Germans Take Dressage Gold

Isabell Werth, fifth gold medal
Credit : Iconscoop

Friday 12 August - 21h35 | Lulu Kyriacou

Germans Take Dressage Gold

The German dressage team  re-established what was once their traditional position on the top of the dressage world as they took the team gold medal in Rio.  Isabell Werth led the team with the confidence of a former champion and gained her fifth Olympic gold for her efforts.  The margin of victory was approximately 5% over the British with the USA in third. The Dutch were fourth but never really recovered from the withdrwal of their fourth team member.  

The discard score riders for Germany and Great Britain, Sonke Rothernberger (Cosmo) and Spencer Wilton (Super Nova) both rode competent tests but their scores would only count if there ws a a disaster with one of their team mates.  But Dorothea Schneider laid down the gauntlet to the 2012 winners with a sparkling test on  Showtime, which propelled her to the top of the leader board. Fiona Bigwood rode a very decent test but had a resistance in part of the piaffe work and a small mistake in the walk and another in the two time changes that were expensive in comparison and prevented her closing in on Dorothea Schneider  who had scored 82.619%, one of the few riders to improve her Grand Prix score.  81.26 was the score for Kristina  Brohing Sprehe and Desperado which extended the German overall lead  but Carl Hester was doing well to close the gap  until a mistake in his last pirouette lowered his average to 76.4 % which allowed the Germans to extend their lead.  Isabell Werth has won a gold medal at every Olympics she has competed at and although her mare Weihegold  is young for the level and her third choice ride (Werth's two more experienced rides were both injured) they looked like gold medallists from start to finish.  83.711% extended the German lead which would mean Charlotte Dujardin wold need to do something extraordinary to give the British the gold.  But a mistake in the first half pass and another in the  two time changes saw all hope of defending the title disappear.  83.025% was a an excellent score but not enough to depose the Germans.
The fight for Bronze took a dramatic turn when Steffan Peters made one or two serious errors on Legolas to give the three man Dutch team  a slight advantage and leaving their medal chances entirely in the hands of Laura Graves who would need to score at least 76% to be sure of clinching the bronze for the USA. Graves rode boldly and was clean almost throughout the test on Vedadis with just a couple of small mistakes in the closing movements  to score 80.36 % and take the bronze  from the Dutch.
The full result is here

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