Equestrian Team GBR won their first medal of the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, USA today (13 September 2018), taking Team Bronze in the Dressage Grand Prix.
The quartet, made up of Charlotte Dujardin, Emile Faurie, Carl Hester and Spencer Wilton, helped the team to achieve qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympics following two days of competition.
Spencer Wilton and Emile Faurie put the British team in a promising position after completing their tests yesterday, scoring 72.795 and 74.581 respectively.
The maestro Carl Hester, based in Gloucestershire, took 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.”
In the end it was Germany who took Team Gold after finishing on a final team total of 242.950. The USA finished second with 233.136 just ahead of Great Britain in third with 229.628.
Chef d’Equipe Caroline Griffith commented; “This performance is truly exciting for the future. These young horses and the way the our riders have produced them is just incredible. I’m proud of them; it was a great atmosphere today which gave them all great confidence. To come here and secure our Tokyo qualification and come away with a medal just shows the quality of horses and riders we have. Watch out world!”
The Grand Prix Special gets underway tomorrow, the first competition where individual medals are awarded and all four British riders will feature after they all finished in the top 30.
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.