Britain picked up a plethora of medals while retaining their team title at the World Paradressage Championships at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, over the weekend.
Lee Pearson (pictured right) guided Anne Murray’s Altino to a grade Ib gold medal hat-trick, having only ridden the horse for a month. Lee broke the 79% barrier for the music honours riding to Mission Impossible and We Are The Champions.
Fellow grade Ib rider Ricky Balshaw took individual bronze on Julia Lazzari’s Deacons Giorgi. “I was concentrating so hard that I can’t remember any of it,” said Ricky.
Nicola Tustain completed a World Championship gold hat-trick by taking the grade II individual on Hot Stuff, before announcing his retirement at the end of this competition. “He’s done me proud,” said a tearful Nicola.
New squad member Felicity Coulthard took bronze in the grade II individual freestyle, riding Roffelaar.
Debbie Criddle managed individual bronze and music silver on Nina Venables’s Figaro.
Fellow grade III rider and team debutant Simon Laurens was disappointed with his team and individual tests, but stepped up to take freestyle gold. “In the team test, the occasion got to both of us,” he said. “In the freestyle I relaxed.”
Team-mate Anne Dunham took grade 1a freestyle silver on Astrid Hargreaves’s BB Call Me Caine, while Sophie Christiansen took gold on top of her individual bronze riding Gill Drew’s Gazel.
“I couldn’t have got any more out of Gazel,” said Sophie, who had only ridden the gelding for two weeks.
Sergio Oliva of Brazil took grade Ia individual gold as well as freestyle bronze on borrowed ride El Grand Champ.
Norway’s Ann Cathrin Lubbe and her pink-nosed Danish-bred stallion Zanko took dual grade IV gold.
Don’t miss this week’s Horse&Hound magazine (out on 26 July, ’07) for a full report and pictures from the World Paradressage Championships