Valegro’s Highest Ever Olympic Grand Prix Score Puts Britain in Lead Halfway in Team Contest

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The crowd giving a raucus standing ovation to Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

LONDON, Aug. 3–A performance by Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin that stunned 23,000 spectators into silence and earned the pair the highest ever Olympic Grand Prix score Friday, gave Great Britain a lead over Germany of a little over one-half of a percentage point midway through the London Games team competition.

Whatever happens in the Grand Prix Special Tuesday, Britain is virtually guaranteed to win its first ever medal in 100 years of Olympic dressage–and if it is gold will end Germany’s supremacy that has been uninterrupted since the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

The partnership between Charlotte, 26, and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding was the climax of two days of the best horses and riders in the world battling for team medals at the historic and atmosphere-laden Greenwich Park, in which only three pairs were scored above 80 per cent–Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival of the Netherlands and Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW of Germany joining the British combination.

Britain leads the team standings with 79.407 per cent–the average of the scores of the three team members–with Germany on 78.845 per cent and the Netherlands third with 76.809 per cent. After the top three are Denmark on 73.845 per cent, USA 72.801 per cent, Spain 72.467 per cent and Sweden 71.940 per cent.

Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Only those seven teams move on to the Grand Prix Special scheduled for next Tuesday that is the second phase of the team competition, the first time the two-stage format has been used in an Olympics and so far has fulfilled the hopes of the creators of generating massive excitement. Each of the two phases count equally for the final result.

Poland, Australia and Canada did not make the cut and the Olympics is over for those three dressage teams.

Friday’s performance by Charlotte and Valegro came three months after the partnership set a new world Grand Prix Special score in Germany and assured the British team of Carl Hester and Uthopia and Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris who had both ridden Thursday, the first day of Grand Prix, of the slim lead over Germany.

“Unbelievable,” Charlotte said after the ride. “I wanted to come here and have fun. I wanted to go out and show what this horse can do. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I loved every minute. When you finish your final halt it is wonderful. The applause is just amazing…”

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Tuesday’s Grand Prix Special is shaping up to be one of the hghlights of the entire Olympics in a nation that has a long history of horse sports and the Olympic equestrian events garner headlines in the mass circulation daily newspapers. Tickets to all equestrian events have been sold out for months and scalping is illegal in Britain–dozens of scalpers are arrested daily–but for those willing to break the law, the price of entry is likely to be high.

The Special has been formatted so that riders from the top four nations will go last, guaranteeing eage-of-the-seat excitement to the end.

Will Connell, the Team GB Equestran Team Leader, said: “I’m very proud of the team effort that has put us slightly in front of Germany at the half way stage. This is absolutely where we wanted to be, however it’s still far too close to call and one mistake could change it all. The next three days will be about relaxing and then building back up again and we’ll look forward to the competition concluding!”

Germany's Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW. © 2012 Ken Braddicl/dressage-news.com

More to come

Results of the Grand Prix, first of two phases of the team competition (click + for individual judge’s marks)

Rk Bib Rider Horse Result +
1 226 Great Britain DUJARDIN C VALEGRO 83.663 Q +
2 236 Netherlands CORNELISSEN A PARZIVAL 81.687 Q +
3 229 Germany LANGEHANENBERG H DAMON HILL 81.140 Q +
4 231 Germany SPREHE K DESPERADOS 79.119 Q +
5 227 Great Britain HESTER C UTHOPIA 77.720 Q +
6 254 United States of America PETERS S RAVEL 77.705 Q +
7 224 Great Britain BECHTOLSHEIMER L MISTRAL HOJRIS 76.839 Q +
8 230 Germany SCHNEIDER D DIVA ROYAL 76.277 Q +
9 233 Italy TRUPPA V EREMO DEL CASTEGNO 75.790 Q +
10 219 Spain MUNOZ DIAZ JM FUEGO 75.608 Q +
11 237 Netherlands GAL E UNDERCOVER 75.395 Q +
12 213 Denmark KASPRZAK A DONNPERIGNON 75.289 Q +
13 216 Denmark ZU SAYN – WITTGEN. DIGBY 74.924 Q +
14 248 Sweden VILHELMSON SILFVEN DON AURIELLO 74.271 Q +
15 246 Sweden KITTEL P SCANDIC 74.073 Q +
16 239 Netherlands VAN GRUNSVEN A SALINERO 73.343 Q +
17 205 Austria MAX-THEURER V AUGUSTIN 73.267 Q +
18 225 Great Britain DAVISON R ARTEMIS 72.812 Q +
19 217 Spain BARBANCON MESTRESM PAINTED BLACK 72.751 Q +
20 210 Canada HOLZER A BREAKING DAWN 71.809 Q +
21 207 Belgium FASSAERT C DONNERFEE 71.793 Q +
22 245 Portugal CARVALHO G RUBI 71.520 Q +
23 255 Denmark VAN OLST A CLEARWATER 71.322 Q +
24 228 Germany BALKENHOL A DABLINO 70.973 Q +
25 238 Netherlands VAN DER MEER P UZZO 70.912 Q +
26 222 Finland LINDH M MAS GUAPO 70.729 Q +
27 252 United States of America KONYOT T CALECTO V 70.456 Q +
28 223 France MICHEL J RIWERA 70.410 Q +
29 221 Finland KANERVA E SPIRIT 70.395 Q +
30 251 United States of America EBELING J RAFALCA 70.243 Q +
31 240 Norway HELLJESEN S DORINA 69.985 +
32 214 Denmark SEIERSKILDE L RANEUR 69.863 +
33 232 Ireland MERVELDT A CORYOLANO 69.772 +
34 206 Austria VOGLSANG R FABRIANO 69.635 +
35 253 United States of America LYLE A WIZARD 69.468 +
36 244 Poland STREMLER B MARTINI 69.422 +
37 203 Australia OATLEY L SANDRO BOY 69.377 +
38 242 Poland MILCZAREK K EKWADOR 69.271 +
39 220 Spain MARTIN DOCKX J. GRANDIOSO 69.043 Q +
40 234 Japan HOKETSU H WHISPER 68.739 +
41 209 Canada BROOKS J D’ NIRO 68.526 +
42 202 Australia OATLEY K CLIVE 68.222 +
43 201 Australia HANNA M SANCETTE 67.964 +
44 247 Sweden TELDE M SANTANA 67.477 Q +
45 243 Poland RAPCEWICZ M RANDON 66.915 +
46 250 Ukraine KISELIOVA S PARISH 66.763 +
47 208 Brazil TAVARES DE ALMEIDA PASTOR 65.866 +
48 241 New Zealand HILL L ANTONELLO 65.258 +
49 235 Morocco RAHMOUNI Y FLORESCO 64.453 +
211 Canada MARCUS D CAPITAL EL +
Tram results:
Results
Official
Rk Team Result +
1
Great Britain Great Britain
79.407 +
2
Germany Germany
78.845 +
3
Netherlands Netherlands
76.809 +
4
Denmark Denmark
73.845 +
5
United States United States
72.801 +
6
Spain Spain
72.467 +
7
Sweden Sweden
71.940 +
8
Poland Poland
68.536 +
9
Australia Australia
68.521 +
Canada Canada
EL +
Ground Jury
Position Name
K ERNES Wim (NED)
E ROUDIER Jean-Michel (FRA)
H TORNBLAD Leif (DEN)
C ROCKWELL Gary (USA (President)
M CLARKE Stephen (GBR)
B ALONSO Maribel (MEX)
F EISENHARDT Evi (GER)