Yasmin Inham and Banzai du Loir. Photo by Shelby Allen.

It’s that time!

I’m so excited to welcome you to the first day of actual competition at the 2022 FEI World Championships for Eventing, hosted this year in absolutely picture-perfect Rocca di Papa, Italy at Pratoni del Vivaro. This was the host site of the 1998 World Equestrian Games and is sure to be a true test of the 89-strong field representing 26 nations this week.

We are just about ready to get underway with the first day of dressage, and you’ve got myself along with Abby Powell ready to bring you up-to-date commentary while Tilly Berendt and Shelby Allen work on site. I’ll be updating you as each rider comes in, but I highly encourage you to pick up a pass to watch yourself on FEI.TV, which is a part of ClipMyHorse.TV. You can learn more and sign up here (there is a free trial for new members!).

Our Ground Jury today includes President and judge at C Christina Klingspor (SWE), judge at H Peter Gray (CAN), and judge at B Christian Steiner (AUT). Tilly Berendt caught up with Peter Gray, who is officiating his first World Championships (and has also competed himself in the 1990 World Championships in Stockholm), earlier this year and it’s definitely a cool read if you’d like to study up.

We’ll be underway at 9:30 a.m. local time, which is 3:30 a.m. EST and, sigh, 12:30 a.m. for me out here in California. This morning we’ll see a total of 22 horses and riders, including the first rotation of team riders. After an hour or so lunch break, Abby Powell will pick up live updates for the afternoon session.

There are sure to be a myriad of beautiful tests this morning, but some key notables to key an eye on include:

  • Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo (CAN): 9:46 a.m. local / 3:46 a.m. EST – 34.8
  • Will Coleman and Off the Record (USA): 11:05 a.m. local / 5:05 a.m. EST
  • Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo (GBR): 11:21 a.m. local / 5:21 a.m. EST
  • Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir (GBR): 12:00 p.m. local / 6:00 a.m. EST

We aren’t likely to see the eventual dressage winner in these first few groups, but here are a few horses Equiratings recommends keeping an eye on in the coming sessions:

Riders will be using FEI 5* Test B — you can view the test to follow along here, and if you want a really cool breakdown of the test, check out our Dressage Debrief with Peter Gray over Michael Jung’s Kentucky test with fischerChipmunk FRH:

Want more Pratoni news? Head over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships for Eventing, and be sure to sign up for the #Pratoni2022 Daily Digest email, which will be delivered straight to your inbox each day through Sunday, September 18.

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Form Guide] [Timing & Scoring] [Thursday Dressage Times] [Friday Dressage Times] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]

To use this live update thread, start from the bottom. I’ll be adding updates as they happen to the top!

4:58 a.m. EST: Guys and gals, I think a Thoroughbred is about to take the (early but still!) lead at World Championships. We’ll see how the walk and canter work comes out..

4:57 a.m. EST: A 38.3 for Malin Josefsson and Golden Midnight, and wow — Monica gets started with a lovely medium trot.

4:54 a.m. EST: Malin loses a few marks in her canter work and changes, but she’s going to make a strong pathfinder for the Swedish come Saturday and will have a respectable score to start on. We’ll now start the Kiwis off with Monica Spencer and Artist, a Thoroughbred of unknown breeding with whom Monica’s been partnered since the gelding was four. They’ve traveled all the way from New Zealand for this chance to make their World Championship debut. Artist was racing-bred in New Zealand but did not race. Love to see some Thoroughbreds representing here this week!

4:50 a.m. EST: A fun fact about Malin, who is also half Japanese: She balances riding with a ‘proper’ job as a small animal vet in Sweden alongside her parents. They also breed German Shepherds.

4:47 a.m. EST: Arianna is trending about a 33.5 as she comes up centerline! They earn a 33.3 and will go into fourth at the moment. Nicely done, gals. Next in will be the first Swedish rider, Malin Josefsson and Golden Midnight (Goldmine x Duva, by Maraton). This is their third championship but their first Worlds appearance.

Arianna Schivo salutes the judges after her test. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

4:40 a.m. EST: And we’re getting ready to get back underway with Arianna and Quefira de L’Ormeau. This pair were 25th individually in Tokyo last year, which was their second Olympic appearance together. This combination typically scores in the mid-30s in 4* and 5* competition, most recently scoring a 37.2 at Badminton earlier this year. They did score a 32.8 at the 2018 WEG at Tryon — can they best that today?

4:36 a.m. EST: I’ve just heard over the announcements that Ruy Fonseca has withdrawn Ballypatrick SRS this morning. This pair was held in the horse inspection yesterday but were passed when they re-presented. That will leave the Brazilian team without a score to drop as their team will move forward with three riders.

4:34 a.m. EST: Psst! Want to sneak a peek at the cross country course ahead of our official preview?? CrossCountryApp has just dropped their map!

4:26 a.m. EST: We’ll now head into our first break of the day and will resume in just a few minutes at 4:41 a.m. EST with Arianna Schivo and Quefira de L’Ormeau (Iolisco de Quinhon*HN x Isabelle du Brulot, by Beausejour IV), a very experienced pair riding for home team Italy in their second World Championships appearance. Here’s a look at the first seven scores:

4:24 a.m. EST: Aw, Nadja is thrilled and gets probably the biggest cheer of the morning so far. She scores a 31.8, not quite a personal best ever but it bests her average and sets the Swiss up nicely to start things off — she’ll go into second for the moment. Really well done!

4:23 a.m. EST: Nadja is really putting in a strong effort here in her canter work, trending down towards a 31 as she comes into her flying change work.

4:22 a.m. EST: Catch up with Sam Watson after his test with SAP Talisman:

4:16 a.m. EST: A really nice performance from Esteban and the sensitive, diminutive Milana 23. They will score a 36.4 to best their average and go into fifth for now. Next to see is the first Swiss rider, Nadja Minder making her Championship debut with Toblerone (Yarlands Summer Song x Medelyne, breeding unknown). This 15-year-old Swiss gelding shares a sire with Astier’s horse, Alertamalib’or. A 33.7 is Nadja’s average at this level with this horse.

4:07 a.m. EST: Senne and Google van Alsingen really put in a great effort for their team this morning and will hit the board on a provisional score of 36.1, which is good for fourth at the moment. We’ll next see the first Spanish rider, Esteban Benitez Valle with the 18-year-old Warmblood mare Milana 23 (Medoc x Morka, by Flemmingh). This is another pair who won’t threaten the top on day one, averaging a 39 at this level. Esteban also makes his World Championship debut this weekend with Milana 23.

4:07 a.m. EST: A look at Astier’s scores:

3:59 a.m. EST: A really lovely test from Astier and Alertamalib’or, what a lovely type this one is! They will go onto a 30.8 provisionally and into the early lead. Next up for the Belgians will be Senne Vervaecke and Google van Alsingen (Watch Me x Pinot Brun VH Pannehof, by Forever), a pair that’s come up the levels together and make their Senior championship team debut this week. Senne is well-traveled through the Junior and Young Rider championship ranks, though so this step up comes as a natural progression for the talented 25-year-old. This pair typically hits the board a bit higher in the marks, so we won’t expect them to threaten Astier’s score but they will be looking to put their team into a good position as trailblazers — a role that will become even more important come Saturday.

3:57 a.m. EST: A look at score trends for the first three so far:

3:55 a.m. EST: A 34.8 for Hawley and Jollybo. We’re off to a pretty strong start with Nicolas, who had some gorgeous work in his medium trot.

3:53 a.m. EST: And now the French will start their week, sending forward Astier Nicolas and Alertamalib’or (Summer Song x Dambine, by Prince Ig’Or), a 12-year-old Anglo-Arab gelding who might be our first score in the 20s if they can get near their average of 27.9.

3:51 a.m. EST: Hawley and Jollybo have been averaging about a 33.7 in 4* and 5* competition lately, though they’ve shown some flashes of even lower and even into the high-20s in the past. This test isn’t going to be their best score ever but should hit the board in that mid-30s range to get Canada on the board.

3:47 a.m. EST: A 37.8 for Sam Watson. Hawley and Jolly (has Hawley sent out a Christmas card that says “Have a Hawley Jolly Christmas” yet? Because that should happen soon if not) have one little bobble coming out of their first halt but are now into their trot work and looking more in sync.

3:46 a.m. EST: Next to see is our first of the North Americans: Hawley Bennett-Awad comes in now with the 18-year-old mare Jollybo (Jumbo x Polly Coldunnell, by Danzig Connection). This is the second Worlds appearance for this pair together, who also competed at the WEG in Tryon.

3:44 a.m. EST: Ah, what a lovely stretching circle at the canter for SAP Talisman. A really sold effort here to start things off for the Irish team. Sam looks like he’ll be a little higher than their usual average but not for lack of effort. Christoph’s score is confirmed at 32.8.

3:42 a.m. EST: Whoops, SAP Talisman says “wait, you don’t want me to keep going?”, adding a few extra obedient rein-back steps. I just love this horse and his “I can do it!” attitude. Also, the music here makes me feel like I’m watching a sad scene in a war movie? So.. if you’re into that mood.

3:41 a.m. EST: SAP Talisman is showing a bit more relaxation early on in his test. He wouldn’t be the fanciest mover of this lot, but he’s keen to do the right thing. This pair typically averages a mid-30s mark in this phase and so far are trending at about a 36.8 as they get into their walk work.

3:40 a.m. EST: A look at the breakdown of Christoph’s scores:

3:38 a.m. EST: Dressage scores can be found here.

3:35 a.m. EST: And now we’re seeing some just lovely work in the canter from Carjatan S, who has had quite a successful year thus far. This score is going to hit the board a bit higher than they’d initially have liked to start, but it’s looking like a low or mid-30s score to start the week off for the Germans. We’ll next see the first for the Irish, Sam Watson with the young but supremely talented and class SAP Talisman (Puissance x Ali Row, by All Royal), who stepped up in incredible fashion to represent Ireland at Europeans last year as a late call-up. He gets his proper due this week at Worlds as an 11-year-old. Provisionally, 32.8 for Christoph.

3:33 a.m. EST: If you’re a breeding aficionado and want to follow along with the patterns and trends in this year’s field, you can also purchase a copy of Breed.Ride.Compete’s breeding data for this weekend here. And you can find more bits and pieces about each pair entered here.

3:32 a.m. EST: Oh dear, another bobble here in the extended trot — I think this one will settle a bit more into the canter work.

3:31 a.m. EST: Carjatan S has been bit by the tension bug here early on in the test, unable to get into much of a medium trot because the gray gelding is just feeling himself a bit extra this morning.

3:30 a.m. EST: Andddd…first horse up the centerline – go! Thank you so much for tuning in with us bright and early this morning. We’re getting ready to kick this party off officially with German rider Christoph Wahler with Carjatan S (Clearway x Kajenna, by Galant Vert).

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