The superstar keeping Carl Hester keen, dark horses and team standings: 9 stories not to miss from the European Dressage Championships

  • The sun has set on the first day of grand prix action at the European Dressage Championships where competition was as hot as the Indian summer. Today (Wednesday, 6 September) was also the turn of the grade IV and V para competitors in the European Para Dressage Championships.

    Here’s a round-up of the action from the two rings at Riesenbeck, Germany, on an encouraging day for British fans.

    Watch interviews with Carl Hester and other leading riders in the video below

    Britain holds the gold-medal position after the first day of dressage, the grand prix.

    Gareth Hughes proved an excellent pathfinder for the British team with the stalwart Classic Briolinca, slotting into fourth place at this stage.

    Carl Hester produced an international grand prix personal best with his new championship partner, Fame, to take the overnight lead.

    Meanwhile, Fame’s groom has big shoes to fill, tending to Carl Hester’s superstar horse at the rider’s 22nd championship.

    The two British grade V riders pushed close to the medals, but ultimately fell a few marks short.

    The French are fielding a team with potential over experience, but hinted they could be a serious force for the future.

    Abi Lyle was the sole rider for Ireland on this first day, making her second championship start.

    But there was heartbreak for another Irish combination…

    And finally, one to encourage all you working riders out there – a young Belgian proved she can handle both business and horses, and earn her place among the elite.

    The second and final day of the grand prix competition at the European Dressage Championships take place tomorrow (Thursday, 7 September). Check out the riders’ start times, including when Britain’s two remaining team members, Charlotte Dujardin and Lottie Fry, will be in action.

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