Saturday, April 21, 2007

World Cup Freestyle B Won by...a Lusitano!

Consider this: the world turned upside down today in Las Vegas, where at the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals, the Freesyle B was won by the Portuguese rider Daniel Pinto, riding a Lusitano horse of his native land. How about that!

In the picture above, from warmup day, you see Isabell Werth of Germany in the foreground, with Daniel in the back. Observers said they did an impromptu pas de deux while schooling; now each has won his or her event.

Obviously the Portuguese are breeding and conditioning a larger, more extended version of the classical breed, but when you think of the classical orgins of dressage and how it was dominated in the 20th century by northern European warmbloods at the international level, this is news. Granted, he won at freestyle, which means designing a program that spotlights the horse's strengths, while the Grand Prix tests all the gaits and speeds, but...good for Portugal. Perhaps this will be the dawn of the legitimate specialist dressage horse for musical freestyle.

Hopefully Kit will have a good closeup photo of the horse in action tomorrow.

(Photo courtesy of Kit Houghton and Rolex.)