Britain leads team and individual dressage after grand prix

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Britain’s Olympic dressage team are in gold medal position at the end of the first part of the team competition.

Charlotte Dujardin, 25, set a new Olympic grand prix record by scoring 83.784% on the 10-year-old Valegro.

“It is an amazing opportunity to ride here, and I really wanted to enjoy it,” she said. “I would hated to have gone in there, put too much pressure on myself and made mistakes. I just wanted to go in and do what I do normally and have fun. Having the crowd behind me like that was amazing.

“I was hoping for an 80%, so to come to the Olympics and smash that is a little bit crazy, but I had such fun. Valegro was just unbelievable. He is only 10 and we only started grand prix last year.

“Carl [Hester] said to me to enjoy it and have fun, and I did.”

Added to Carl Hester’s first-day score of 77.72% and Laura Bechtolsheimer’s mark of 76.8%, this means that the British team’s total of 79.407% has them in first place.

Germany’s final rider, Helen Langehanenberg, managed 81.140% on the little Damon Hill, giving them an aggregate score of 78.845% and second place.

A great test for 81.687% from Adelinde Cornelissen and Parsival means the Dutch are in bronze medal position on 76.809%.

The fourth-placed team is Denmark with 73.835%, while the USA are in fifth.

While Charlotte is in first place, Carl Hester is in fifth, Laura Bechtosheimer seventh, and Britain’s individual rider Richard Davison is 18th, meaning all four riders will compete in Tuesday’s grand prix special, after which the team medals will be decided.

Adelinde lies second individually, Helen is third and her German team-mate Kristina Sprehe is fourth. American rider Steffen Peters is sixth behind Carl Hester after scoring 77.948% on Ravel.

Full results

Full 13-page report on the team dressage in H&H out next FRIDAY, 10 August