Indonesian rider shows her class in dressage event
Indonesian rider Larasati a cut above the rest in dressage event
Indonesian rider Larasati Gading added another SEA Games gold medal to her name at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre yesterday after winning the individual dressage event with her horse, Wallenstein 145.
The 43-year-old had won gold in the same event at the 2011 SEA Games before attending the 2013 Games as a coach instead of an athlete.
Back in action on the turf this year, Larasati, an International Equestrian Federation certified coach and competition judge, did not think highly of her performance.
"I was not satisfied with my ride at all," she said after the medal ceremony.
"Honestly, I messed up completely - I covered it up well and put on a poker face but, when I look at it as a coach, it was a big mess."
Perhaps Larasati was being modest, as the judges clearly did not agree with her.
She was already leading the competition after scoring 73.553 per cent in the first part of the event on Sunday before going on to score even higher - 74.300 per cent - in the second part of the event yesterday to claim the gold with a total combined score of 147.853 per cent.
SILVER FOR HOSTS
The silver medal went to Singapore's Caroline Chew, 23, who had a combined score of 142.170 per cent.
Indonesian Alfaro Menayang, 25, completed the top three with a combined score of 138.128 per cent.
Chew, who represented Singapore at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, felt "euphoric" with her silver.
"It's been so much work, but completely worth it," she said.
She was full of praise for Larasati as well, saying that she really admires the Indonesian's riding.
Larasati had also competed with Wallenstein 145, whom she described as "a perfect gentleman", in the dressage individual event four years ago, and the 17-year-old stallion will be retired from competing in future editions of the SEA Games.
"He's a perfect gentleman and he's fantastic, but he will turn 19 by the time the next SEA Games arrives, so it wouldn't be fair to send him halfway around the world to compete in a hot climate," she said.
"I don't think he would be able to take it. He has already done enough for me. I'll still ride him in other competitions overseas, just not here - it's more of a climate issue than anything else."
Larasati trains and competes in equestrian events in Germany, where she spends most of her time, with Wallenstein 145 and other horses.
She also competed in the Asian Games with Wallenstein 145 last year, where she clinched two bronze medals.
The Indonesians also won the dressage team event last Saturday, while Singapore clinched the team gold medal for show jumping on Monday.
There is one more equestrian gold medal on offer, for the individual show jumping event that will be held today.