ATHENS, Greece -- Debbie McDonald of Hailey, Idaho, moved
into contention for an individual dressage medal on Monday with an
energetic, fault-free round on Brentina that scored 74.840 percent.
The ride moved her from fifth after the team competition on
Saturday to fourth overall, with an average for the two days of
"I'm staying in the hunt,'' said McDonald. "It's a long shot,
but I'm not giving up.''
The United States hasn't won a medal in individual dressage
The Americans had three steady rides in the individual
competition on Monday, outscoring Germany across the board. Their
scores were better than the ones they posted on Saturday, when the
Americans took bronze behind Germany and Spain in the team
competition. Germany has won the team gold in every Olympics since
1976, except the boycott year of 1980.
The individual medals will be decided by a combined total from
the Grand Prix team test, the Grand Prix Special on Monday, plus
the musical freestyle on Wednesday.
German Ulla Salzgeber on Rusty still led the competition, but
they made several mistakes and scored 74.840 percent to tighten the
standings. Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands earned 77.8 percent
on Salinero and was second overall with 76.004 percent.
Next was Beatriz Ferrer-Salat of Spain on Beauvalais, scoring
Robert Dover of Lebanon, N.J. scored 74.04 percent on Kennedy to
move up from ninth to sixth with an overall percentage of 72.833.
"That ride was fun,'' Dover said. "Every day I've learned how
much trust I can have in him.''
Guenter Seidel of Del Mar, Calif., also moved into the top 15
that will compete on Wednesday, earning 71.04 percent on Aragon and
a two-day average of 70.27 to move from 16th to 14th overall.
Seidel said his goal today was to reach the freestyle round.