Britain proved today that they still have the edge and remain the team to beat when it comes to Para-Equestrian Dressage. Indeed, as Britain’s first all-female quintet scooped team gold and 5 of the 15 available medals in the individual test, with three of the grades won by a British rider, there was little doubt left that they are in a league of their own.
Anne Dunham, Great Britain’s most experienced Para-Equestrian Dressage rider who has participated in every Para-Equestrian Dressage event of the Paralmypics since it was introduced on the programme in 1996 went on to win her 15th and 16th gold medals at a Championship (Paralympic, World and European), while new member to the British squad, Natasha Baker, convincingly took gold in Grade II. At just 21 years of age, Natasha is a passionate and determined professional, with four horses on the go and plans for Rio 2016. She has been on a gold medal spree since the beginning of the year, with gold at the national Championships in June, followed by more gold in Hartpury in July and then a spot on the British squad for the Europeans here in Moorsele. She has her sights clearly set one of the few spots on the British squad for 2012, but will be up against some tough competition.
“It’s been a thrilling year for Great Britain to have achieved the success that we have in both Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage. We have exceeded all expectations and now have to focus on getting ready for 2012, both in terms of preparing our athletes and also preparing to host the world’s best equestrians”, said Amanda Bond, Chief Executive of British Dressage, following today’s prize giving ceremony.
Sterling Silver for Denmark
Denmark were thrilled with three silver medals today - the all-important and first team silver medal at a Para-Equestrian Championship; silver for Denmark’s youngest team member Stinna Tange Kaastrup (DEN) & Labbenhus Snovs in Grade Ib and silver for Henrik Weber Sibbesen & Rexton Royal in Grade IV. For Denmark, already qualified for the 2012 Paralmypic Games following the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, today’s result was confirmation that they are on track and a force to be reckoned.
Focus on the Freestyle
With team bronze, gold for Hannelore Brenner and Women of the World in Grade III and Britta Napel’s silver medal in Grade II, Germany may have hoped for a better team result but are conscious more than ever of the growing talent and ambition within the Para-Equestrian community.
“It’s a really important competition and to win a medal against such a strong field of competitors is a dream come true” said Britta following her silver medal performance in the Individual test today. “
The Championships come to a close tomorrow with the Freestyle competition and a whole new set of medals and opportunities…
Gold – Great Britain (Anne Dunham & Teddy; Emma Sheardon & Purdy's Dream; Deborah Criddle & LJT Akilles; Sophie Wells & Valerius)
Silver – Denmark (Stinna Tange Kaastrup & Labbenhus Snovs; Caroline Cecile Nielsen & Leon; Henrik Weber Sibbesen & Rexton Royal; Line Thorning Jorgensen & Di Caprio)
Bronze – Germany (Britta Napel & Aquilana; Angelika Trabert & Ariva Avanti; Hannelore Brenner & Women of the World; Lena Weifen & Don Turner)
Individual Grade Ia
Gold – Anne Dunham (GBR) & Teddy
Silver – Emma Sheardon (GBR) & Purdy's Dream
Bronze – Helen Kearney (IRL) & Mister Cool
Individual Grade Ib
Gold - Pepe Puch (AUT) & Good Boy’s Feeling
Silver - Stinna Tange Kaastrup (DEN) & Labbenhus Snovs
Bronze – Jens Lasse Dokan (NOR) & Sisco
Individual Grade II
Gold - Natasha Baker (GBR) & Cabral
Silver - Britta Napel (GER) & Aquilana
Bronze – Petra Van de Sande (NED) & Valencia Z
Individual Grade III
Gold – Hannelore Brenner (GER) & Women of the World
Silver - Deborah Criddle (GBR) & LJT Akilles
Bronze – José Letartre (FRA) & Warina ene HN
Individual Grade IV
Gold – Sophie Wells (GBR) & Valerius
Silver - Henrik Weber Sibbesen (DEN) & Rexton Royal
Bronze – Frank Hosmar (NED) & Tiseto