Brits take team gold at FEI Para Equestrian European Championship

  • The British para equestrian dressage team has confirmed its position as the best in the world after winning gold at the FEI Para Equestrian European and Open Championship in Norway.

    Germany took silver, finishing just two marks behind Britain, while bronze went to The Netherlands.

    Sophie Christiansen, who was defending her gold medal from 2005, said: “I was so nervous, I couldn’t sleep last night but Lambrusco III was brilliant today.

    “I improved on what the judges criticised on Friday (21 August) and it paid off.”

    The British team now remains unbeaten in European, world and parequestrian competition.

    And the British riders also dominated the individual medals.

    Sophie Christiansen and Lambrusco III picked up a second gold in the grade 1a with 74,200 — the highest score of the competition.

    Lee Pearson and Gentleman finished on 72.69 in grade 1b to take gold while Sophie Wells and Pinoccio also won gold with 72% in the grade IV.

    ”I’ve had an extremely successful competition,” said Lee. “Today the rider was good and the horse was good and the judges were good! Everything went just the way it should”

    And Simon Laurens and Ocean Diamond took bronze in grade III.

    World class performance manager Will Connell said: “The team competition was extremely close and Britain had to fight hard and produce some fantastic performances to win gold.

    “It’s brilliant to see our two new team members take an individual gold and silver medal and Lee and Sophie’s performances were again excellent and as consistent as ever.”

    In the freestyle on Sunday (23 August) Emma Sheardown (grade 1a), Lee Pearson (grade 1b) and Sophie Wells (grade IV) all took gold and Sophie Christiansen (1a) won silver.

    Performance manager for the British team, David Hunter, said: “We are lucky in England to have the national lottery that channels funding towards the paralympic sports.

    “We’ve had two new riders, Sophie Wells and Emma Sheardown, and it’s really rewarding to see them achieve gold medal winning performances in the freestyle alongside the ever successful Lee Pearson.

    “It’s been an incredibly successful European Championship, and the first time Great Britain has ever won so many medals at a major international championship.”

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