Great Things Come in Twos–Juan Manuel Munoz and Fuego

This is a very nicely edited video of Fuego’s unforgettable freestyle at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. There was a ghost in the huge stadium that night, and her name was Blue Hors Matine. Was rider Juan Manuel Munoz conscious of channeling her spirit, her jaw-dropping performance from WEG 2006? Another gray horse, another crowd favorite, another not-quite-winner. . .

In Kentucky, the crowd booed the judges when they saw the scores. They thought surely the Spanish horse had won the gold medal. But he hadn’t. Dressage is still dressage, after all. Theater and emotion are supposed to be set aside in the judges’ huts, but that’s much harder to regulate in the hearts of the ticket-holders and television viewers.

Fuego and the winning horse, Totilas, are opposites of each other in color, and they are the two primary horses that people will remember from the dressage portion of the 2010 World Equestrian Games. It will be fascinating to see where each goes from here, up or down on the scoring ladder, up or down in the hearts of the public. For that one night in Lexington, between the two of them, they had it all.

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