Dressage gold as GB beat Beijing haul

07 August 2012 / 17:28

Great Britain's dressage riders won team gold and landed their first title in Olympic history.

Barely 24 hours after the British showjumping team clinched a first gold medal for 60 years, the dressage trio of Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin also triumphed at Greenwich Park.

Britain had never previously won an Olympic dressage medal, which underlines the magnitude of their achievement and the comprehensive victory gave Britain a total of 20 golds at one Games, a post-war record that eclipses the haul in Beijing four years ago.

Britain went into the Games as team title favourites and they delivered by the bucket-load in the grand prix special - the second part of the team test - as Hester broke Dutch star Anky van Grunsven's Olympic record on Uthopia, before his training partner Dujardin bettered his score just 90 minutes later.

With Bechtolsheimer delivering a solid performance in between, Britain proved uncatchable, with Germany second and Holland third.

Britain finished on a score of 79.97% - the team scores from both team tests are averaged out to give the final result - while Germany posted 78.21% and Holland 77.12%.

It meant that Germany's run of seven successive Olympic team titles came to an end.

Hester told BBC 1: "Both those girls are cool customers. Charlotte is unbelievable for the amount of time she's been riding, and the horse is also unbelievable - he's the best horse in the world.

"As with every sport that has won a gold medal at this Games, it has just shot our sport into a totally different league.

"To come to an Olympics where we were possibly expected to get a gold medal gave me a frightening feeling, and I quite enjoyed it. I am looking forward to it all being over, to get the individual competition out of the way now, but it's a truly special minute for everyone in British dressage."