Great Britain wins European team gold ahead of Germany and Denmark

September 7. 2023

Great Britain wins European team gold ahead of Germany and Denmark



In the end it was not the double World Champion Charlotte Fry who led the British to gold with her wonder Glamourdale, but the triple Olympic Champion Charlotte Dujardin with her only ten-year-old Imhotep alias "Pete". But the gap to the Germans was very close after a once again brilliant performance by Jessica von Bredow-Werndl with her Olympic champion TSF Dalera BB: 242.220 to 239.674 points. Bronze went to Denmark with 228.727 points. Nanna Skodborg Merrald with Zepter, the strongest pair and also considered as individual medal candidates, had expensive slip-ups today. But with 78.556 percent they were still fourth in the individual ranking.

With 82.422 percent, Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep had taken the lead, upon which Charlotte Dujardin commented: "At the end I was really, really emotional! Maybe because I'm a mother now. That's what Dressage is all about: riding in there, feeling it and riding the test from start to finish."

The only ones who could top that today were Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB, who recorded a new personal best with 84.612 percent. She took it in her stride that it still wasn't enough for gold: "Everyone rode super! More was not possible here today. We can't do more than our best. The British are just abnormally strong."

Because in addition to Charlotte Dujardin, there were also the double World Champions Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale, who did not have their best day today ("I think he had a bit of a stallion show vibe"), but despite faults, still came third with 81.258 percent. Can World Championship individual gold can be joined by European Championship individual gold? "You never know."

After all, Carl Hester is also the trainer of two of his teammates (Charlotte Dujardin and Gareth Hughes) and once again pulled a medal horse out of the hat with the 13-year-old Fame. His student Fiona Bigwood owns the stallion ("But he doesn't know he's a stallion," Hester said), but didn't have enough time for him and asked Carl if he wanted to ride him. That was in the spring. Now the pair are European team champions and were fifth in the individual standings with 78.540 percent, also a Personal Best.

Pair number four of the team was Gareth Hughes and his reliable Classic Briolinca, now 17-years-old. After silver at the 2022 World Championships, it was the second team medal for the pair and the first gold. What does it mean to him? Gareth Hughes almost had tears in his eyes when he described what an honour it was for him to be able to ride in this team. He himself had put in a solid score of 74.565 percent, which put him in twelfth place.

The last time the British had won European Championship gold was in Rotterdam in 2011. It was Charlotte Dujardin's first championship. A year later, God Save the Queen (at that time) rang out at the London Olympics. A good omen for the Olympic Games in Paris. What is the goal there? Charlotte Dujardin said: "Gold!". But Jessica von Bredow-Werndl counters: "Our goal is to be stronger next year."


Quotes from the Silver and Bronze Medal Winners:

Monica Theodorescu, Head Coach of Germany:

Feedback on the past two days:

'I am very, very happy with how our horses performed, how our four riders conducted themselves, and completed the competition. Each one performed better than the other, two personal bests, and all in an outstanding manner. Young horses, a returning rider as a reserve, and they were all excellent from start to finish. I'm absolutely thrilled with it.'


What makes you optimistic about the Olympics in 2024?

'Yes, last year we were third, so if that's the chronology, that would be nice. But we have a lot of work ahead of us. We have the horses, we have the riders, we have the potential, and horses that have recently entered Grand Prix with a lot of potential. Matthias still has one with great quality. Isabell still has horses that are developing. Jessi also has fantastic young horses that are already competing in Grand Prix. Of course, Fendi, our first and thankfully only withdrawal, has already proven his quality through the Louisdor and the qualification process. I could list a few more: Katharina Hemmer, who stepped in as a reserve and showed great promise in the training camp. There is a lot of potential in this direction, horse and rider are a good match, and I also want to mention our next squad rider, Bianca Nowag-Aulenbrock, who joined the team this year and has already made a significant international impact with her excellent, refined riding, consistently presenting the horse beautifully, in accordance with classical riding principles. So, it's a lot of fun!'


Regarding the British team? What do they do differently?

'I don't think they do much differently. They simply ride very well and very correctly. Everyone has a perfect seat and influence; nothing moves, the aids are almost invisible. The horses respond to the finest aids, even if some horses may not have the absolute top quality. But good riding is rewarded! And that's exactly how it should be.'


You mentioned that defending the title is the goal. But with these four fantastic rides, you must still be satisfied?

'I am absolutely delighted. And I've just explained what hopefully still lies within us, where we still have some room for improvement. We definitely have that. I only have influence over our riders and horses, and they all did very well. There were almost no mistakes, just minor ones, but no changes of hand, no disrupted pirouettes or piaffes, really no major blunders. And two personal bests, what more could you ask for? So, it's really fantastic, and everyone has absorbed the atmosphere well, taken it with them, and been carried by it. Yes, it can continue like this.'


Anne-Mette Binder, Team Manager of Denmark:

How satisfied are you with the bronze medal?

'100 percent, because we came here with three relatively new combinations. Of course, they are experienced riders, but - except for Carina Cassøe Krüth, who was at the Herning 2022 with Danciera - horses that are still new to championships. The fact that they showed themselves as a team today: I am truly 100 percent satisfied.'"


Results Thursday

FEI Para Dressage European Championship - Team Grade III

  1. Tobias Thorning Joergensen (DEN), Jolene Hill 77.434%
  2. Melanie Wienand (GER), Lemony’s Loverboy 73.933%
  3. Chiara Zenati (FRA), Swing Royal Ifce 72.767%


FEI Para Dressage European Championship - Team Grade II

  1. Heidemarie Dresing (GER), Horse24 Dooloop 77.567%
  2. Georgia Wilson (GBR), Sakura 74.167%
  3. Ann Cathrin Lübbe (NOR), La Costa Majlund 72.667%


FEI Para Dressage European Championship - Team Grade I

  1. Sara Morganti (ITA), Mariebelle 78.250%
  2. Rihards Snikus (LAT), King Of The Dance 77.583%
  3. Michael Murphy (IRL), Cleverboy 75.792%


FEI Dressage European Championship Grand Prix de Dressage Part B

  1. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER), TSF Dalera BB 84.612%
  2. Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), Imhotep 82.422%
  3. Charlotte Fry (GBR), Glamourdale 81.258%
  4. Nanna Skodborg Merrals (DEN), Blue Hors Zepter 78.556%
  5. Carl Hester (GBR), Fame 78.540%

Team Ranking

  1. Great Britain 242.220
  2. Germany 239.674
  3. Denmark 228.727