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Germany takes dressage gold

Isabell Werth was emotional after her test on Bella Rose, scoring 84.829% to win the Grand Prix - © Michelle Terlato

Isabell Werth was emotional after her test on Bella Rose, scoring 84.829% to win the Grand Prix.

© Michelle Terlato

 

Rozzie Ryan reports from WEG

"Brilliant day of dressage. So many terrific tests. The great ones showed tremendous power combined with effortless balance and ease. Mary and Boogie did a super job to score 68.323% and Kristy and Du Soleil with spectacular extensions scored 71.584%. The German team took gold with Cosmo and Bella Rose both scoring over 80 per cent. Masterful. The Americans silver with Verdades also over 80. As you can imagine a hugely popular result. Britain bronze. Many high 70% tests the standard very strong and lots of wonderful horses and riding. Hot but so far no rain. It’s coming!"

Australia finished in 8th place overall as a team, and Kristy Oatley qualified for the Special in 27th place. Unfortunately Brett Parbery narrowly missed out on a place in the field for the Special, finishing in 32nd place on 70.109%. Alexis Hellyer and Bluefields Floreno ended up in 49th with their score of 67.360%.

Congratulations to all on a great effort, and we look forward to seeing Kristy and Du Soleil in the Special!

View the full results for the Grand Prix here.

View the team medal standings here.

You can view the start list for the Special here.

Full event report below...

 

Kristy Oatley on Du Soleil; the paired scored 71.584% for 27th and a place in the GP Special - © Michelle Terlato

Kristy Oatley on Du Soleil; the paired scored 71.584% for 27th and a place in the GP Special.

© Michelle Terlato

 

Mary Hanna and Boogie Woogie 6 scored 68.323% in the Grand Prix - © Michelle Terlato

Mary Hanna and Boogie Woogie 6 scored 68.323% in the Grand Prix.

© Michelle Terlato

 

Isabell Werth and comeback queen Bella Rose help Germany defend their Dressage Team title at Tryon 2018

It was Germany who took gold at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Dressage Team event on Thursday evening, with the USA in second and Great Britain in third. Sweden were knocked into fourth by a mere 0.2%.
 
Isabell Werth and Bella Rose – selected over Weihegold – led the Germans to yet another title, adding to Sonke Rothenberger’s superb performance from earlier in the day. Germany had headed into the second day in the lead thanks to Wednesday’s heroics from Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Dorothee Schneider.
 
Laura Graves, Edward Gal, Isabell Werth, Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Patrik Kittel were some of the stars on show in Tryon during a thrilling day.
 

 

VIRBAC.WEG.SMALL.SEPT.2018

 


While Germany came into day two with a healthy lead, nobody could afford to rest on their laurels with such fierce competition amongst the top handful of teams.

Thursday’s competition would decide not only the team medallists, but also determine which individual riders moved forward to Friday’s Grand Prix Special. On top of that, the top six teams would also qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, 2020.
 
Sonke Rothenberger delivered as expected, shooting to the top of the leaderboard after his performance with Cosmo where the pair broke through the 80% Grand Prix barrier for the first time ever outside of a freestyle with an 81.4%.
 
The Swedes kept up their fine form with Therese Nilshagen putting up a solid performance, backed up later in the day by teammate Patrik Kittel and Well Done de la Roche who achieved a personal best.
 
A 78.3% was needed to knock GB out of third place and secure a medal for Sweden, but 78.21% was the final score - much to the relief of the British riders and the dismay of the Swedish supporters.
 
The USA were not to be outclassed either, with Kasey Perry-Glass clocking 76.7% before the break for the fourth rotation of riders which would include big names such as Isabell Werth, Edward Gal and Charlotte Dujardin.

The latter and Carl Hester of Great Britain both posted scores of over 77% on their mounts, but it was the Germans who reigned supreme throughout.

 

Charotte Dujardin returns on Mount St John Freestyle © Michelle Terlato jpg

Charotte Dujardin returns on Mount St John Freestyle.

© Michelle Terlato


 
With only six riders to go it was still Rothenberger leading the pack – with teammate Werth and rival Laura Graves poised in the wings with their eyes on the top spot.
 
Werth was under serious pressure to perform, not just because of her spotless record but also thanks to a controversial choice of horse.
 
Werth, who made clear that her first choice of ride was the Bellissimo M mare Bella Rose who has recently returned to competition after four years off had to prove the naysayers wrong, especially as Bella Rose had been selected over both her double World Cup-winning mare Weihegold, and her established GP gelding Emilio.
 
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Werth did just that – she and Bella Rose scored a personal best and knocked teammates Rothenberger and Cosmo out of the top spot with a score of  84.7% propelling both Germany and Werth to the top of the leaderboards.
 
With Graves and Verdades still to go though and with the combination regularly scoring over 80%, Werth and Germany still weren’t home dry.
 
Dressage superstar Gal and his equine partner Glock’s Zonik were the penultimate combination and despite a very low chance of clinching a medal Gal was all business, comfortably slotting himself into the top five and doing enough to secure Olympic qualification for the Dutch in 2020.

Perhaps the rider facing the most pressure was the home nation’s darling Graves, who was last to go and fully intending to throw down the gauntlet and stake her claim to the top spot.

Any mistakes would mean a fall from the podium for Team USA, as well as a fall from grace from Graves herself, currently lauded as America’s premier Dressage rider.
 
A few errors in the walk meant that Graves and Verdades didn’t post quite the mid-80s score she would have been hoping for, but her score was good enough to retain the silver for the USA and finish second place individually after the team competition.
 
Follow tomorrow's Grand Prix Special Individual competition on FEI TV from 10:30am EST
 
Text by Sophie Baker

Source: FEI press release

 

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