Germany Leads Olympic Dressage After Grand Prix, Great Britain 2nd, USA 3rd

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Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro on the final centerline of Olympic Grand Prix that led the British team to second place behind Germany and ahead of the USA moving to the Special to decide medals. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro on the final centerline of Olympic Grand Prix that led the British team to second place behind Germany and ahead of the USA moving to the Special to decide medals. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 11, 2016–Germany led Olympic dressage Thursday after three team riders scored more than 80 per cent for the first time in history while defending gold medal pair Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro topped the individual results to lead Great Britain to second place and the United States team with their best ever Olympic Grand Prix scores was standing third.

Germany on 81.295, the average of the three scores that counted, was leading with 2. Great Britain on 79.252, 3. United States 76.971, 4. Netherlands 76.043, 5. Sweden 75.319 and 6. Denmark 74.276 move on to the Grand Prix Special Friday to decide the team medals.

Spain’s Severo Lopez on Lorenzo, Inessa Merkulova of Russia on Mister X, Karen Tebar of France on Don Luis, Beatriz Ferrer-Salat of Spain on Delgado, Judy Reynolds of Ireland on Vancouver K, Belinda Trussel of Canada on Anton and Pierre Volla of France on Badinda Altena also advanced to the Special with scores high enough to qualify as individuals.

Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH that was the highest scoring combination of the three German women team riders all scoring above 80 per cent. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH that was the highest scoring combination of the three German women team riders all scoring above 80 per cent. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The girl power trio of Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH on 82.257 per cent, Dorothee Schneider on Showtime FRH on 80.986 per cent and Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD on 80.643 per cent gave Germany a commanding lead in the team competition, as expected.

“We are on a good half-time standing and we hope to bring it home tomorrow,” said Isabell, a five-time Olympian.

Isabell Werth in her fifth Olympics and within reach of her eighth gold medal riding Weihegold OLD in the Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Isabell Werth in her fifth Olympics and within reach of her eighth gold medal riding Weihegold OLD in the Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Laura Graves on Verdades posted a personal best score of 78.071 per cent to lead the United States team to third place and to be in contention for an Olympic bronze medal for the first time since the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Laura of Geneva, Florida and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding that she has developed from a foal was clearly determined to produce a world class performance.

Laura Graves on Verdades producing a personal best Grand Prix score to lead the USA to bronze medal contention in Olympic dressage. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves on Verdades producing a personal best Grand Prix score to lead the USA to bronze medal contention in Olympic dressage. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“He was very quiet at first but then the wind popped up and made the plastic bags on the speakers rustle,” Laura said after the ride that was reminiscent of her performance at the World Games two years ago when she finished fifth in the Freestyle not long after the pair started their Grand Prix career.

“Then he really turned it up.”

Steffen Peters on Legolas, the top ranked USA combination. in the Olympic Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters on Legolas, the top ranked USA combination. in the Olympic Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“That was probably one of Legolas’ best tests,” said Steffen of San Diego, California and riding in his fourth Olympics for the United States . “It was the test that I had dreamed of.

“It has been my dream to deliver a result like this. At the Olympics it is 90 percent about riding for the team and only 10 percent for an individual medal.”

“There was not one single point that we gave away. This was it.”

 

The close to flawless performance by Charlotte and Valegro that earned the pair 85.071 per cent made the pair hot favorites to repeat as individual Olympic gold medal winners.

The score for Charlotte and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding was enough to pull Britain in silver medal contention after Nip Tuck appeared spooked by the big arena and it took Carl Hester a lot of the ride to give the horse back his confidence and perform to his best.

Carl said of his ride: “I don’t have time to get nervous and no time when I’m riding that horse to be nervous, you have to anticipate where and what you’re going to do next. By the time he got to the canter he was really good and I could get some marks back from the zig-zags and the pirouettes, and I have to have him very relaxed with trot and walk. I finished my test happy, thinking if I start tomorrow like I finished then I can really go for it because he’s been so rideable all week.”

Carl Hester on Nip Tuck finishing the Grand Prix on a good note after a shaky start. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester on Nip Tuck finishing the Grand Prix on a good note after a shaky start. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Charlotte said after her ride, ““Today was about going in and enjoying it, that was the biggest thing. I watched a lot of people yesterday going in there looking nervous and I thought, it’s my absolute passion, I’ve got the horse of my life, I’ve got a top trainer and huge support team around me, I’ve got amazing arenas and I’ve got to go out there and enjoy it. I came out with a huge smile on my face, to be honest I had a huge smile on my face before I went in, I can’t help but smile when I ride Valegro.

“Now we’ve all been in the arena once, I think tomorrow will be better. Fiona (Bigwood) did a fantastic job yesterday, Spencer (Wilton) did a really good job at his first Olympic Games and Carl did a great job too–he’s not only had to ride himself but he’s been training Spencer, Fiona and me. He’s been the rock for everyone. I honestly don’t know how he’s done it, but he’s done it for the team and I know for a fact that we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.”

Results:

Team (after Grand Prix)

# TEAM RESULT
1 GER Germany 81.295Qualified
2 GBR Great Britain 79.252Qualified
3 USA United States 76.971Qualified
4 NED Netherlands 76.043Qualified
5 SWE Sweden 75.319Qualified
6 DEN Denmark 74.276Qualified
7 ESP Spain 74.029
8 FRA France 71.914
9 AUS Australia 69.576
10 BRA Brazil 67.562
11 JPN Japan 67.486

Individual (after Grand Prix)

RANK ATHLETE HORSE RESULT
1 GBR
DUJARDIN Charlotte
VALEGRO 85.071Qualified
2 GER
BRORING-SPREHE Kristina
DESPERADOS FRH 82.257Qualified
3 GER
SCHNEIDER Dorothee
SHOWTIME FRH 80.986Qualified
4 GER
WERTH Isabell
WEIHEGOLD OLD 80.643Qualified
5 USA
GRAVES Laura
VERDADES 78.071Qualified
6 USA
PETERS Steffen
LEGOLAS 92 77.614Qualified
7 GER
ROTHENBERGER Sonke
COSMO 77.329Qualified
8 GBR
BIGWOOD Fiona
ORTHILIA 77.157Qualified
9 NED
MINDERHOUD Hans Peter
JOHNSON 76.957Qualified
10 DEN
DUFOUR Cathrine
CASSIDY 76.657Qualified
11 ESP
JURADO LOPEZ Severo Jesus
LORENZO 76.429Qualified
11 SWE
WILHELMSSON SILFVEN Tinne
DON AURELIO 76.429Qualified
13 NED
VAN SILFHOUT Diederik
ARLANDO 75.900Qualified
14 RUS
MERKULOVA Inessa
MISTER X 75.800Qualified
15 GBR
HESTER Carl
NIP TUCK 75.529Qualified
16 NED
GAL Edward
VOICE 75.271Qualified
17 USA
PERRY-GLASS Kasey
DUBLET 75.229Qualified
18 FRA
TEBAR Karen
DON LUIS 75.029Qualified
19 SWE
RAMEL Juliette
BURIEL K.H. 74.943Qualified
20 ESP
FERRER-SALAT Beatriz
DELGADO 74.829Qualified
21 IRL
REYNOLDS Judy
VANCOUVER K 74.700Qualified
22 SWE
KITTEL Patrik
DEJA 74.586Qualified
23 DEN
KASPRZAK Anna
DONNPERIGNON 73.943Qualified
24 SUI
KRINKE SUSMELJ Marcela
MOLBERG 72.700Qualified
25 GBR
WILTON Spencer
SUPER NOVA II 72.686Qualified
25 USA
BROCK Allison M.
ROSEVELT 72.686Qualified
27 DEN
KIRK THINGGAARD Agnete
JOJO AZ 72.229Qualified
28 CAN
TRUSSELL Belinda
ANTON 72.214Qualified
29 SWE
HENDELIOWITZ Mads
JIMMIE CHOO SEQ 71.771Qualified
30 FRA
VOLLA Pierre
BADINDA ALTENA 71.500Qualified
31 RUS
AFRAMEEVA Marina
VOSK 71.343
32 CAN
LANE Megan
CARAVELLA 71.286
33 AUT
MAX-THEURER Victoria
DELLA CAVALLERIA 71.129
34 ESP
MARTIN DOCKX Jose Daniel
GRANDIOSO 70.829
35 BEL
VERWIMP Jorinde
TIAMO 70.771
36 AUS
OATLEY Lyndal
SANDRO BOY 9 70.186
37 DEN
DAHL Anders
SELTEN HW 69.900Qualified
38 ESP
CASTILLA RUIZ Claudio
ALCAIDE 69.814
39 AUS
HANNA Mary
BOOGIE WOOGIE 6 69.643
40 FRA
HENRY Ludovic
AFTER YOU 69.214
41 UKR
LOGUTENKOVA Inna
DON GREGORIUS 68.943
42 AUS
OATLEY Kristy
DU SOLEIL 68.900
43 KOR
KIM Dongseon
BUKOWSKI 68.657
44 NZL
BROUGHAM Julie
VOM FEINSTEIN 68.543
45 JPN
HARADA Kiichi
EGISTAR 68.286
46 BRA
MARCARI OLIVA Joao Victor
XAMA DOS PINHAIS 68.071
47 BRA
PRADO PASS Giovana
ZINGARO DE LYW 67.700
48 JPN
KITAI Yuko
DON LOREAN 67.271
49 BRA
TAVARES DE ALMEIDA Luiza
VENDAVAL 4 66.914
50 JPN
KUROKI Akane
TOOTS 66.900
51 MEX
PUJALS Bernadette
ROLEX 66.757
52 ITA
TRUPPA Valentina
CHABLIS 65.971
53 BRA
TAVARES DE ALMEIDA Pedro
XAPARRO DO VOUGA 65.714
54 AUS
HEARN Suzanne
REMMINGTON 65.343
55 FRA
BRIEUSSEL Stephanie
AMORAK 65.114
56 RSA
SEYMOUR Tanya
RAMONEUR 6 63.929
57 PLE
ZIMMERMANN Christian
ARAMIS 606 63.271
58 JPN
TAKAHASHI Masanao
FABRIANO 58 62.986
59 DOM
LOSOS DE MUNIZ Yvonne
FOCO LOCO W 61.300
NED
CORNELISSEN Adelinde
PARZIVAL Retired