WEG Rome Report
October 3, 1998
Press Conference after the Grand Prix Special
1. Question for Anky. What did you think when you heard Isabell's score? Were you
Anky: You only do the test for yourself and for your own horse. It doesn't matter if
Isabell does very good or even better. I was not nervous. I was very happy with my test
because he did a very good job.
2. Q. for Isabell: Did you watch Anky's ride?
Isabell: No, I haven't seen Anky's ride. I get asked a lot of questions and if I don't
watch the ride, I can say, I haven't seen it. People gather round watching me if I watch
the ride and then report that if I smile, I am smiling at a mistake.
We combat on Sunday. The last four championships I have had bad luck in the draw and my
starting times were before Anky's. It is best when the top horses are back to back, so
that the judges can compare them. When there is time in between the top rides, the horses
are hard to compare.
Q. Do you watch any of the rides?
Isabell: Oh, yes. I watch all the German riders.
3. Q for Anky: Did you watch Isabell's ride?
Anky: When I can, I like to watch lots of riders including Isabell. But today I was
walking Bonfire during her ride. I like dressage and I like watching other horses as well.
I have to ride at the moment. It is nicer for everybody to ride right after each other but
in a draw it is hard to do that. I do the best I can do. Today I was super satisfied. I
was happy and we did all we could do.
4. Q for Judges
Witthages: We have two top riders and two top horses in very good shape. We enjoy judging
them but they are so different and the position you are sitting can make a very big
difference in what you see and score. There are just a few % points separating them. You
just judge the movements as you see them. You don't think about the result -- the end
result is just the total of the movements we scored.
Q. Were there any 10s?
Yes, I did -- we all did on several horses on different movements. If there had been an
11, we would have given it too. In fact, one of my colleagues would have given a 12 on the
one tempis for Rusty. I gave a 10 today to Anky for her riding. If I only gave Isabell a 9
for her riding and Anky a 10, it was because today I thought that Anky had not a shade of
error. I thought Isabell had a shade of thought of error on a flying change (note: the
flying change on the canter was a bit early).
5. News! The FEI has ruled that the individual marks for movements are no longer private
between the rider and the judge. Those individual marks will be available to the press for
this competition. (As soon as they are available, I will post them online).
6. Q for Anky: Do you prepare a surprise for Sunday?
Anky. No. I will ride to West Side Story -- I only use it in two or three shows a year. I
used it in the World Cup final and will use it here.
Isabell: I discussed the two possible music choices with my coach and owner, Uwe, and it
was only possible that we ride to Just a Gigolo.
7. Q. What is it that makes Anky and Isabell do so much better than all the other riders?
Wittages: They are just better. I think all the people in this audience (at the press
conference) know enough to see the difference. They don't throw marks away.
Followup Q. I don't understand what you mean by they don't throw marks away.
Wittages: Not being precise. Not enough difference between medium and extensions. Not
preparing in your exercises. Neglecting the little things. Just because your horse can do
a canter pirouette does not mean that you should not practice setting up the horse and
preparing him for the canter pirouette at the exact point in the test. Many riders threw
away points by not ending up at the marker or not starting at the marker.
These are very good horses, very well trained -- as are many others here but these two
have been in Grand Prix for many years. Because dressage is so different, it takes years
to get the best from the horse. These two and Donnerhall, for instance, have come into
their own because they have been sound and able to compete at this level for so long.
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