Germany took the squad gold medal in the vaulting at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games this evening.
The German team’s routine, with one male in the six-person squad, displayed fantastic three-person movements, with the 11-year-old flyer being spun around the head of another team member standing on the horse. They scored 9.058 tonight for a final total of 8.724.
“It’s been quite hard for us to put it all together this year, but the team have been fighting well and improving throughout the season,” said lunger Jessica Schmitz.
Showjumper Ludger Beerbaum and Madeleine Winter-Schulze — a prolific owner in the Olympic disciplines — were in the kiss and cry area supporting their compatriots tonight.
Switzerland, who won Wednesday’s freestyle so came into today in second, couldn’t quite match the Germans today and finished with the silver medal (8.650 for this test, 8.504 overall). There were tears for Austria, who handed bronze to France when a three-person formation collapsed near the end of their routine, dropping them to fifth overall.
France’s routine included flyer Robin Krause imitating Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker while standing on someone’s shoulders.
“It’s incredible looking out over everyone up there, it’s been my dream to do this since I was four,” said Robin, 13.
France claimed its first gold medal of the Games when European champion Jacques Ferrari added the world title to his CV in the male individual contest this afternoon (right). He scored 9.166 today for an overall total of 8.629.
“The noise and applause felt magnified every time a French vaulter stepped into the arena — it was oppressive and exalting at the same time,” he said.
It was a one-two for the home side when 2012 world champion Nicolas Andreani took silver.
“The past two seasons have been difficult for me and if someone had said six months ago I could sign a document saying I’d collect the silver I’d have signed instantly,” he said.
Germany’s WEG debutant Erik Oese picked up the bronze.
More updates from WEG online over the weekend, report on the vaulting in H&H this week, out Thursday, 11 September.