All the Dressage Horses Are Good to Go in Herning
94 horses will start in the 2022 World Championships following horse inspection
Text and photographs by Jennifer O. Bryant
Super-fit, supremely athletic dressage horses tend to get wired when asked to trot in hand in front of a phalanx of judges, onlookers, and photographers—the ritual known as a horse inspection. “The jog” is the necessary first step in an FEI-recognized dressage competition, in which FEI veterinary delegates watch the horses go in order to ensure that they are fit to compete.
Today’s suddenly chilly, breezy, autumn-like weather in Denmark gave the handlers at the dressage horse inspection at the Ecco FEI World Championships Herning 2022 an extra challenge: to hold on to their charges, and to get them to do something resembling a trot versus airs above the ground.
Presenting for Team USA, Steffen Peters managed to keep hold of all 18 hands of Suppenkasper but couldn’t prevent “Mopsie” from barrel-kicking one of the planters in the jog strip that separated the “away” and “back” lanes. Purple flowers (purple is the official hue of Herning 2022) went flying, as did jagged shards of the decimated planter. But there were no other casualties, the remains of the planter were whisked away, and the show went on.
The two-hour dressage horse inspection concluded with all 94 entries accepted for the Herning 2022 dressage competition, which begins tomorrow with day 1 of the Grand Prix.
Competition Format and Timetable
Unlike Olympic Games, which award two sets of medals (team and individual) in dressage, FEI World Championships (formerly World Equestrian Games) award team medals and two sets of individual medals: one for the Grand Prix Special and one for the Grand Prix Freestyle.
At Herning 2022, the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Team Championship Grand Prix will be held over two days: Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7. Teams will consist of four horse/rider combinations, and there will be a drop score. Team medals will be presented after the competition concludes Sunday.
Horses and riders competing as individuals will also ride the Grand Prix, using it as the qualifier for the individual competition.
Monday, August 8, it’s on to the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Grand Prix Special Championship. The top 30 combinations from the Grand Prix will advance to this first opportunity for individual medals.
After a rest day August 9, it’ll be the highly anticipated finale of the Herning 2022 dressage competition, with the top 15 from the GP Special contesting the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle Championship. The 10,000-seat Stutteri Ask Stadium is already sold out for the August 10 competition, which will decide the second set of individual medals to cap what’s shaping up to be a memorable and exciting milestone in dressage. Visit Herning2022.com to learn more.