Light, shadow and a bronze medal!
An emotional roller-coaster – this the summary of today, Saturday. Today the second stage of awarding European Championship medals to which the 30 best riders presented themselves. Amongst them, with second and fourth places, the two GLOCK riders Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud, today entering the arena as the ultimate and penultimate riders.
But the day began literally ‘sickly’. Both Hans Peter and Edward felt unwell in the morning, plagued by some gastric disease. Whilst Hans Peter improved during the course of the day, Edward continued to feel weak and had to be given a drip by the doctor on site. Luckily the two had enough time to recover, because their starting times were only scheduled for 4:28 pm and 4:39 pm.
In the warming-up area, everybody could hear the top scores of Kristina Broering-Sprehe (GER) and the great cheering for Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) who, with Valegro, rode to a new European Championship record. One more rider only before Hans Peter’s turn. GLOCK's Johnson TN showed expressive movements under his rider and, apart from two tiny errors, everything went well. Hans Peter was most relieved when saluting at the last stop. He received marks between 77.647 % and 80.980 % with a total of 79.034 % which, to the sound of the audience’s cheering, meant the third intermediate place.
Now Edward enters with GLOCK’s Undercover N.O.P.. The son of Ferro was visibly tense and thus the stop at the first line was not quite right. Instead ‘Fritise’ started some nervous piaffing and Edward had to try to calm things down. But even though some of the correction worked well, ‘Fritsie’ remained extremely nervous and tense. And then, all of a sudden, the bell announced the end of the test. In all his nervousness, ‘Fritsie’ had bitten his tongue. What a bitter end for Eddie in this European Championship.
However, this also meant that Hans Peter won bronze in this Grand Prix Special. “I am rather confused somehow. This morning I felt really sick, then it was Eddie’s turn, but now I end up winning bronze. I am happy but it isn’t the same as if I had won the medal and Eddie had not been so unlucky.
“Fritsie has been extremely nervous since the award ceremony at the European Championships. I was hoping that I might be able to prepare him with some more relaxed riding but, from the moment we set off, it just didn’t work. The fact that he then bit his own tongue was just bad luck and the right thing to do was stop.” said an altogether disappointed Edward later on in the stalls. “Thank God it’s nothing serious and basically tomorrow’s freestyle wouldn’t have worked either with him in such a bad mood as he is now.”
Following the awards ceremony, peace returns. The first disappointment is behind us. The fans are right behind Edward, writing him countless greetings and congratulating Hans Peter on his first individual medal at European Championships.
Tomorrow is the day of finals for the Grand Prix Freestyle. Edward will watch that from the grandstand and Fritsie can go for a pleasant walk. Hans Peter, on the other hand, will be riding into the Aachen EC arena with ‘Johnny’ and giving his absolute best, with the whole team supporting right behind him.
European Championship – dressage programme:
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