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Sam Watson and Tullabeg Flamenco make positive start to Dressage event

Meanwhile, Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue are in 29th place after the second session.

Sam Watson and Flamenco.
Sam Watson and Flamenco.
Image: Libby Law/INPHO

Updated Jul 30th 2021, 1:26 PM

SAM WATSON GOT the Irish Eventing team off to a positive start in Dressage, placing 14th after session one while Austin O’Connor is provisionally in 29th place so far.

Watson, riding Tullabeg Flamenco, scored 34.3 at today’s early session.

A small error in the flying changes towards the end of the test cost them a few marks, but Watson is looking forward to the next two phases, cross country and show jumping.

“I was pleased with the horse and I think the foundations were there,” Watson said. 

“The softness, suppleness, and relaxation were all there. I possibly didn’t give him enough punch and enough X-Factor for what they are looking for at the Olympic Games.

“It was a little safe and then I made a small mistake, which was on me, I shouldn’t be missing changes at the Olympic Games. I am pretty happy with the horse; I am a little disappointed with the mark and there are a few things that I could have done better.

“I am looking forward to cross country. It is a rider’s course because he has given us a lot of choices. You have got to make decisions on the course and commit to your lines and stay focused and concentrating. I like that. I like to be thinking when I am on a course.”

All Irish Eventing athletes are wearing a yellow ribbon for Tiggy Hancock, who tragically passed away at the age of 15 last month. 

“She was someone I was lucky enough to train with and I think she was someone that could have been at the Olympics one day,” Watson added.

“To remember her is special and very important to us.”

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Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue, who featured in the second session, secured a score of 38.00 for provisional 29th place so far in the Dressage. 

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