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Germans Take Dressage Team Title


By Louise Parkes

Brilliant performances from Sonke Rothenberger (23) and Isabell Werth (49) secured the Helgestrand Dressage Team title for Germany at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA, Thursday, September 13. The defending champions threw down the gauntlet when Jessica von Bredow-Werndl’s (32) leading score with TSF Dalera BB was backed up by another great result from Dorothee Schneider (49) and Sammy Davis Jr. Their national anthem rang out across the US Trust Arena when their compatriots wrapped it up to secure their 12th victory in the 52-year history of the world Dressage championships, and their seventh in the eight editions of FEI World Equestrian Games™.

It was a gritty battle for silver and bronze, with only a whisper separating the British, Americans, and Swedes going into the closing stages. And it was the Swedes who lost out on a podium placing when Laura Graves’ last-to-go effort saw the host nation pin them back to fourth by an agonizing 0.15 points.

Werth has won more medals than any other athlete in equestrian sport, but this year’s WEG success with her beloved 14-year-old mare Bella Rose, who was already rising to the very top before suffering an injury in 2014 that put her out of action for more than three years, was something very special to her. She burst into tears after posting 84.829 to put the result beyond doubt with the biggest score of the competition.

Once Werth had settled the destiny of gold, it was a nervous wait for the British whose total score of 229.628 was already settled. The final riders from Sweden and USA could push them out of a medal placing, and Sweden’s Patrik Kittel came very close to doing just that when putting 78.199 on the board, but it wasn’t quite enough. When Graves and Verdades produced the second-best mark of the day, 81.537, the British had to settle for bronze. But Carl Hester (Hawtins Delicato), Charlotte Dujardin (Mount St John Freestyle), Emile Faurie (Dono di Maggio) and Spencer Wilton (Super Nova ll) were well-pleased with what they achieved with three exciting young horses on their team.

Graves was delighted to pull her country into silver medal spot, backed up by great performances from Steffen Peters (Suppenkasper), Adrienne Lyle (Salvino) and Kasey Perry-Glass (Goerklintgaards Dublet). “I was feeling a bit under the weather today, but adrenalin is an amazing thing, and this is an amazing team to ride on!” she said. 
From US Equestrian News
The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team secured the U.S. team Olympic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and earned the team silver medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018 on Thursday, September 13 following the conclusion of the Grand Prix. The team of Olympic veterans, Adrienne Lyle and Salvino, Laura Graves and Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet, and Steffen Peters with Suppenkasper, led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, were a force to be reckoned with to medal with a final score of 233.229 percent.

Germany won the team gold medal on a 242.935 percent, while Great Britain claimed the team bronze with a 229.628 percent.

Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover could not have asked for a better final team competition. “It’s been decades in this sport for me,” said Dover. “With these amazing athletes, both equine and human, next to me along with the greatest grooms, owners, sponsors, our support staff, and all the supporters behind these people, they make the ship float. The Germans were amazing, and they make us ride better. I’m so grateful to be with this amazing team.”

As the last combination of the day to enter the U.S. Trust Arena, Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) with Verdades, the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she owns with Curt Maes, were nearly foot perfect. Demonstrating brilliance in the pirouettes and piaffe down the final centerline, Graves and Verdades earned an individual score of 81.630 percent to confirm a podium finish for the U.S. team and a second-place qualification going into Friday’s Grand Prix Special.

“I’m really proud of what we, as a team were able to accomplish here,” said Graves. “I was feeling a bit under the weather and was nervous going in, but I’ve been laughing because adrenaline is an amazing thing. It’s a lot of pressure [to ride last] but it’s an amazing team to ride on because no one would hold a hard feeling, and we all know we are riding our best. We all know what we are capable of and we are going to push for that.”

Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) with Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, rode first for the U.S. in the final rotation of the Grand Prix, showcasing a special partnership with light aids and lots of power in the piaffe and earning a 76.739 percent.

“It felt great. [Goerklintgaards Dublet] was 100 percent in warm-up and I really felt like he brought the power to the test,” said Perry-Glass. “His changes are so big and sometimes he can get a little away from me and that’s what happened in the [tempi changes].”

Now focused on the Grand Prix Special, Perry-Glass commented on her and Goerklintgaards Dublet’s bond, saying “I’ve always known he’s a special horse. It was a matter of time until we figured it out. I’m excited for the week and for the [Grand Prix Special]. I’m going to go out and really push it tomorrow.”

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Salvino, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion, helped the team’s podium position on day one of the Grand Prix, earning a 74.891 percent. Four-time Olympic veteran Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) and Suppenkasper, Four Winds Farm’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding, were the first U.S. combination to start the competition and earned a respectable 73.494 percent. Peters and Suppenkasper’s effort would later be the drop score of the team. 

The top 30 competitors with a score of 60 percent or greater from the team competition will compete as individuals in the Grand Prix Special on Friday. Lyle, Graves, Perry-Glass, and Peters, all qualified.

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