27 Combinations representing 6 nations negotiated the first-phase the dressage test of the II World Working Equitation Championship, where riders are given a series of movements that must be ridden as a freestyle test within a 20m x 40m arena. There is a set order for the movements and the test must be ridden within a given time limit although, unlike regular dressage tests, the Working Equitation rider has jurisdiction in terms of the time devoted to each gait and where they perform the transitions.
The current national working equitation champion David Duarte Oliveira riding the pure bred Lusitano Mulato won the dressage section followed by Pedro Torres on the PSL Oxidado. The third place went to the Spanish rider Pablo Manuel Gómez Mondaca and Marquesa. For the record, David Duarte Oliveira and Mulato clinched the bronze individual medal at the European Working Equitation Championship 2005 in Almonte (Spain).
Portugal leads in the team event, followed by Spain and Mexico.
Working equitation shows the culture of the country, so each country must use its own equipment, the bit, the saddle, they use in their daily work. It is important that it shows different ways of riding horses, different cultures, which is very interesting for the public. It is a competition that has four phases. The first is dressage where riders can only use one hand on the reins. They only use the working gaits – walk and canter, not trot. The movements are the pirouettes, the half passes, the flying changes – singles not sequences.
Then the second part is manoeuvrability. In the arena they do exercises that they need in the field, for example, open a gate, cross a bridge, jump over a straw bale, and remain close to a table and drink a glass of water, down a corridor, touch a bell and come back. The third phase is speed – more or less the same obstacles, but at speed. The fourth phase is a team stage, where three riders stay behind the line while a fourth takes one beast out of the herd and gets it to the other side. The team that does it fastest gets the best score.
Cto. World Working Equitation Championship
Stage 1 – Dressage
1º David Duarte Oliveira (Por) – Mulato – 28 pts.
2º Pedro Torres (Por) – Oxidado – 26
3º Pablo Manuel Gómez Mondaca (Esp) – Marquesa – 25
4º Eduardo Almeida (Por) – Olé – 24
5º Alfonso Martin Garcia (Esp) – Rumba – 22
6º Miguel Fonseca (Por) – Saturno – 22
7º Rafael Yniguez Palomar (Esp) – Pampero – 21
8º José Tirado Cerrada (Esp) – Vejer – 20
9º José Antonio Pérez (Esp) – Arabita – 19
10º Mario Trindade Agular (Mex) – Rafa – 18