The Netherlands has stormed to victory in the FEI European Championships, with its riders seeing off 22 years of German dominance in the team dressage competition phase to take gold at Aachen.
Great Britain took the silver medal, with its anchor rider Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro to the head of the individual leaderboard with an impressive 83.029, while Germany took the bronze medal.
The host nation were hotly tipped to claim the dressage team title for the 23rd time, but the Dutch proved they were still very much a force to be reckoned with.
With The Netherland’s Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover N.O.P. posting 82.229% the team medals were all to be decided as the final rider, the host nation’s Kristina Broring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH, entered the arena. As a score of 79.743% was confirmed, the medals were decided – gold to The Netherlands (235.629), silver to Great Britain (234.229) and bronze to Germany (230.914) – with less than 5% separating the top three nations.
Edward Gal, who is second in the individual rankings, said: “It was amazing to win, especially in Germany, in Aachen. I don’t think anybody really expected it and for us to win, but now we have we are extra extra happy! We have a great team, our spirit is good.”
Britain’s Chef d’Equipe Richard Waygood said: “What a fantastic day for the sport it was very exciting right up until the end; we’re very proud of all our riders. We’ve got some great potential for next year and it’s going to make the Olympics very exciting.”
This was the final opportunity for European teams not qualified for next year’s Olympic Games to achieve qualification; the nations cementing their place following Thursday’s competition are: Spain, Sweden and France.
German team bronze medalist Isabell Werth said: “Being on the podium again was great but to be honest we had another goal which was gold, third isn’t bad but being at home we really wanted gold.”
The top 30 riders from the Grand Prix qualify for the Grand Prix Special on Saturday.
Final Team Dressage Results
2. GREAT BRITAIN
7. RUSSIAN FEDERATION
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