Germany Wins World Games Team Dressage Gold, Great Britain Silver, Netherlands Bronze, USA 4th
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
CAEN, France, Aug. 26, 2014–Germany won the World Equestrian Games dressage team gold medal Tuesday, led by Isabell Werth and the spectacular Bella Rose with Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro winning the Grand Prix to give Great Britain silver and the Netherlands took the bronze.
Steffen Peters on Legolas and Laura Graves on Verdades led the United States to a surprising fourth place finish, with Spain in fifth and Sweden sixth.
The three medal teams of Germany, Netherlands and Britain qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The United States and Canada will have to compete at the Pan American Games in Toronto a year to start in Rio. European nations who did not qualify here have the championships in Aachen, Germany to seek to win a starting place in Rio while countries outside Europe and the Amercias can qualify in other events.
The Grand Prix Special of the top 30 combinations from the Grand Prix is scheduled for Wednesday, starting at 0930 Central European time (8:30 am British time, 3:30 am US Eastern time, 5:30 pm Australian Eastern time). Individual medals will be awarded as they will be for the Grand Prix Freestyle of the best 15 horses and riders (no more than three from a single nation) on Friday.
Germany as expected was totally dominant on a total score of 241.700 with both Isabell on Bella Rose at 81.529 per cent and Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW at 81.357 per cent, the first time in world championship or Olympic hstory that two combinations from the same nation scored above 80 per cent.
Charlotte and Valegro, had a nearly flawless ride for the highest score of the day, 85.271 per cent, shy of her world record but enough to move Great Britain up to the silver medal position on 231.343.
Valegro, she said, felt so good in the warmup, that: “Oh, my God. He feels too good out here. He went in and really did perform.”
Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival’s score of 79.629 per cent for fourth place individually could not overcomethe absence of Glock’s Undercover that was injured and Edward Gal switched to Glock’s Voice an Danielle Heijkoop’s Kingsley Siro also was hurt and had to pull out and be replaced by a reserve combination. Holland ended up with 227.400.
Germany’s dominance at this world championship comes after five years of being overshadowed by the Netherlands led by Edward Gal on Totilas won gold at the 2010 WEG in Kentucky, while Britain claimed their first ever Olympic medal when they won gold in London.
Isabell, who scored the first 80 per cent of her career on the 10-year-old mare just two months ago and Tuesday’s result surpassed that, described Bella Rose as a “diamond.”
She found Bella Rose as a three-year-old and, “it was clear from the beginning she was special by her charisma and attitude. She has become a diamond. I’ve been lucky enough in my career to have two other diamonds–Gigolo and Satchmo.”
All the horses, she said, cannot be Bella Rose–“you also have to have the Warum Nichts, Don Johnsons, El Santos and Der Sterns, to keep you in the sport. If you’re lucky you get a Bella Rose.”
Grand Prix — Team & Individual