The rise and rise of British dressage

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Britian has nailed its first ever Olympic medal in dressage after two sensational performances from Charlotte Dujardin, brilliantly backed up by Laura Bechtolsheimer and Carl Hester – who is also Charlotte’s mentor and the glue that binds the team together. H&H looks at the team’s improvement over the last six years.

2007
Britain finishes fifth at the European Championships in Turin, Italy, following sixth at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Aachen, Germany, the previous year. Medals seem a distant dream.
Best British score in team test: 69.583% (Laura Bechtolsheimer on Mistral Hojris)

2008
Sixth as a team again, this time at the Olympics in Hong Kong, but Emma Hindle and Lancet are seventh individually. This is only one place lower than Britain’s highest ever placing at an Olympics at this point, Christopher Bartle and Wily Trout’s equal sixth at Los Angeles 1984.
Best British score in team test: 71.125% (Emma on Lancet)

2009
Hopes of bronze turn to amazed delight at a British European team silver on home turf at Windsor. Laura and Mistral Hojris take an individual bronze and Carl Hester, riding Liebling II, wins the first medal of his long career.
Best British score in team test: 76.638% (Laura on Mistral Hojris)

2010
Expectations are rising now, but the Brits handle the pressure at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky with another silver – Britain’s first world team dressage medal – while Laura and Mistral Hojris also take two individual silvers.
Best British score in team test: 82.511% (Laura on Mistral Hojris)

2011
Carl on Uthopia and Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro join Laura and Mistral Hojris on the team to provide two more high scores. The result? Britain’s first ever dressage team gold medal, at the Europeans in Rotterdam. Carl also wins two individual silvers and Laura a bronze.
Best British score in team test: 82.568% (Carl on Uthopia)

2012
Five years of improving results culminate in Britain’s first ever Olympic dressage medal, team gold in front of a home crowd in London.
Best British scores in team test: 83.784% (grand prix) and 83.286% (special, counting for team result for first time) (both Charlotte and Valegro)

To read the full reports on all the team dressage and showjumping action from Greenwich see the current issue of H&H (10 August)

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