Two days top dressage in Equine America Rotterdam Hickstead Grand Prix Challenge

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40 fantastic riders and horses brought more than six hours of top dressage in the homes of many many spectators over two days during last weekend in the Equine America Rotterdam Hickstead Grand Prix Challenge organized by CHIO Rotterdam and Dressage at Hickstead. Dressage fans from UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, USA, UAE, Australia, the Nordics etc. watched on Saturday and Sunday evening at or the channels served by Horse & Country TV worldwide and took a seat in the judge huts to give their marks to each test via the Spectator Judging App. Everyone agreed, double Olympic Champion Charlotte Dujardin and MSJ Freestyle were the best, via the Spectator Judging App the test was rewarded with 78.885%. The public ranked Ashley van Megen-Brons second and Patrick van der Meer third.

The tests were filmed in June at the venues of CHIO Rotterdam and CDI Hickstead. For most riders it was the first time after lock down dressing up in tailcoats and getting back inside the white boards for an official test. Most of them have used the lock down period to focus on training and experiment new technics. After each test, the riders explained how they worked during lock down and what the importance is of this virtual event.

Dressage fans for once could hear the live commentary from 5* Grand Prix judges Mariette Sanders - van Gansewinkel and Stephen Clarke and could compare these comments with their own judging via the Spectator Judging App. Mariette and Stephen could not give marks but explained extensively how every element in the test was performed by rider and horse.

"Amazing how much can be learnt when you get to watch high level dressage that's not perfect and hear the judges in this relaxed format," said one of the online viewers. " When dressage is televised it's often the best of the best so the margins are minimal. This was so inspirational because it made the challenges us mere mortals face seem so much more normal. This is something great that's come from COVID-19."

"I thought the judges commentating were genius ... learnt so much and it was well worth watching because of that," said another spectator.

The event can still be watched via the on demand channel of Horse & Country TV

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