A stunning performance by Carl Hester has thrust Britain back into the silver medal position at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, with one rider from each nation yet to ride.
At his first championship with his own, Ann Cory and Anne Evans’ inexperienced 10-year-old Hawtins Delicato, Carl Hester rode a superb test to score 77.23%. It was the Diamond Hit son’s fourth international grand prix, and his first time competing out of the UK.
“I knew I’d have to have the ride of my life today and I did,” said a delighted Carl. “I had 77% in my mind as my target, not that I told anyone that, so I couldn’t be more pleased but I am surprised! Earlier in the week I didn’t think he’d cope but I rode him early this morning in the arena in walk and he felt relaxed so I thought I might have a good ride. He absolutely put his heart into that test.”
Carl’s score has pushed Britain up the order into the silver medal position with just Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle yet to ride, at 3.51pm (8.51pm UK time). Germany have a firm grip on the lead, with Sonke Rothenberger and Cosmo (below) producing a dazzling test to earn a huge personal best score of 81.44%, and their final rider, Isabell Werth and Bella Rose will ride at 4.39pm (9.39pm UK time).
However, it could not be closer between the three chasing teams, with just one mark currently covering Britain, the USA and Sweden. The home side received a boost with 76.74% for Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet, and still have their flag-bearer, Laura Graves on Verdades, due to ride at 5.15pm (10.15pm UK time). A mark of 76% for Therese Nilshagen and Dante Weltino has slotted Sweden into fourth at this stage, with Patrik Kittel and Well Done De La Roche CMF on at 4.48pm (9.48pm UK time).
The Netherlands lie fifth after a slightly disappointing score from Emmelie Scholtens and Apache (72.73%); however their anchorman, Edward Gal, is yet to go and will ride Glock’s Zonik NOP at 5.06pm (10.06pm UK time).
Horse & Hound has two journalists and a photographer in Tryon for WEG. Keep up to date with all the news onand in the magazine issues dated 20 and 27 September.