Britain has won team bronze at the European Dressage Championships in Herning, Denmark with Charlotte Dujardin setting a new world record on Valegro of 85.942%.

In an exceptionally close finish, the German team recaptured their title with an average team score of 78.217%. The Netherlands’ average score was 77.989%, with defending champions Britain just a whisker behind on 77.846%.

Carl Hester riding Uthopia in the EuropeansCarl Hester was the first British rider in action today at just after 8am. He made mistakes in the 2-time changes on Uthopia and the first 2 piaffes lost rhythm and power.

His 75.334% was well below his best on the 12-year-old Metall stallion, but a decent team score none the less.

All eyes turned to Charlotte Dujardin as she entered the arena, last of the 4 British riders to go.

She produced a fault-free round on the enchanting Valegro to break her own world record of 84.447% (achieved at Olympia in December) and posted an unassailable 85.942%.

But when Adelinde Cornelissen scored 80.851%, she sneaked her Netherlands team past Britain.

The only person who could push Britain down to bronze was Helen Langehanenberg. She and Damon Hill smashed their international personal best to score 84.377% and secure gold for the German team.

The Netherlands was relegated to silver and Britain had to settle for bronze.

The top 5 teams all posted 3 scores over 70%.

The top 3 teams in the European Dressage Championships [left to right: The Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain]

What next?

The grand prix acts as the qualifier for tomorrow’s special, with the top 30 going forward. Carl, Charlotte and Michael Eilberg have all qualified.

Although the slate is wiped clean in terms of scores, Charlotte Dujardin’s win today will fill her with confidence ahead of the first set of individual medals tomorrow.

For up-to-date news, comment and pictures follow us on Twitter @horseandhound and for a full report from the competition, see H&H magazine, out 29 August.