Team GBR Secure First Medal At The World Equestrian Games
Team GBR have secured their first medal of the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tyron, North Carolina, taking bronze in the Helgstrand-sponsored team dressage competition.
Team GBR were lying in silver medal position following remarkable tests from Carl Hester and ride Hawtins Delicato, Spencer Wilton with Super Nova II and Emile Faurie riding Dono Di Maggo. Charlotte Dujardin was last to go for the team, riding Emma and Jill Blundell’s nine-year-old, Mount St John Freestyle, scoring 77.76% at the mare’s first championship.
A delighted Dujardin spoke of her horse’s performance;
What an amazing horse to come here and do that — I’m so proud of her. I didn’t know how she was going to be in there as she’s never been in that sort of environment and she’s very young and inexperienced,”
“We had a few little mistakes but they’re all things that are easy to iron out. She felt great and loved the atmosphere — it doesn’t make her afraid at all. You definitely wouldn’t think she’s only nine.”
The British dressage team’s achievement was unexpected, clinching the Bronze medal finishing on a final score of 229.628, just 0.172 points ahead of Team Sweden, as both Dujardin and Hester rode in-experienced horses. Hester rode Hawtins Delicato, a horse who has never stepped outside the UK and only performed in four Grand Prix competitions prior to the WEG.
After his ride, Hester explained;
Earlier in the week I didn’t think he’d cope but I rode him this morning in the area in walk and he felt relaxed so I thought I might have a good ride. He absolutely put his heart into that test.”
The USA grasped the silver medal ahead of Britain, just 3.508 points between them, scoring 233.136. Laura Graves and Verdades lead the team to the silver podium position, dancing their way to a score of 81.54%, with an almost faultless performance.
Team Germany secured gold with Isabell Werth charging to the top of the leader with a score of 84.83%. Werth rode Bella Rose, who has had nearly four-years due to injury but managed a miraculous personal-best.
The Team Dressage bronze medal does not only give the British team their first medal of the games, it has secured the dressage teams place at the Tokyo Olympics.
Additionally, all four riders of Team GBR dressage team were placed in the top 30, assuring their place in the Grand Prix today (Friday 14th September), for a chance at grabbing more medals, individually.