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WEG team dressage: Britain win silver behind Germany

Under pressure, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro produced a fantastic 85.271% test to secure the silver medal for Great Britain at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France (26 August).

Charlotte needed to score over 81.329% to claim the silver, and she did so with room to spare, finishing on top individually.

The all-female Germans led from the get-go, boasting two plus-81% scores and finishing with a team total of 241.7 (average 80.56%). Britain finished on 231.343 (average 77.1143%) with the defending champions the Netherlands taking bronze on 227.4 (average 75.7%).

By finishing on the podium, the top three nations have all qualified for the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

“It’s one of the strongest teams we’ve ever had for Germany,” said Isabell Werth, despite the loss of Totilas to injury before the show.

“Being drawn first wasn’t good, but in 25 years of these championships, we’ve never been drawn first before. It was bound to happen at some point.”

The only real blip in Charlotte’s test was on the final centre line, in the last passage, when Valegro anticipated the final halt – as did Helen Langehanenberg’s chestnut stallion Damon Hill.

Charlotte said: “I couldn’t ask for more from Valegro. He’s been on great form here all week, but I did want to give him a smacked bottom on the final centre line.

“Ferdi [Eilberg, Michael’s father] had told me to ride all the way to the end and not give up, so I had him in my mind.”

The British chef d’equipe, Richard Waygood, said: “We came here with a realistic expectation of bronze, so to come out with silver is fantastic.”

On the pressure of going last and needing to reel in a big score, she added: “I just wanted to go out there and pull us back into a medal position.”

“I don’t envy her job,” said team-mate Carl Hester. “But we’re so lucky to have someone on the team who can take the pressure like that.”

The top 30 riders from the individual rankings progress to tomorrow’s grand prix special. Charlotte, Carl and Michael Eilberg have all qualified from Britain.

After a below-par performance in Aachen where Charlotte’s test was riddled with mistakes, this performance was a welcome boost to her confidence.

“Of course individual gold would be great,” she said. “But really I’d be happy with any medal.”

Watch H&H’s video interview with Charlotte

Individual results

  1. Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro GBR 85.271%
  2. Isabell Werth on Bella Rose 2 GER 81.529%
  3. Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW GER 81.357%
  4. Adelinde Cornelissen on Jerich Parzival NOP 79.629%
  5. Kristina Sprehe on Desperados FRH GER 78.814%
  6. Victoria Max-Theurer on Augustin OLD AUT 77.114%
  7. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén on Don Auriello SWE 76.186%
  8. Steffen Peters on Legolas USA 75.843%
  9. Morgan Barbançon on Painted Black ESP 75.143%
  10. Laura Graves on Verdades USA 74.871%

14. Carl Hester on Nip Tuck GBR 74.186%

25. Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi GBR 71.886%

38. Gareth Hughes on DV Stenkjers Nadonna GBR 69.714%

Team results

GOLD Germany

Kristina Sprehe on Desperados FRH 78.814%
Isabell Werth on Bella Rose 2 GER 81.529%
Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW 81.357%

(Fabienne Lütkemeier on D’Agostino FRH 73.586%)

Average 80.5666%

Total 241.7

SILVER Great Britain

Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro GBR 85.271%
Carl Hester on Nip Tuck 74.186%
Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi 71.886%
Gareth Hughes on DV Stenkjers Nadonna GBR 69.714%

Total 231.343

Average 77.1143%

BRONZE Netherlands

Adelinde Cornelissen on Parzival NOP 79.629
Diederik van Silfhout on Arlando NH NOP NED 73.414%
Hans Peter Minderhoud on Glock’s Johnson TN 74.357%

(Edward Gal on Glock’s Voice 72.414%)

Total 227.4
Average 75.8%

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