The British equestrian team is going well at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA,
Charlotte Dujardin, based in Gloucestershire, and Mount St John Freestyle have won their first Individual medal as a combination on their debut at a major championship. They had an outstanding performance, scoring 81.489% to take bronze in the Helgstrand Dressage Grand Prix Speciala Rose.
Charlotte claiming her third individual gold in the Grand Prix Special at a World Equestrian Games, ahead of home favourite Laura Graves who took silver with Verdades.
All four of the British combinations qualified for today’s competition after their performances in the Grand Prix yesterday which saw Great Britain win team bronze and secure Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020.
Emile Faurie, from Oxfordshire, was the first to go with Dono di Maggio, owned by Hof Kasselmann and the pair produced a score of 70.38% after a some good highlights during their test.
Afterwards Emile said; “It wasn’t his best performance today. He’s a massive horse and the last few days have taken a lot out of him but he really tried. I gave him a very short warm up but he’s inexperienced.
“He’s a brilliant horse and he’ll be even better next year. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. The trip has been a great experience for him and for me, it’s been a great honour to be part of this amazing team. Other nations are envious of the great team spirit we have.”
Spencer Wilton, based in Reading, was next to go with Super Nova II however, after yesterday’s medal ceremony Neville [Super Nova II] was not feeling 100% and after consultation with the equine sport science and medicine team and his owner, Jen Goodman, the decision was made to withdraw from the competition.
Gloucestershire’s Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato, owned by Lady Anne Evans, Ann Cory and himself, were the first to go in the final session. In just their second Grand Prix Special as a pair, the duo showed no sign of nerves in the U.S Trust Arena as they followed up from their fantastic performance yesterday to produce another superb test, scoring 77.204% to finish ninth.
“I have to be happy with 77% plus in only his second Special and his first Championship, after all, he’s only a young horse,” Carl said. “I had a costly mistake in the one-time changes and in the heat and humidity the final centreline really took all his energy. It’s only when you come to shows like this you learn about your horse and he’s also learned a lot here. I was happy with the team result as that’s what we came here to do but I’m equally happy today.”
Charlotte and Mount St John Freestyle were the penultimate pairing to go and they entered the arena brimming with confidence following yesterday’s performance. Neither were unfazed by the occasion and they duly stunned the crowd with an outstanding display, scoring a personal best of 81.489% to go into second.
Isabel Werth and Bella Rose were the final combination for the day and took to the arena, showing their class to top the standings with 86.246% and take the gold for Germany, consequently pushing Charlotte down to third.
An elated Charlotte said: “I’m absolutely delighted! She’s only nine and that was just her third [Grand Prix] Special. I knew going in I had nothing to lose and rode her every inch of the way. That feeling I had in the arena today was amazing and for me, it didn’t matter if the test won me a medal as I knew she’d given me everything.”
Both Carl and Charlotte will compete again on Sunday in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
Great Britain’s eventing team will go into tomorrow’s cross-country phase in second place after superb performances across two days of dressage.
Ros Canter, from Lincolnshire, and Allstar B finished the day as the leading combination for the British team, ending the day with 24.6 penalties and sitting third overall.
First into the Tryon arena on the second day for GBR was Tom McEwen, from Gloucestershire, who produced a fantastic test with Jane Inns, Alison McEwen and his own, Toledo de Kerser, scoring 28.4 penalties.
“I was delighted with him, it was a great positive test,” said Tom. “It could have been more, I just had a mess with a change at the end but he was fantastic. It was very in there and there was a decent atmosphere this morning and he’s given us a strong team score.”
Commenting on the cross-country; “It’s possibly not the biggest course (cross-country) we’ve jumped but it’s technical and you’ve got to keep your wits about you out there but I am looking forward to getting out and riding it.”
Last to go for the British team was Ros Canter and Allstar B, owned by Caroline Moore and herself. The pair grew as the test wore on and produced a stunning performance to end with a total of 24.6 to soar into third place.
A beaming Ros said: “I’m absolutely over the moon with Allstar B. He’s been such a trooper and he’s so consistent in the dressage. I gave him a day off yesterday because he worked so well the day before. Everytime he comes out he just gives me everything; I’m delighted.
“He loves going cross-country. As long as I can stay with him and keep him pointed in the right direction; we’ll definitely be able to give it our best shot.”
Speaking on the team; “I’m having such a good time here with everybody and the team atmosphere is absolutely brilliant. Everyone is really supportive and we’re going into tomorrow confident.”
Adding to Gemma and Piggy’s performances yesterday, the scores delivered by Ros and Tom today see Great Britain lying in second place in the team event behind Germany. Germany’s Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH lead in the individual standings and head into tomorrow’s cross-country on a score 19.9 penalties.