Another thrilling day at Greenwich Park saw the British Dressage team of Carl Hester riding Uthopia, Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro and Laura Bechtolsheimer -Mistral Hojris, win a gold medal at the Olympics. As has been well reported in the news, this is the first olympic medal for the British in the dressage…..ever!
Carl Hester has led the way in British Dressage ever since he went to work as a rider for Dr ‘B’ – Laura Bechtolsheimer’s father, who rode on the British Team himself. Carl had many successes and multi national championship titles before setting up his own yard at Upleadon, nr Newent in Gloucestershire. He is one of the very best riders in the World and is probably the most popular too! He has such a wonderful attitude, sense of humour and charm.
Laura Bechtolsheimer has ridden for GB teams since a junior and like her 2 team mates, was in the team which won gold at the European Championships in 2011. Based in the Cotswolds at the family yard, she and Mistral Hojris need little introduction. She may have been a little disappointed with her first test score with ‘Alf’, but she put in two solid performances to help team GB to gold. There were 3 riders in each team and all 3 scores counted.
Carl’s 26 year old protege Charlotte Dujardin is incredibly talented and her meteoric rise to the top has been remarkable. She clinched the team gold medal with her 2 excellent dressage tests on Valegro, who is only 10 years old and, like Charlotte, has only been competing at Grand Prix for 18 months. Charlotte and Valegro were top of the leaderboard after the first GP test and Charlotte remained so cool riding into the arena for their Grand Prix Special test knowing that she had to gain a very high percentage for the British team to win. She did just that scoring over 83%, an even higher mark than for the first test, despite the pressure on her to bring the gold medal home!
On Thursday, all 3 riders compete in the Freestyle to Music to decide the individual medals. Lets hope we see more medals for team GB and that one of them is Gold.
See the full team results here: www.london2012.com/equestrian/event/dressage-team/phase=eqx401100/doc=results.html
and individual results here: www.london2012.com/equestrian/event/dressage-individual/index.html?v=20120807-170455816