Denmark Has Risen Like The Phoenix
With new riders and horses, the Danes are competitive again sooner than expected, writes Birgit Popp.
As late as February, Danish Equestrian Federation officials were still afraid they wouldn’t be able to send a dressage team to the Athens Olympics. Why? Because the Danish Olympic Committee had ruled that all disciplines and sports had to be among the top five in the latest European Championships to receive funding and authorization to go to Athens.
But, the Danish dressage team–bronze medalists in the 1999 and 2001 Europeans and fourth in the 2000 Olympics and 2002 World Equestrian Games–had placed only sixth in the 2003 European Championships.
So the NOC set another high crossbar as an alternative: Each rider had to score 69 percent twice, in two different competitions, or two riders could score above 70 percent. Problem was, their two top combinations of recent years didn’t exist anymore. Lone J