It was supposed to be Dinja van Liere’s time to shine with her grand prix dressage horse, Hermes, as part of the prestigious FEI world cup dressage series of events. But what happened next left the audience in awe, as Hermes was not having his best day. Despite several attempts to coax him into the grand prix dressage freestyle, Hermes was having none of it. It was a dressage disaster unlike any we have seen before.
But what sets this apart from other equestrian mishaps is how van Liere handled the situation. As a professional rider, van Liere remained calm and composed, refusing to take her frustration out on the horse. Instead, she recognized that Hermes needed her guidance and support. She showed superb skills in her calm and gentle nature, exemplifying the highest standards of horsemanship.
Even though she was eliminated from the grand prix before she even started, van Liere demonstrated her understanding of Podhajsky’s rule by letting Hermes achieve something, no matter how small, and then letting him go. She recognized that the test wasn’t happening and asked for a forward trot, rewarding the horse with every sign of progress.
This display of exemplary horsemanship was met with awe and admiration from the audience. Her deliberate encouragement, comforting pats, and stroke on Hermes’ neck every time he showed calm behavior earned her respect and appreciation from all. Van Liere’s calm determination and love for her horse are a true inspiration for riders everywhere. She showed the importance of being able to listen to your horse, being patient, and making sure that the horse is okay before anything else. We can all learn a lot from her actions that day.
In conclusion, the Dressage Disaster in Doha turned out to be a true display of exemplary horsemanship by Dinja van Liere. She showed that even in the face of adversity, it is possible to remain calm and handle a frustrating situation with grace and determination. Her love for her horse and dedication to his well-being is a true testament to the highest standards of horsemanship. Hats off to her for an unforgettable performance!