Germany has set the dressage statistics back to normal, regaining the team world championship title on 241,7 points, leaving silver for Great Britain (231.343) and bronze for the Netherlands (227.4). It was a marathon finish towards the podium for the team medals in dressage at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Caen’s D’Ornano stadium, taking until the third-to-last competitor until the colour of the medals was decided.
Germany won their sixth world title on a safe margin, but Great Britain needed the double Olympic gold pair Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin to secure the silver with a faultless ride of 85.271 per cent. All competitors watching in the stand gave them a standing ovation when they left the stadium with the top individual result of the competition. “I wanted to show the judges that we can do it”, said a relieved Dujardin, who obviously has left every previous trouble with flying changes behind her.
The German team delivered a convincing performance to get back the title, matter-of-factly summed up by national coach Monica Theodorescu: “Three horses around 80 per cent. That is not so bad.” And she outlined the plan for the evening: “We will probably drink not only water.” After Kristina Sprehe had led the ranking of day 1, Isabell Werth took over to further cementing the WEG comeback where she had won six titles already. Her ten-year old chestnut mare Bella Rose put in a stunning test, brilliant especially in piaffe and passage. The “grande dame” of WEG showed it to world championship first timer Helen Langehanenberg, besting the favourite by 0.2 points after Damon Hill stopped to early at the last halt and jumped forward, leaving the stallion on at 81.357 points and third place. “He is clever and has done this test so often. He knows the routine and can read, write and count,” the vice European champion excused her partner of four big championships.
Dutch Adelinde Cornelissen had skipped the world cup tour in favour for the world championship. “You can’t be in top form over 365 days of the year.” That restriction has paid off, giving The Netherlands a bronze medal. The last rider out for the defending champions, she delivered a safe test without mistakes. “It could have had a bit more sparkle, but I’m happy.” The only combination left from the winning team of 2010, her score saved the Dutch team that had to overcome several exchanges of injured horses.
Steffen Peters could not keep a medal rank for the United States, ending on 222.714 points and what was “one of the best US-team results ever.” Peters and Legolas had a mistake in the flying changes, leaving them at 74.871 per cent. “We went for the all”, the team’s senior rider said after he had overcome a severe illness that has kept him away from Aachen.
The next placed three teams, Spain, Sweden and Denmark were separated only by 3,772 points, making dressage at D’Ornano stadium a long term thriller.
Top 5 teams
- Germany – 241.700
- Great Britain – 231.343
- Netherlands – 227.400
- USA – 222.714
- Spain – 221.800
Top individual ranking:
- Charlotte Dujardin (GBR)/Valegro (85.271)
- Isabell Werth (GER)/Bella Rose (81.529)
- Helen Langehanenberg (GER)/Damon Hill (81.357)
- Kristina Sprehe (GER)/Desperados (78.814)