Germany Takes Olympic Dressage Team Gold for 14th Time, USA Silver for Only 2nd Time, Great Britain Bronze

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The United States dressage team of Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery showing off silver medals. © 2021 Lily Forado for dressage-news.com

July 27, 2021

Germany on Tuesday won Olympic dressage team gold for the 14th time while the United States took silver for only the second time in history and Great Britain earned bronze at the Tokyo Games.

Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo and Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper on the American team with Adrienne Lyle on Salvino posted personal best scores to capture silver–the only previous time was in London in 1948–to overtake Britain and withstand a strong challenge from Denmark.

Sabine’s score of 81.596% was the pair’s first result above 80% in the Special and came after a personal best in the Grand Prix in the first Olympics for the 52-year-old rider who lives in California’s Napa Valley. Her score was the third highest individual result, behind only the top two German combinations. She has been partnered with the Hanoverian stallion now 14 years old since the horse was young, competing at the World Young Horse Championships in 2012 and then on the gold medal team at small tour in the 2015 Pan American  Games.

She said “it was quite intense” to wait through the rest of the rides after her result. I’m so proud of my horse, my team, my owners, the coaches. It’s been a really, really great experience. I think I’m still a little bit speechless. I’m happy and thrilled.

“I just want to go to my horse and give him carrots.”

The smile of Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo says it all! Personal best score and first above 80%, 3rd individually in the Grand Prix Special and the top scoring U.S. combination that gave America silver at thw Tokyo Olympic team Grand Prix Special

This was Steffen’s fifth Olympics–on Udon for bronze in 1996, Ravel in 2008 and 2012, Legolas for bronze in 2016 and now silver on Suppenkasper, the 13-year-old KWPN gelding that Akiko Yamazaki and her husband, Jerry Yang, bought specially for the Tokyo Games where Akiko’s mother lives.

There was so much at stake, he said, later that he pushed Suppenkasper, nicknamed Mopsie, more than in the Grand Prix to qualify for the team event.

“Sometimes the reality becomes better than your dreams” he said. “We were dreaming of the bronze medal and almost couldn’t believe we have the silver medal. All three horse could not make one single mistake. We all knew one mistake could put us in the bronze medal, or not even in the medals. For me to experience this after five Olympic Games and witnessing the last two minutes sobbing tears watching Sabine’s test and joining Adrienne at the same time was an incredible moment. That I can still get so emotional about this at 57 years old shows how bad I really enjoy and want this.”

Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper had every reason to celebrate after posting a personal best score that helped the United States earn silver in the Tokyo Olympic team Grand Prix Special. © Lily Forado for dressage-news.com

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl  on TSF Dalera led Germany to victory while Isabell Werth on Bella Rose claimed her 11th Olympic medal as the most successful equestrian in history and place her within the top tier of Olympic medalists in all sports. Along with Dorothee Schneider on Showtime, the German team was the same as won European Championships team gold and the three combinations swept the Freestyle.

The new format for Olympic competition paid off in creating uncertainty until the final four rides of the eight teams of three riders and horses.

Adrienne Lyle, 36, of Wellington, Florida on Salvino, 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion, were third in the first group behind Britain and Germany.

Steffen, 56, of San Diego, California moved the U.S. with second place in the second group but overall still behind Germany and Britain.

In the final grouping, Cathrine Dufour on Bohemian were fourth last to go and set a high bar.

However, the German-born Sabine and Sanceo produced the ride of a career with a score of 81.596%–their previous best was 77.468% set in Florida in February–that guaranteed bronze with silver possible.

Olympic gold medal rider Charlotte Dujardin on Gio, a KWPN gelding although just 10 years old and with only one previous international Grand Prix Special on their resume, did not match the result of Sabine and Sanceo.

The only other U.S. team to win silver was in London in 1948, three years after World War II, and was made up of Army cavalry riders as were most competitors in dressage before that time.

The Grand Prix Freestyle of 18 combinations to decide individual medals is scheduled for Wednesday.

Team results:

Rank Country Athletes Total
1.   Germany Dorothee Schneider Isabell Werth Jessica von Bredow-Werndl 8,178.00
2.   United States Adrienne Lyle Steffen Peters Sabine Schut-Kery 7,747.00
3.   Great Britain Carl Hester Charlotte Fry Charlotte Dujardin 7,723.00
4.   Denmark Nanna Skodborg Merrald Carina Cassoe Kruth Cathrine Dufour 7,540.00
5.   Netherlands Marlies van Baalen Hans Peter Minderhoud Edward Gal 7,479.50
6.   Sweden Antonia Ramel Juliette Ramel Therese Nilshagen 7,210.00
7.   Spain Severo Jurado Lopez Jose Antonio Garcia Mena Beatriz Ferrer-Salat 7,198.50
8.   Portugal Maria Caetano Joao Miguel Torrao Rodrigo Torres 6,965.50

Individual scores: GP Special Results