GERMANY won team gold in dressage for the 14th time in Tokyo today after a masterful display from three of the best riders in the sport. They have now won nine of the last ten Olympic team titles, denied only by Britain at London in 2012.
Dorothee Schneider, Isabell Werth and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl were close to perfect when they edged the USA into team silver, while Britain picked up the bronze.
A fascinating day of competition, the standings changed as it went on, but Germany never faulted, holding on to the top place all the way through. All three Germans scored above 80% with von Bredow-Werndl once again topping the scores with TSF Dalera (84.66%).
The Americans overtook Britain in the last line of riders when Sabine Schut-Kery and the stunning Sanceo scored a personal best of 81.59%. When Britain’s anchor rider Charlotte Dujardin scored slightly lower than expected with the inexperienced Gio (79.54%), the silver went the way of the USA.
The silver medal-winning USA dressage team of Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games \ Tomas Holcbecher
In the first group, Carl Hester boosted Britain’s chances with an improved score of 78.34% with En Vogue. Schneider and Showtime also improved from their Grand Prix test, although the 15-year-old gelding wasn’t perfect with a mistake in the extended trot, but scores of 10 for their passage and halt saw them score 80.21%. USA rider Adrienne Lyle got her team off to a good start with a 76.10% aboard Salvino.
World number one Isabell Werth was Germany’s second line rider with her loyal 17-year-old mare Bella Rose 2. Their test was littered with scores of 10, most coming for the ultra-impressive piaffe/passage movements. A score of 83.2% kept Germany out in front in gold medal position.
Twenty-five-year-old Charlotte (Lottie) Fry was next to go for Britain with the exuberant and excitable 12-year-old stallion Everdale. They made an expensive mistake breaking into canter early on in the test with the marks dropping from eights to fours, but later rebuilt, with some excellent movements, from a low of 73% back up to plus 76%. Their final score was 76.85% to keep Britain in the hunt for a silver medal.
USA’s Steffan Peters (Suppenkasper) and Denmark’s Carina Cassøe Krüth (Heiline's Danciera) both scored 77.76% which kept the USA just fractions ahead in the race for bronze and it was all to play for with the last line riders, who went in reverse order of merit.
Sabine Schut-Kery, a former exhibition rider at her first Olympic Games, pulled out an incredible performance, blitzing her predicted score, to heap the pressure on Britain’s reigning Olympic champion Dujardin, who had to score an 80.4% at least to keep her team ahead of the USA. Despite an overall lovely test, an expensive mistake in the one-time changes was a drag on their final score of 79.54%.
Just as she had done in the Grand Prix, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl wowed the judges and landed the highest score of 84.66%.
Charlotte Dujardin and Gio at the Tokyo Olympic Games \ Tomas Holcbecher
GOLD Germany (8,178)
SILVER USA (7,747)
BRONZE Britain (7,723)
4 Denmark (7,540)
5 The Netherlands (7,479)
6 Sweden (7,210)
7 Spain (7,198)
8 Portugal (6,965)
MORE TO FOLLOW AND EXTENSIVE COVERAGE FROM TOKYO 2020 IN SATURDAY’S THE IRISH FIELD.