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Johnson takes third in Belgian dressage event

Philippa Johnson rode to a fine third place at the CSN Kasterlee dressage event in Belgium at the weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.

The three-time Paralympian and double gold medallist from Beijing was apprehensive going into the event as Verdi, one of her two mounts, hadn’t been on top of his game lately.

“Verdi and I have always gone through the typical ups and down associated with training but we have been through a very long, very difficult patch of late,” she told Road to Rio 2016. “The only thing that kept me sane was the belief that once we worked our way out of our difficulties it would be fantastic. True to form we started hitting our up run at the beginning of last week and it has been exceptional.”

His revival continued into the competition, thankfully. “He went like a super star. Besides one big spook at the beginning of the extended canter which saw us disappearing in the direction of R instead of F, he was great. We even managed to score an eight from both judges for our two time changes!”

“My goal was to try and crack a 67% as we have been sitting at 66% on a regular bases for the last while. We finished third with 68.22% in the Int 1 competition which had 13 horses competing.”


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