World silver and Rio 2016 qualification for GB in Normandy

26 August 2014 / 21:30

Olympic and European champion Charlotte Dujardin insisted she’ll never get bored of performing on the biggest stages after a stunning ride helped Britain to team dressage silver and qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics at the World Equestrian Games.

Gareth Hughes and Carl Hester, the latter who claimed Olympic team gold with Dujardin at London 2012, put Britain into bronze medal position overnight, with the 29-year-old the last of the nations’ riders to compete after Michael Eilberg began the day.

On his world debut Eilberg was marred only by a couple of expensive mistakes aboard a slightly unsettled Half Moon Delphi as he posted a score of 71.886 per cent before Olympic and European champion Dujardin produced a stunning test aboard Valegro.

Dujardin and Valegro have a stunning resume and they added team silver from the World Equestrian Games to their portfolio after impressing the judges to secure a score of 85.271 in Normandy that was the best of any other rider in the field by nearly four per cent.

“I had such fun. I went out there to do my very best and wanted to try to get us into a medal position. Valegro did his best and I’m so lucky, as he has just felt fantastic all week,” she said.

“He did try to stop on the centre line but apart from that I was really, really happy. To go out there and get the welcome I got was fantastic. It’s such a great feeling to have that many people behind you.”

Germany finished with gold and the Netherlands bronze while Olympic champions Dujardin and Hester will bid to secure even more success for Britain when they return to the Normandy arena for the Grand Prix Special.

“As a team they only have two occasions to qualify for the Rio Olympics,” said Will Connell, the Chef de Mission of the British team at the World Equestrian Games.

“This is absolutely what we wanted and means that they have a two-year run in to the Olympics, during which time they can bring on young horses and don’t have to worry about qualification.

“What Charlotte did was truly outstanding, and along with her teammates, they have made the paving stones for the road to Rio.”

© Sportsbeat 2014