Equestrian Usman sets dressage record in FEI three-star event

By our correspondent
FRANCE: The country’s premier equestrian Usman Khan continues to pull off impressive results as he engineered a national dressage record to earn an MER in the FEI CCI three star event held in France.
Following some fine results in the FEI CCI two star events in Europe during the past few months the Melbourne-based equestrian, while on road to 2024 Paris Olympics, began a new journey in the FEI CCI three star and earned an MER. He will need to gain at least three MERs to make it to the FEI CCI four star.
In the FEI CCI three star long format at Lignières, South of France, Usman and his horse did well under extremely wet conditions. With the world’s top riders in the same class and having trained intensively in England, Usman and his horse did a fine job to open their day-1 account with his personal best in dressage phase which is also a new national record at the FEI 3 star level.
“Personally I was a bit disappointed as we hoped to cross 70 percent bracket but scored 68 percent,” Usman told this correspondent on Tuesday after his solid performance.
“There was definitely an improvement but the standards we had set ourselves are much higher. This will allow Pakistan reach the ultimate goal, a podium finish InshaAllah,” said Usman.
“The French trainer Aurelie Riedwig would say that progressive results are coming,” said the rider.
Usman was unlucky not to feature in the Tokyo Olympics last year due to some unfortunate incidents he met with and death of his two horses and getting himself critically injured in an accident just before the finish line in the Olympic Qualifiers in Australia.
On the second day of the event in cross country Usman and his horse had to run for a five kilometres under slippery conditions.
It wiped out almost half of 75 riders and their horses
. Pakistan, an underdog nation, went clear with some time penalties which were acceptable considering the weather and welfare of the horse.
On the third day in showjumping Pakistan had four rails down. A long gallop a day before and wet weather conditions had made the horse tired. But it was indeed an inspiring finish as Pakistan got the MER, a qualification.

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