The team competition at the FEI European Dressage Championships in Aachen today (Thursday, 13 August) went right down to the wire. Ultimately, the last competitor in the ring, Germany’s Kristina Bröring-Sprehe could not do enough to pull her team up the medal table from bronze position.
The pressure was on Charlotte to deliver a performance good enough to overtake the Dutch, but mistakes in the zig-zag and the one-time changes prevented that. She and Valegro still lead the individual rankings, having scored 83.029% to second-placed Edward Gal’s 82.229%. Two judges preferred Edward’s test to Charlotte’s.
Kristina and the black De Niro stallion Desperados FRH finished third individually with 79.986%.
Despite winning the class individually, Charlotte was disappointed.
“The mistakes were all my fault and I’m annoyed with myself,” said the world number one.
“The beginning felt really good, but it’s tough out there – and there aren’t many horses who haven’t made mistakes. Unfortunately mine cost us the gold, but as a team we’ve performed brilliantly.”
Edward Gal eeked every single possible mark from Glock’s Undercover (pictured below), recovering from a torrid outing in Rotterdam; their 76.6% being well below their usual scores in this test.
“He felt really really good from beginning to end,” beamed the popular Dutch rider.
“When he’s like that, I feel I can piaffe as long as I want and go in and out smoothly.”
The top 30 individuals from the grand prix qualify for the grand prix special, which means all four Brits go through, as Michael Eilberg finished in 29th. The special takes place on Saturday, with tomorrow being a rest day.
The teams finishing in fourth, fifth and sixth — Spain, Sweden and France — secured their Olympic qualification today as there were three spots up for grabs and the podium teams had all qualified before this championships.
For a full report on all the action, including the controversy surrounding Totilas’ performance, see the full report in Horse & Hound magazine, out on Thursday 20 August.
Team medal results
Edward Gal 82.229%
Hans Peter Minderhoud 77.586%
Diederik van Silfhout 75.814%
Patrick van der Meer 72.4%
Charlotte Dujardin 83.029%
Fiona Bigwood 75.8%
Carl Hester 75.4%
Michael Eilberg 69.943%
Kristina Bröring-Sprehe 79.743%
Matthias Alexander Rath 75.971%
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl 75.2%
Isabell Werth 74.9%