The final day of the dressage competition at the Longines FEI European Championships welcomed Great Britain’s Spencer Wilton and Carl Hester back to the arena.
With fifteen combinations coming forward to contest today’s event, both combinations produced fabulous tests in the Ullevi Stadium, to draw their 2017 European campaigns to a close.
The conclusion of the Grand Prix Freestyle saw Germany’s Isabell Werth and Sönke Rothenberger once again take gold and silver after posting plus 90% scores, whilst Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour secured the bronze with 84.561%. Great Britain’s Carl Hester finished fourth with Spencer Wilton claiming 13th.
With Jen Goodman’s Super Nova II, Spencer Wilton was first to take to the arena for Great Britain, for only their second ever Grand Prix Freestyle test together. To the sounds of Adele and Justin Timberlake, the duo produced a superb test to see 75.443% awarded, for a huge new Personal Best.
Commenting afterwards Spencer said: “I’m really chuffed. He had a really tricky few moments outside with the noise – he’s never heard anything like this before. He’s so good; he’s hopefully gained some confidence here this week. You always want to do as well as you can, and I’m just taking this all as a huge positive.
“In the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special he understands the preparation for the movement, but today at times he just felt a bit lost. I’ve learnt a lot from this experience – and a lot about him as well. It’s going to give us a good boost for next year.”
Fourth last into the arena was Carl Hester with Jane de la Mare and his own Nip Tuck. With a difficult floorplan, Carl and Barney gave everything and produced a fantastic test to see a score of 80.614% confirmed.
“I’m pleased, but he was a little more difficult than I expected today,” said Carl. “I gave him an easy morning to make sure he wasn’t too tired but he was very excited! His scores have gone up all week and that’s very satisfying. We never thought he’d get this far but it’s testament to his temperament, he’s a worker. He finds it easy to do the difficult stuff, so time to work on a new freestyle – I know I can make it even harder!
The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme.