Stellar performances from GBR athletes helped Great Britain to finish top of the medal table at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 (23 August – 7 September). Bringing home a total of 15 medals; seven gold, six silver and two bronze, GBR squeaked the title from the Dutch who won 18 medals but one less gold. Germany came in third on the table with 15 medals, five of them gold.
British successes that tipped the final tally came from dressage, para-equestrian dressage, vaulting and eventing with stand-out performances from Charlotte Dujardin, Lee Pearson, Sophie Christiansen and Joanne Eccles. The results see GBR bag three out of four Olympic and Paralympic Team qualifications for Rio in dressage, eventing and para-equestrian dressage and retain their untarnished team record in the para-equestrian competition. One additional athlete place still needs to be secured for para-equestrian dressage through the “special” Paralympic Ranking List which will run 2015/16.
The achievements of British athletes in Normandy stamp their authority on the world stage for the second Games running, having also topped the table at the WEG in 2010 in Lexington. The British Equestrian Federation attributes this success to the network of support afforded to the team of 36 athletes and 48 horses that contested the eight disciplines.
36 grooms, 44 team staff and a host of loyal and generous owners were backed by the essential financial contribution and the expertise generously provided by UK Sport National Lottery funding, Equestrian Team GBR official suppliers and the seven member bodies who govern the individual sports. Loyal fans also had their part to play thanks to the tremendous fundraising efforts achieved at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in partnership with the Horse Trials Support Group.
Chef de Mission Will Connell commented: “This was another great Games for Team GBR although it was a shame that the Jumping Team were depleted in terms of horsepower. GBR have again proven they have medal winning athletes and when partnered with world class horses they can take on the world. It was particularly pleasing to see the Non-Olympic Disciplines delivering very solid performance and the Eccles Clan again demonstrated they are phenomenal World Champions.
“However, we should not celebrate too much: The Dutch were on extraordinary winning form and they and the Germans qualified all 4 Teams for Rio. In the Olympic disciplines we were second in the Medal Table. With 696 days until the Rio 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Team GBR is looking strong but cannot relax. Our owners are the epicentre to the bid to win medals and we need to work with them to make sure our very best athletes have the very best horses.
“With the support of the Lottery funding and UK Sport, we have the Programme in place to support the athletes, horses and staff. Onwards to Rio. This was my last Games with Team GBR and I now leave for the other side of the Atlantic and Team USA. May the Rio Podium be dominated by red, white and blue!”
3 medals; 2 gold, 1 silver
Team Silver (Charlotte Dujardin, Michael Eilberg, Carl Hester, Gareth Hughes)
Individual Gold (Charlotte Dujardin)
Freestyle Gold (Charlotte Dujardin)
8 medals; 4 gold, 4 silver
Team Gold (Natasha Baker, Sophie Christiansen, Lee Pearson, Sophie Wells)
Individual Gold (1b) (Lee Pearson)
Individual Freestyle Gold (1b) (Lee Pearson)
Individual Silver (IV) (Sophie Wells)
Individual Freestyle Silver (IV) (Sophie Wells)
Individual Silver (II) (Natasha Baker)
Individual Gold (Ia) (Sophie Christiansen)
Individual Freestyle Silver (1a) (Sophie Christiansen)
2 medals; 1 gold, 1 bronze
Individual Gold (Joanne Eccles)
Pas de Deux Bronze (Hannah and Joanne Eccles)
2 medals; 1 silver, 1 bronze
Team Silver (Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Harry Meade, Zara Phillips)
Individual Bronze (William Fox-Pitt)
Alongside the unrivalled support and funding received by UK Sport and the National Lottery, Equestrian Team GBR is indebted to the contribution made by our Team Suppliers, who support the British equestrian teams throughout the season – Dodson & Horrell (nutrition), Land Rover (official vehicles), Mears Country Jackets, NAF (feed supplements), NuuMed (numnahs and saddlecloths), Point Two Equine (air jackets), TAGG (rugs) and Toggi (casual clothing).