners Juliette Ramel and 12-year-old Burial K.H.
Dorothee and Sammy Davis Jr.
Dorothee Schneider and the fabulous Sammy Davis Jr. earned a 75.06 for third to strengthen the German team's standings, and Adrienne Lyle was thrilled with her fourth-placed ride on Salvino for Team USA.
Adrienne and Salvino for Team USA.
It's clear that a repeat of Germany's performance in Normandy in 2014 is a possibility, but the best is yet to come. Tomorrow, Team GBR will unleash its big guns with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin; 'Queen of Dressage' and 2014 gold medal team member Isabel Werth and young star Sönke Rothenberger will round out Germany; and Team USA's Laura Graves and the very promising Kasey Perry-Glass will take the stage.
A moment of raw emotion from an overjoyed Maria Florencia Manfredi (ARG).
Full standings here.
Photos Shannon Brinkman.