• Dressage Bronze Team Medal and Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification confirmed
• Eventing team currently sit in fourth place, heading into day two of eventing dressage
• Personal best for Britain’s individual reiner
In an action-packed day of dressage at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, the British team of Charlotte Dujardin, Emile Faurie, Carl Hester and Spencer Wilton, produced some stunning performances to secure Great Britain the team bronze medal, and with it Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020.
The maestro Carl Hester, based in Gloucestershire, kicked the day off for Great Britain, taking to the U.S. Trust Arena for the second day of the Helgstrand Dressage Grand Prix competition with Lady Anne Evans, Ann Cory and his own Hawtins Delicato. Producing some stunning work with the ten year-old gelding, the pair were rewarded with a score of 77.283%, a personal best in the Grand Prix with Del [Hawtins Delicato].
Commenting afterwards he said;
“I knew I’d have to have the ride of my life today and I did. I had 77% in my mind as my target, not that I told anyone that, so I couldn’t be more pleased but I’m surprised! Earlier in the week I didn’t think he’d cope but I rode him early this morning in the arena in walk and he felt relaxed so I thought I might have a good ride. He absolutely put his heart into that test.”
Charlotte Dujardin, based Gloucestershire, with Mount St John Freestyle, owned by The Mount St John Stud, entered the arena just before the final session. With the stunning nine year-old mare, the duo shone in the Tryon sun, producing a stunning test to score 77.764%.
“What an amazing horse to come here and do that!” said an elated Charlotte. “To cope with the environment and produce a test like that, I’m over the moon with her. There’s a lot of expectation on her and I’m so proud that she didn’t bother with anything; she’s so exciting for the future. There were a couple of mistakes but easy to fix and I couldn’t really have asked for more from her, she’s a real trier.”
The team competition was won by Germany who finished with a total of 242.950. The USA finished second with 233.136 just ahead of Great Britain in third with 229.628.
The Grand Prix Special gets underway tomorrow, which sees the first individual medals awarded.
Today saw the first day of the Mars eventing dressage competition get underway at the Tryon Stadium arena. First into the arena for Great Britain this morning was pathfinder Gemma Tattersall, from West Sussex, with The Soul Syndicates Arctic Soul. Producing a lovely test with Spike, the duo recorded a score of 32.4 penalties to get the team off to a great start and finish the day in 19th place overnight.
Commenting afterwards Gemma said;
“I’m super happy with him, he did really well! He did all the movements and I thought he had a pretty clear round. One of the changes wasn’t perfect but apart from that he was pretty spot on.
“All the horses are on good form and we feel really confident; there’s fantastic team morale. We eat together, we go to the gym together and we get on like a house on fire. We have a really good partnership and loads of experience and I am excited to get out on the course and let him gallop up that final hill.”
Gloucestershire’s Piggy French was next in for the team. Aboard Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo, the combination produced a superb, expressive test to see a score of 27.8% awarded, which sees them into third place overnight.
A delighted Piggy said afterwards;
“I am really pleased, he felt fantastic. He had one mistake at the beginning as we cantered out of the first halt and it took a while to warm-up but on the whole I am delighted; he really gave his all.”
Speaking on the cross-country course she added; “I’ve walked the course and it’s there to be jumped but it’s a Championship and there’s a different pressure to what we’re normally ride under. The course needs to be respected as there are plenty of places where you can make silly mistakes so we just need to go out there and get the job done as well as we can.”
Final rider of the day – for Britain and the first day of the eventing dressage – was Tina Cook, also based in West Sussex, with Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy The Red, who produced a wonderful test to end the day’s competition sitting in fifth place, after a score of 29.1 penalties was confirmed.
Tina said afterwards;
“He’s [Billy The Red] done some fantastic work since he’s been out here and has been on great form. I felt I could have done the changes a bit better but I’m very self-critical. I’m really pleased with him and I think there’s a lot to come. He’s only 11 and he’s what makes me enjoy the sport, keep going and be part of this amazing team that is here is with us.
Commenting on the cross-country, Tina said:
“He has a fantastic record cross-country. It’s a really tough track although it is not the biggest, but it’s very hot and there’s rain so you don’t know what’s going to get thrown at you. I think it’s going to be really open and there’s going to be a lot of excitement on Saturday.”
Tomorrow sees the final day of the eventing dressage phase, with Tom McEwen, based in Gloucestershire and Ros Canter, based in Lincolnshire, getting their world championships underway.
After finishing 26th in the first individual reining qualifying yesterday, Francesca Sternberg, from Kent, came forward to contest the second individual qualifying round this afternoon, which is open to riders placed 16-35 after the first round.
Francesca, riding Rosanne Sternberg’s Spook N Sparkle, was tenth into the arena. With the eight year old palomino, Francesca produced one of her best rounds to record a new Personal Best, with a final score of 220.5. Finishing today in joint seventh place, it unfortunately means she won’t progress into Saturday’s individual final.
A beaming Francesca said;
“It was Charlie’s personal best and I am so proud. I haven’t ridden this horse for two years as he’s my sisters’ horse and my niece competes him so I am extremely grateful to them for lending him.
“He’s probably one of the smallest horses here so to have to go twice in two days his little legs really had to try. His heart his size of this arena and I want to take him home to England and keep him forever!
Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme; the British teams are very grateful to the support they receive from the British Equestrian Federation Fund and official partners Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, FALPRO England, Musto, NAF and Point Two.