So the first day of dressage is over. The singles division is finished, and about a third of the pairs have gone. The rest of the pairs and all of the four-in-hand teams will perform their dressage tests today.

 At the moment, Suzy Stafford (48.51) sits in fourth place after a lovely dressage test. In first place is Franz-Josef Lehmkuhl of Germany (44.80), in second place: Peter Koux of Denmark (46.46), and in third place: Johan Verswalm of Belgium (46.98). Sara Schmitt (55.42) is in twelfth place after dressage, and Sherri Dolan (58.50) is in eighteenth place.

Suzy Stafford during her lovely dressage test; she looked very pleased with it at the end

Suzy Stafford during her lovely dressage test; she looked very pleased with it at the end

Sara Schmitt executing one a one-handed circles during her dressage test

Sara Schmitt executing a one-handed circle during her dressage test

Now that we’re part way through the pairs division, Tracey Morgan currently stands in third place with a score of 53.50 penalty points.

Tracey Morgan and her and Susan Deutermann's Dartmoor ponies

Tracey Morgan and her and Susan Deutermann’s Dartmoor ponies

In the evening, we were all treated to a lovely stallion show presented by the North-Rhine Westphalian state stud farm at Warendorf, which is only about 25 km east of Münster. After the show (endangered cold-blooded breeds, demonstrations of high-school movements, a variety of quadrilles, and a “rodeo clown”-type comedian who was also a very good bareback rider) were the opening ceremony and parade of nations. So the competition is officially on!

one of the cold-blooded (draft) stallions in the opening ceremony show

one of the cold-blooded (draft) stallions in the opening ceremony show

... and another stallion presentation, with one being ridden and two driven

… and another stallion presentation, with one being ridden and two driven

part of the U.S. team in the opening ceremony's parade of nations -- each team entered the arena in carriages, but it was getting quite dark by this time, so the cameras were having a hard time keeping up with the failing light!

several of the U.S. team members in the opening ceremony’s parade of nations — each team entered the arena in one, two, or several carriages