Saturday, 06 September 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014

Many highs, one low and a gold medal

153 show jumping riders from 53 countries started in the first speed competition on Tuesday 2nd of September. The selection procedure was tough. Jumps up to 1.60 metres high, oxers up to 1.80 metres deep, obstacles visually challenging for the horses and path lines, technically difficult for both riders and horses. Everything must be given here in Caen (FRA) at the World Equestrian Games, which are also very challenging regarding the participants’ shape. Since after the speed competition, there were the two rounds for the team championships, which also counted for the individual evaluation. Those who are not really fit would not be able to cope with these dimensions and tempo. Gerco and GLOCK’s London were able to win gold with the team here and the beautiful ribbon decorates “London’s” box at the stables.  Most boxes are already empty, since only 30 duos qualified for the third championship individual contest and Gerco and “London” are amongst them. Lulu has already taken “London” for a walk today and now they are getting ready for the last vet check before the two rounds for the world’s best 30 duos. GLOCK’s London N.O.P. trots easily at Gerco’s hand, quickly they receive the ever so important “accepted” they need in order to be able to participate. Now they do some light dressage practice before Gerco needs to go off to view the course.  The stadium is filling up and numerous TV cameras were installed, whilst photographers are in search for the best angles of view of this course. Beautiful the obstacles. They almost look like pieces of art in the light-coloured sand of the stadium. “Hard”, says Gerco briefly and thus everything is said, “time will be important as well as, of course, to remain error free.” Power-sapping 570 metres long is the first part, 1.60 the highest rails and the Landrover oxer so deep, one could fit a small room in it.  Starting as number 21 Gerco and GLOCK’s London enter the course and the audience greets them with thunderous applause. But it is not meant to be today. As early as on the second jump Gerco sees a rail down and despite the chestnut stallion seeming really ambitious, they are leaving the stadium with a total of three rail downs. The applause is strong and reinforcing. The audience would like to give them comfort, since they taken them in their heart. But: Gerco is terribly disappointed. After the cool-down, journalists approach him to learn what had happened. “I don’t know”, says Gerco. “Despite him being fit, I did not feel that much power in him today. I cannot even remember when he last had three rail-downs. He has given everything he had. We are coming home with a gold medal, so we certainly can be proud. But obviously right now I am disappointed. But happy to see him well and that he will get home in a good state. That’s the most important thing!”  Meanwhile Lulu has given “London” a nice shower, walked him and he is now enjoying some fresh hey and a huge amount of crisp carrots. Gerco comes to check on him. London looks at him inquisitively – all ok?, he seems to ask. “All ok!”, says Gerco patting his neck. “Thank you! The two of us are one team.”

Another vet check before the third individual contest – and “London” is perfect. © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

Vet check passed, now off to practice! "London" and Lulu. © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

Lulu and GLOCK bandages are allowed to touch my legs ;-) © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

Saddled! © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

Light dressage practice in the early morning - Gerco and "London". © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

Be it before or after work - GLOCK's London N.O.P. really loves his treats! © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

Dear fans, please keep your fingers crossed! We will give our best! GLOCK rider Gerco Schroeder and GLOCK's London N.O.P. © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

And again GLOCK rider Gerco Schroeder and GLOCK's London N.O.P. gave everything today. © Arnd Bronkhorst

Gerco Schroeder and GLOCK's London N.O.P. in action. © Arnd Bronkhorst

Disappointment for Gerco and Lulu after the round. © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

Gerco being interviewed. Everybody wants to know what happened. © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

GLOCK groom Lulu and GLOCK's London N.O.P. coming back from the horse washing spot. © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

"Thank you "London", you gave everything for me!” - Gerco and GLOCK's London N.O.P. © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC

Time for some carrots, time to go home! Till soon, to all those who were with us these days! © Ruth Buechlmann | GHPC