Equestrian: Dutch rider furious with Paralympics organisers over sandbags at Greenwich Park

 

Dutch dressage rider Petra van de Sande criticised organisers after
sandbags were placed around Greenwich Park's main arena today.

Van de Sande was furious that riders did not have a chance to familiarise themselves with the sandbags, propped against the dressage arena's perimeter fence because of the stormy weather, before their performances in the Paralympic Games Grade II team test.

Although she scored a respectable 68.095% and finished sixth on Valencia Z, Van de Sande could not be placated following a class that was frequently affected by heavy downpours.

"I was not happy at all. I am very angry because of the sandbags around the arena," she said.

"At the other Games that I've been to, when there were sandbags, the horses and riders were able to come out and get used to them before the actual performance.

"This time, it wasn't done, and I am really annoyed with the organisers."

Van de Sande's team-mate Gert Bolmer, who was drawn first to go, backed his colleague's stance.

"My horse (Vorman) was very good around the outside of the arena, but once we were inside she spooked several times," he said.

"I think she was scared of the sandbags. When we were training they weren't there, but they were there today."

LOCOG Paralympic dressage manager Amanda Bond said no formal complaints had been received after the decision was taken to deposit sandbags.

"We are aware of the comments, but a critical decision was made when the weather conditions turned stormy, and the sandbags were put there on safety grounds," she said.

"There have been no formal complaints, and it has been the same for everyone."

British rider Natasha Baker set a standard that no other rider in the 23-strong field could match.

Baker, who is riding as an individual only, scored 76.095% to set her up nicely for individual competitions on Saturday and next Monday.

Germany team rider Britta Napel went closest, posting 72.571% on Aquilina 3, while Canadian Lauren Barwick scored 72.095% with Off to Paris, but no other competitor topped 70%.

Rebecca Hart was the leading United States team rider on 69.095% with Lord Ludger, and she said: "I am very happy.

"It is the first international arena my horse has competed in, and we handled the rain very well. I think the rain put us into a bubble together and we used it as an aid."

Some riders found it tough going, though, with Italy's Antonella Cecilia retiring during her test and Australian Grace Bowman's horse Kirby Park Joy being spooked by the arena's giant scoreboard.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor