Germany claimed European team gold

Germany claimed European team gold

The Germans have claimed back the position as the leading dressage nation in Europe as they have claimed gold at the Blue Hors FEI European Dressage Championship 2013 in Herning with 14 nations competing. The Netherlands took silver and the defending champions from Great Britain secured bronze.

Germany has played a dominant role in European dressage for decades, and the string of 21 German team gold medals at the European Dressage Championships was only broken in Torino in 2007 when the Dutch team claimed gold, a merit they repeated in Windsor in 2009. In 2011 in Rotterdam it was the British team who kept the Germans from winning the team gold, but this year in Herning the Germans finally re-captured European team gold.

– This championship is a piece of history, and probably the most interesting European Championships we have had for years, the German veteran Isabell Werth said.

What made this championship particularly exciting for everyone is the close margin between the three medal winning teams. The gold winning German team scored 234.651% against the Dutch silver team score of 233.967%, which meant that every point the last German rider Helen Langehanenberg scored really made a difference for her team, and her 84.477% test was the Grand Prix ride of her life.

– I am very proud of my horse today. Damie (Damon Hill) responded to every aid I gave, and we really fought together, said Helen Langehanenberg.

Although the silver winning Dutch team was close to gold, they were even closer to bronze as less than 0.5% made the difference between second and third place.

– We tried to go for gold! But Germany was better, and it was amazing sport today. With two riders over 80% we are very happy with the outcome and very happy with the silver medal, said Dutch chef d’equipe Wim Ernes.

The defending European champions from Great Britain managed to threat the German and the Dutch team despite the fact that they lost a very high scoring horse and now have two new members on their team.

– Mistral Højris has been the backbone of British dressage, so it was a great loss to our team when it was made clear that he and Laura Tomlinson could not compete, said British chef d’equipe Richard Waygood, and team rider Carl Hester added:

– It was awful news, but with two new members on our team we still won a medal. No gold, but I never had bronze before!

The individual top scorer of the Grand Prix, British Charlotte Dujardin, felt that her horse Valegro has become better and stronger than last year. At their last show in Hickstead Charlotte and Valegro had several mistakes, and at the press meeting in Herning Charlotte joked that her trainer Carl Hester absolutely murdered her, so she really did not want to make the same mistakes today.

– I had Carl in my head for every move Valegro and I made, but it is a lovely and open arena, and I really enjoyed my ride today. Valegro has been so good here in Herning; in the training, in the warm-up and not least in the arena, said Charlotte Dujardin after she produced a world record Grand Prix score of 85.942%.

German chef d’equipe Klaus Roeser said that the Dutch and the British team really had the Germans under pressure.

– It was the longest ten minutes ever during Helen’s ride. The sport in the team competition has been amazing and everybody was exited for the outcome.

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