Gold medal favourites Germany open their bid for home victory at the European Dressage Championships

  • Germany have begun their campaign to secure a sixth successive championship team title in the grand prix at the European Dressage Championships in Hagen, Germany.

    The home side, comprising Isabell Werth, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Dorothee Schneider and Helen Langehanenberg, have taken an early lead in the team standings with Dorothee producing a super test on the 13-year-old Faustus 94, scoring 74.98% and going into the top spot on the leaderboard at this early stage.

    Faustus is Dorothee’s reserve ride, and received a late call up to the European Dressage Championships team to replace her double Olympic ride Showtime FRH, who was ruled out of competing at Hagen with an injury.

    The Falsterbo II x Forrest xx son, who has clocked up several plus-75% grand prix results this year so far, tried hard for his rider in the Hagen arena, producing bold extensions and super canter work.

    “I think the highlights in this test was the canter work. He has a really super, uphill canter,” said Dorothee. “We had a mistake on the centre line at the end – a small canter – which was expensive. But I’m very happy. This is the first time he has come to a championship for Germany. For his first start, I’m very proud.”

    The next rider for the German side will be Helen Langehanenberg, riding her Tokyo travelling reserve horse Annabelle at 2.41pm (1.41pm BST). Isabell Werth (Weihegold OLD) and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (TSF Dalera BB) will compete tomorrow.

    Gareth Hughes is the first rider out for Britain, taking to the arena today at 11.13am (10.13 BST) with the 11-year-old Sintano Van Hof Olympia. Lottie Fry will also be in action for Britain later today riding the 12-year-old stallion Everdale, at 2.59pm (1.59pm BST). Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin will ride the grand prix tomorrow (Wednesday 8 September).

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