First Ever WEG Dutch Team Gold, Great Britain Beats Germany for Silver, USA 4th
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Sept. 28–The vaunted Dutch team led by Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas lived up to their billing by capturing their first ever gold medal at a World Equestrian Games despite the dramatic disqualification of Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival for a tiny nick on the tongue that drew blood at the start of their Grand Prix ride.
Great Britain beat perennial powerhouse Germany for the silver medal while a plucky but inexperienced USA team came fourth and within 2.467 percentage points of pulling off a miracle in perhaps the most competitive and exciting world championships held once every four years and the first time outside Europe.
The medals were undecided until the ride by Steffen Peters and Ravel, the last of the 65 riders to start the two-day competition, finished third individually on 78.596 per cent behind Edward and Totilas on 84.043 per cent and British superstar Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris on 82.511 per cent. Complete team and individual results are below.
At the end of the team competition, it was clear that the spectators–generous in their applause for all rides–showed their appreciation for the level of competition.
All three top finishers received standing ovations from the crowd in the main arena of the Kentucky Horse Park for the finale of the team competition. It drew the biggest crowd so far to the WEG, 24,237, double the figure for Sunday and Monday and more than for the opening ceremony.
Amazing performances, high drama, tears of joy and heart break and an abundance of great sportsmanship were the highlights of these world championships. Even questions about substantial discrepancies in the scores of the five judges were answered with candor, an admission the judging was “not good enough” and a pledge to get to work immediately to thrash out the differences before Wednesday’s Grand Prix Special.
Thirty-one combinations made it through to the Grand Prix Special.including all four members of the Dutch, British and German teams. Steffen and Ravel, Tina Konyot and Calecto V and Katherine Bateson-Chandler of the USA qualified, as did Ashley Holzer and Pop Art and Belinda Trussell and Anton of Canada.
The Grand Prix Special starts at 10:04 a.m. US ET (1604 CET) with the top half-dozen riders from the Grand Prix scheduled to ride in reverse order with Edward and Totilas last to go at 5:14 p.m. US ET (2314 CET).
Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas were the stars of the show, as they have been wherever they have competed in the past two years and this time for the first and perhaps only time in America.
Edward said that the 10-year-old black stallion (yes, he really is only 10 and already holds all three Grand Prix level world records) was a little tense entering the ring to thunderous applause and flag waving. However, he quickly settled down and went on to produce another outstanding performance that was well short of their world record
Although, he said, the disqualification of their team mates Adelinde and Parzival and the only combination ever to beat them–which they have done twice–was “difficult.”
“On the one side it is very sad,” he said, “but on the other side it is nice to win the gold medal. We have mixed feelings.”
Totilas’s amazing gaits were what the spectators came for and they got it.
Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris produced a superb ride that team mate Carl Hester said her status as a superstar had pushed British riders to perform better and better.
“It was definitely the best score and the best ride I’ve ever had, no mistake about that,” the 15-year-old Laura said. “I’ve never been able to ride with him so full of energy but relaxed and easy.”
Asked whether she and Mistral could beat Totilas she said, “It depends on Totilas and how he is… but if my horse goes as well as he did today then of course the sport is wide open. It’s not going to be easy to stay where we are let alone go up even further, but I can guarantee you the next few days are going to be exciting!”
Carl Hester, who scored 72.128 per cent, with Liebling II, a horse he sold earlier this year as a mount for Canada’s Cheryl Meisner but who got the ride back when she did not qualify for the Canadian team, said: “I’m old enough to have been on a team where the best British mark was 66 and we thought that was good, but British dressage has changed–we’ve been waiting for a superstar like Laura but our horses could not have gone better and for that we’re all happy with all of our results and for everyone back home that we’ve finally come good.”
Isabell Werth, the multi Olympic gold medalist who rode her 2007 World Cup champion Warum Nicht FRH to the highest score for Germany, described the Dutch as out on their own and that the British “were just better – we need to work to come closer and it might take one, two or three years before we get back to sitting in the middle of this table!”–the gold medal position.
Germany, though, had a team of two riders and horses new to championship competition.
The final rankings for the teams:
||A. Cornelissen / E. Gal / H. Minderhoud / I. Schellekens-Bartels||229.75|
||L. Bechtolsheimer / F. Bigwood / M. Eilberg / C. Hester||224.77|
||A. Balkenhol / C. Koschel / M. Rath / I. Werth||220.60|
||S. Peters / T. Konyot / K. Bateson-Chandler / T. Flettrich||218.13|
||N. Sayn-Wittgenstein / A. van Olst / S. Hansen / A. Troensegaard||212.47|
||C. Castilla Ruiz / J. Garcia Mena / J. Muñoz Diaz / R. Ortiz||209.91|
||B. Trussell / B. Bonnello / A. Holzer / V. Winter||206.09|
||R. Sanna / B. Parbery / H. Beresford / L. Oatley||204.47|
||J. Devroe / C. Fassaert / P. Jorissen / S. Van ingelgem||200.43|
||P. Kittel / M. Telde / T. Vilhelmson-Silfven||200.26|
||G. Carvalho / M. Galiza Mendes / D. Pinto||199.57|
||C. Kalseth / E. Farbrot / C. Rasmussen / L. Jebsen||196.60|
||H. Kitahara / M. Yagi / H. Hoketsu / Y. Kitai||194.00|
||R. Clementino / L. Tavares de Almeida / M. Alexandre||188.68|
Final individual rankings:
||E. Gal||Moorlands Totilas||84.043||1975|
||L. Bechtolsheimer||Mistral Hojris||82.511||1939|
||I. Werth||Warum Nicht FRH||75.404||1772|
||J. Muñoz Diaz||Fuego XII||73.957||1738|
||I. Schellekens-Bartels||Hunter Douglas Sunrise||73.447||1726|
||H. Minderhoud||Exquis Nadine||72.255||1698|
||C. Hester||Liebling II||72.128||1695|
||A. Holzer||Pop Art||70.383||1654|
||M. Krinke Susmelj||Corinth||70.340||1653|
||F. Bigwood||Wie-Atlantico de Ymas||70.128||1648|
||B. Parbery||Victory Salute||70.085||1647|
||T. Konyot||Calecto V||69.915||1643|
||A. van Olst||Exquis Clearwater||69.532||1634|
||S. Hansen||Gredstedgårds Casmir||69.106||1624|
||E. Kanerva||Sini Spirit||68.851||1618|
||R. Sanna||Jaybee Alabaster||68.809||1617|
||H. Hoketsu||Whisper 115||68.681||1614|
||J. Garcia Mena||Norte||68.638||1613|
||M. Eilberg||Two Sox||68.213||1603|
||M. Telde||Larina – Höm||68.000||1598|
||L. Jebsen||Pro – Set||67.957||1597|
||J. Devroe||Apollo van het Vijverhof||67.532||1587|
||M. Galiza Mendes||D´Artagnan||67.489||1586|
||C. Castilla Ruiz||Jade de MV||67.319||1582|
||S. Van ingelgem||Withney van´t Genthof||66.638||1566|
||S. de Klein||Prins 32||66.511||1563|
||E. Eversfield-Koch||The Lion King B||66.340||1559|
||P. Kittel||Watermill Scandic H.B.C||66.255||1557|
||D. Pinto||Galopin de la Font||65.319||1535|
||P. Jorissen||Le Beau||64.809||1523|
||C. Rasmussen||Orlando III||64.468||1515|
||S. Bordone||Dark Surprise||64.340||1512|
||C. Kalseth||Carte d´Or||64.170||1508|
||Y. Kitai||Sig Fairytale||64.000||1504|
||L. Tavares de Almeida||Samba||63.574||1494|
||M. Alexandre||Signo Dos Pinhais||63.234||1486|
||M. Yagi||Dow Jones 13||61.319||1441|
||G. Chelius||Flamenco R||61.149||1437|
||J. Reynolds||Remember 143||61.021||1434|
||H. Kitahara||Why Me||58.170||1367|
||H. Beresford||Relâmpago do Retiro||10.128||238|
||A. Cornelissen||Jerich Parzival||9.745||229|
||E. Farbrot||CC Royal||0.000||0|