Britain is holding provisional silver after the first rotation of riders in the team dressage final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Germany is currently topping the leaderboard on 2652– but it is extremely close. Britain is a smidgen behind the leaders, on 2577.5, while the US is snapping at both nations’ heels in provisional bronze on a total of 2504.
Adrienne Lyle and Salvino’s trailblazing performance for the US team boosted the side’s hopes of a medal.
The pair’s elegant and fluid performance to a fitting soundtrack of Happy Together impressed the judges, who rewarded them with a score of 76.11%. This put the US into provisional first place.
“I’m super happy – really hoping we could pull that score off,” said Adrienne.
But their lead was shortlived, as Carl Hester (En Vogue) leapfrogged the British team ahead of the US and into provisional gold with a dazzling performance to score 78.34%.
“It is an old cliche but I feel when he came he was a boy and he’s gone in there like a man tonight,” he said.
“He’s done everything I’ve asked – he walked, he halted. All the little things, the details that are so important when you’re doing a test.
“He still feels like one of the best horses you could ever sit on, when he’s in gear, you’re just in the air on him. He’s an amazing horse.”
Germany’s first combination into the atmospheric arena at Baji Koen was Dorothee Schneider and Showtime FRH. The pair, who were part of the gold medal-winning team at Rio 2016, opened with a bang, scoring two 10s for their entry and halt. The 15-year-old gelding’s elasticity shone through, with his passage earning nines and 10s from the judges.
“The feeling was very much better than in the grand prix,” she said, adding the horse felt much more in front of her today, with the passage, flying changes and lateral work her particular highlights.
“I’m very proud of him.”
It looked as if the pair were set to give Germany a wide margin lead, but a tiny chink in their golden armour appeared in the form of some lower scores for the transitions between passage and extended trot. The quality of their overall test meant they still posted a very impressive score of 80.21%, but the Germans remain in touching distance of the chasing nations and the competition is likely to go down to the wire.
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