There was a new star on the dressage scene this week in Aachen, Denmark’s Andreas Helgstrand. The 28-year-old took bronze in the individual grand prix special today with 76.560% on his nine-year-old mare, Blue Hors Matine.
Germany again stamped its dominance on the sport, as Isabell Werth and her reserve WEG horse, Satchmo, scored a whopping 79.480%. The runaway victor adds her individual gold to Wednesday’s team victory, saying the conditions were right for the pair to “take a risk and give it everything”.
“I can’t tell you how I feel — Satchmo showed people he could do a good test when we need him,” she said.
Olympic and European champion Anky Van Grunsven collected the silver medal with 77.800% and described her relief that Salinero had regained his composure. The big bay gelding took fright during the team medal ceremony and bolted in the main stadium but today Anky said he was “relaxed and concentrating”.
For the first time in Olympic and WEG history all four members of the British team rode in the grand prix special. With a series of minor but costly mistakes for each, and Lara 106 again failing to settle for Sandy Phillips, all four finished low down the score sheets, but optimistic for the European Championships next year.
Team chef d’equipe David Trott said he was delighted with their performance. “We were one of only three teams to qualify all four riders, it’s been fantastic,” he said.
Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound for in-depth reports on all the action in Aachen