2020 has not been an easy year for American dressage coach Debbie MacDonald. There were almost no matches, and her husband was permanently suspended and two major groups said goodbye: Laura Graves with Verdades (by Florett As) and Kasey Perry-Glass with Dublet (by Diamond Hit). With the CDIs resuming in the US, the former Olympic contestant hopes to rebuild her team. Grandprix Replay spoke to McDonald.
USEF Dressage recently updated their squad roster in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics. MacDonald: “There were very few contests and this list is based on the results obtained during the restrictive measures. The list is subject to change. We plan to add more groups during the year, depending on the results.”
The successor of the Graves and the Verdades?
Farewell to Verdades was a blow to all of us. We were so sad. Laura and her horse were a really special couple, and they brought so much joy to the crowd. The follow-up would of course be tough. However, there are a number of amazing young groups on our list. And I’m sure they’ll surprise us at near future! “
When the lockdown began in the United States last March, it was a shock. The team was really on the rise and the future looks bright. When the World Cup Final was canceled (in Las Vegas in early April), we all started to get anxious. After a few weeks, the games were postponed for a year. Then most riders took a break for a few months. I kept in touch with them personally and even gave video lessons. Everyone has remained positive, we have all learned to adapt to this new life. “
“A team to be reckoned with”
The US dressage team won bronze at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and then silver at the World Equestrian Games in Trion in 2018. MacDonald: “I really think we’ve got a place in this sport! Actually, we’re a team that is not insignificant. They never give up, and they are there for each other through thick and thin. Most of them have become good friends. I am so proud of that. You never lose with such a team! When the games are already held this year, we will be there, ready to do our best. We hope that We get a medal. “
Brun: Grandprix Replay (Marlène Panara) / Horses.nl
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