Live from Omaha!

Live from Omaha!
On the scene at the 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Grand Prix Starting Order: It's a Draw

Judy Reynolds of Ireland and Carl Hester of Great Britain ready to draw the dressage starting order for the Grand Prix. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

There's a dressy hoopla at major international championships known as a draw party.

In my limited experience, it's a chichi affair held at some cool offsite location, where competitors, coaches, officials, and assorted hangers-on (that would include yours truly, as a member of the media) gather to nosh on hors d'oeuvres, quench their thirst at the open bar, listen to music, and generally see and be seen.

(Clarification: There usually aren't enough morsels to go around. And, being both on duty and on an empty stomach, yours truly figured she'd better lay off the sauce lest she end up either making a spectacle of herself or falling asleep in a corner.)

The real purpose of this fete, however, is to draw the starting order for the next day's competition. I'm sure a simple computer program could dispatch this task easily and cheaply in seconds, but I guess it's considered more fun to stage a party around the event, with selected riders drawing numbers and names out of fishbowls for a bit of live entertainment. Last night, at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, orders of go were drawn for today's dressage Grand Prix and first round of jumping.

For the dressage, competitors Judy Reynolds of Ireland and Carl Hester of Great Britain did the honors. There were the requisite speeches and acknowledgments, including a few words from the Omaha Equestrian Foundation's Lisa Roskens, the driving force behind the city's successful bid to host these FEI World Cup Finals.
Fishbowls containing numbers and rider names are displayed on stage along with the jumping and dressage World Cup Final trophies at the draw party. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

I'm told I missed a great after-party (and real food!) in the aquarium, but I was hustling back to my hotel to rest up for today's big event, the Grand Prix. Here are the ride times and the results of the dressage draw. All times are local (CDT).

2:00 p.m. Maria Florencia Manfredi (ARG)/Bandurria Kacero
2:09 Edward Gal (NED)/Glock's Voice
2:18 Marcela Krinke-Susmelj (SUI)/Smeyers Molberg
2:27 Hanna Karasiova (BLR)/Arlekino
2:36 Joao Victor Marcari Oliva (BRA)/Xama Dos Pinhais
2:45 Carl Hester (GBR)/Nip Tuck
2:54 Mai Tofte Olesen (DEN)/Rustique
3:03 Madeleine Witte-Vrees (NED)/Cennin
3:32 Kasey Perry-Glass (USA)/Goerklintgaards Dublet
3:41 Steffen Peters (USA)/Rosamunde
3:50 Judy Reynolds (IRL)/Vancouver K
3:59 Kristy Oatley (AUS)/Du Soleil
4:08 Wendi Williamson (NZL)/Dejavu MH
4:17 Inessa Merkulova/RUS)/Mister X
4:26 Laura Graves (USA)/Verdades
4:35 Isabell Werth (GER)/Weihegold OLD.

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