Today (22 August) saw the first day of the dressage Grand Prix contested at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenberg, with Emile Faurie the first of the team riders in for Great Britain.
With Elena Knyaginicheva’s striking 13 year-old bay gelding, Lollipop 126 - who received a late call-up to the team following an injury to Emile’s other ride, Weekend Fun - the combination produced a stunning solid test in the floodlit arena, to be rewarded with a score of 72.286%.
Afterwards, Emile said: “I was chuffed to bits, just thrilled. He’s a relatively inexperienced horse and he’s never been to this kind of event before, but he’s such a dude and a cool little horse. To come to a championships as a reserve horse and to do a mistake-free test is just great.
“We’ve had some great preparation leading in to the championships; even though he was my second horse we prepared in exactly the same way, and tonight he felt amazing. I obviously didn’t want to risk too much tonight, my aim was to go a mistake free.
“He came out with confidence and I think if he gets through to the Grand Prix Special then he will have gained a lot of confidence today.”
At the end of the first day of the Grand Prix, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg heads the leaderboard with a score of 74.986%; Emile and Lollipop currently lie in 6th place.
Tomorrow will see the conclusion of the Grand Prix tests, with the results deciding the team medals. Great Britain’s Spencer Wilton (with Jennifer Goodman’s Super Nova II) rides at 16.12 with Carl Hester (with Jane de la Mare and his own Nip Tuck) on at 20.03 (both times given in BST).
The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme.