Tokyo 2020 Eventing Dressage Day Two: Team GB Maintain Gold As Germany Rise The Ranks
The Tokyo 2020 Eventing Dressage day two and the entire dressage phase of competition is now complete, revealing the competitive standings going into the next phase of competition.
As day two of the eventing dressage phase kicked off, all eyes were on World, European and double Olympic champion, Micheal Jung of Team Germany. Coming forward with teammate, Julia Krajewski’s ride, Chipmunk FRH, the new combination had big shoes to fill.
Building a partnership since 2019, Micheal took over the ride from Julia the year after the World Equestrian Games. Here, Chipmunk and Julia scored a sub-20 dressage score to help Germany take gold at the competition.
Benefiting from the yearlong delay of the Olympics, practice seemed to make perfect for the new duo. Micheal’s test was calmly executed, effortlessly flowing throughout the tight, four-minute timeframe. Typically averaging on a score of 22.2, the pair were favourites to shuffle to medal-contending rankings.
A test with out mistakes saw them fly into the lead with a score of 21.1, bumping Team GB’s Oliver Townend into second. As the last rider to go for Team Germany, the immaculate score shuffled the nation up the team rankings to place behind Team GB in second.
Meanwhile, last to go for Team GB was Tom McEwen, riding 14-year-old, Selle Francias gelding, Toledo de Kerser.
Once an area of weakness for Toledo, Tom has been working on the gelding’s dressage execution. Consistently moving him up the rankings, the pair have gone from scoring in the 30’s to now averaging on a dressage score of 24.1. However, in the Tokyo humidity, an Olympic dressage score of 28.9 is something the pair should be proud of.
After his test, Tom took to social media, briefly commenting;
Not the test we were aiming for today but taking forward a score of 28.9 to keep Team GB in a strong position with all to play for on Cross Country day tomorrow.”
Tom later went into more detail about his and Toledo’s performance;
I’m actually very pleased with him, he coped very well in there – he loves situations likes that. “It was just the two early changes that really cost me – the preparation was good, but they were a bit of a flop really. As a team we’re still in a strong position, though, and it gives me more emphasis to get cracking tomorrow [for cross-country].”
“He’s been amazing since he got here, absolutely unreal – which makes it more of a shame to go in there and get a 28 or 29 because I knew he could have been very low twenties or even into the teens on the right day. His changes are usually very good, very correct. So, yeah – very pleased with him, but to be worked on.”
Tom’s score places him individually in 12th and secures the gold for Team GB as they head into the next phase of competition.
Elsewhere on the field, the leaderboard’s top 10 after dressage was largely unchallenged during day two of the dressage. Team New Zealand’s Tim Price did managed to sneak into 5th with ride, Vitali. Vitali was Tim’s second pick for the Games, after his original contender, Wesko sustained an injury. With a few green moments during their test, the gelding did step up to the plate at his first ever championships. The duo finished the first phase of competition with an impressive score of 25.6.
After day one of dressage and day two, current individual’s in medals contention are Germany’s Micheal Jung (21.1), Britain’s Oliver Townend (23.6), and China’s Alex Hua Tian (23.9). Current team medal-contending nations are Great Britain (78.3), Germany (80.4) and New Zealand (86.4). A close competition, just 6.9 points separate the top ten individuals, meanwhile 20.9 points separate the top ten teams.
As the riders head toward the Olympic cross-country course, the twists and turns of the Derek di Grazia’s designed course is set to shuffle the current leaderboard even further.
Header Image; Tom McEwen riding Toledo Der Kerser at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (FEI/Christophe Taniere)
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Reporting on equestrian news stories, Abby also produces a variety of engaging content for the magazine.