Dressage heroes keen to boost medal haul

08 August 2012 / 15:31

Great Britain's dressage heroes are determined to make more Olympic history on Thursday when they fight it out to add individual gold to their unprecedented team title.

Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin on Tuesday became the latest members of Great Britain's London 2012 equestrian team to tear up the record books when they claimed the country's first ever dressage medal at a Games.

The fact it was gold - Britain's 20th overall at their home Olympics to better the 19 won in Beijing four years ago - made it all the sweeter. And it can get even better for the trio on Thursday when the champions return to the saddle at Greenwich Park and compete against the rest of the world - and each other.

Hester, Bechtolsheimer and Dujardin are all in contention going into the freestyle final but a 1-2-3 is unlikely, with Holland's Adelinde Cornelissen a major threat.

German-born Bechtolsheimer said: "If any of us make it onto the podium again, that would be just awesome for British dressage and the way the sport's developed in this country.

"We've got a gold. We don't want to get too greedy but, obviously, we'll all put in our best performance to try to make sure at least one or two of us do get onto the podium."

Dujardin is firm favourite to cap her meteoric rise in the sport by claiming double-gold on wonder-horse Valegro. The British record holder goes out last and is planning a show-stopping routine that will further whip up the patriotic fervour that has helped Team GB's equestrians already equal their best ever haul of three medals at a single Games.

Dujardin's choice of music is believed to include Land of Hope and Glory and the chimes of Big Ben. The 27-year-old, who has smashed world and Olympic records despite only making her grand prix debut at the start of 2011, was "looking forward" to having "fun" on Thursday..

And afterwards as well, with Dujardin and her team-mates electing to curtail Tuesday night's celebrations.

"We celebrated with our friends, families and owners, and we've obviously still got to compete tomorrow, so we didn't celebrate too hard," Dujardin said. "We're going to save that for when we get home."