The British Tokyo Olympics dressage team will ride for the team medals on Tuesday, 27 July, after finishing second on the leaderboard and qualifying to compete in the grand prix special. All three British riders – Lottie Fry and Everdale, Carl Hester and En Vogue, and Charlotte Dujardin on Gio – have also qualified for the freestyle on Wednesday, 28 July, where they will compete for the individual medals.
The top eight teams from the grand prix competition will progress to fight it out for a place on the Tokyo Olympics podium. A dominant performance by the last-to-go world number one Isabell Werth and her reigning world and European champion Bella Rose 2 earned 82.5%, elevating her to the top of group F. Behind her in second was Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin who produced a simply stunning display with the inexperienced 10-year-old Gio to earn a grand prix personal best as a combination of 80.93%.
Charlotte’s score – the fourth highest across the two days of grand prix competition – secured Britain’s place as a team in second behind Germany.
“To me that is like winning tonight, because I came out knowing he couldn’t have done any more,” said an emotional Charlotte after her test. “It’s not always about winning or losing, it’s about what you can do with your horse. That was one of those special moments, that emotion just runs though your body because you feel so proud, having that partnership with your horse.”
Denmark sit third, their super results from Nanna Skodberg Merrral (Zack) and Cathrine Dufour (Bohemian) from Saturday (24 July) boosted by a group-topping test from Carina Cassøe Kruth and Heiline’s Danciera today.
The remaining teams to qualify as part of the top eight are: the USA, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal and Spain. All teams will start the special on a clean slate, however – no scores or placings will be carried forward to the team final.
With the two top in each group booking themselves an automatic berth in the grand prix freestyle, there was a tense wait for those who finished just below. This included Britain’s Carl Hester, who finished fourth in what was an exceptionally strong heat, but whose score of 75.12% was higher than some of those who finished second in other groups. However, Carl will progress as one of the six best across the whole grand prix, who did not finish in their group’s top two.
The other combinations to have qualified as part of these six are the USA’s Steffen Peters (Suppenkasper), the Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud (Dream Boy), Denmark’s Nanna Skodberg Merrald (Zack), Portugal’s Rodrigo Torres (fifth in Carl’s group with Fogoso) and Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat (Elegance).
Tokyo Olympics grand prix: individual results by group
For more results, visit: olympics.com
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