They came, they danced, they conquered.
The center of the equestrian world this week? Omaha, Nebraska!
Omaha’s CenturyLink Center is hosting the FEI World Cup Finals in show jumping and dressage, and after Day 1 the competition is fierce (as you might expect, with the best-ranked riders in the world squaring off for the ultimate title!) Our own Morgane Schmidt Gabriel is attending the World Cup Finals, providing play-by-play updates of the dressage over Twitter (follow us at @horse_nation). Our sister site Jumper Nation is providing live updates on the show jumping as well all weekend long.
World Cup show jumpers get the day off — if they so choose. Some of the World Cup riders are cross-entered into the International Omaha Jumping Grand Prix, with some riding their World Cup mount and others on a second horse.
Dressage, however, took the spotlight today: fourteen combinations danced their way across the coliseum floor, delighting the spectators with musical freestyle rides. Our own Morgane Schmidt Gabriel provided plenty of color commentary over Twitter as the lead shifted from rider to rider.
After the first half, the lead was held by the Netherlands’ Madeleine Witte-Vrees and Cennin with a 79.046%, but the home crowd was rapt as Laura Graves and Verdades, second place after the first round of competition, performed a challenging test featuring maneuvers such as 2-stride changes on a circle. Graves marked an 85.289%, which stood through performances by Carl Hester, Edward Gal and Judy Reynolds.
However, no one could best the best in the world — Isabell Werth, the Day 1 leader, aboard Weihegold OLD, broke into the 90s to mark a 90.704%, making Werth the unquestionable FEI World Cup Finals dressage winner.
Scores from the top five:
Social media moments:
Nobody parties like Isabell Werth, apparently:
— US Equestrian (@USequestrian) April 1, 2017
— Horse2rider (@horse2rider) April 1, 2017
— The FEI (@FEI_Global) April 1, 2017
We’ll be back tomorrow with the final round-up from the FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha! Go riding.