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The WoSJ expert commentator from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games: Piet Raijmakers

Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Piet Raijmakers. During the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games World of Showjumping will have Piet Raijmakers as our expert commentator. Piet Raijmakers has gold medals from the Olympic Games, the World Championships and the European Championships. This is what Piet had to say about the first day of competition:

“My first impression when we walked the course on Tuesday morning was that it was quite light. I think the course designer built a little bit in the direction of the teams here that are not that strong, and I think maybe it could have been a little bit bigger. But from the first fence too the last there were mistakes; the faults spread out and I think in the end he did a good job.

Even though it in my opinion was quite light there were still plenty of faults, but that has to do with the pressure here. To be at a World Championship is totally different than at any other shows, where the riders only have to take care about themselves. Here it is also about the team, and that creates a totally different kind of pressure to deal with. This is also what separate the strongest nations from the rest; they all have four very strong riders that can cope with this.

For Wednesday’s competition I expect a totally different game. It will be more serious, and I think we will see the course designer build bigger. There will for sure be a triple combination and also a lot more technical building. I also expect the time to be a bigger factor tomorrow. From what I have seen so far though, I have a good feeling for the rest of the tracks here at the championship.

The first day might be a speed competition, but it is important by now and it counts. Those who take the lead on the first day will always be difficult to catch, and those teams behind have to chase those teams in front. Also, this part of the competition shows that you now need a horse not only with scope, but also a fast one as the speed is a big factor.

When it comes to the favorites, I think we will know more on Wednesday – there are too many to mention at this point. The French look sharp though and the Germans look strong.

There were not any big surprises today, although I thought maybe Ludger would attack more – but I think he did not want to go too fast as the horse might have to pay for this tomorrow. I also think many other riders had the same plan; stay close to those on top with medium fast rounds. There were no exotic surprises, for this it was too difficult!"

As told to World of Showjumping by Piet Raijmakers

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