WELLS’ VICTORY TAKES BRITAIN TO TOP OF THE MEDAL TABLE by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 10 October – Para Dressage rider Sophie Wells claimed Grade 4 Freestyle gold to put Great Britain at the top of the medal table as the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games came to a close at the Horse Park in Kentucky, USA today having attracted a massive attendance of over 500,000 spectators to the 16-day extravaganza. The British Para squad have been in fantastic form, scooping six individuals gold medals along with the team title. And Wells steered her 13 year old gelding Pinocchio to victory today despite a glitch in her test.
Belgium’s Michele George took silver with FBW Rainman ahead of The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar and Tiesto in bronze.
Wells’ test began well. “I was quite happy with my trot but then when I picked up the walk he came against me and my first movement was a compulsory, which was a simple change, and he stopped!” she explained. Now she had to make a quick decision. “I knew I had to find somewhere else in my plan where I could put in another simple change, so all the time I was going through my next movements I was trying to think where I could put it in, and I didn’t want to mess up my floor plan because it’s good and they give you marks for that as well – times three,” she explained.
UNBEATABLE BRITS TAKE TEAM GOLD ONCE AGAIN AS CHRISTIANSEN, VAN DE SANDE AND PEARSON CLAIM INDIVIDUAL TITLES by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 7 October – The British were in stunning form in the Para Dressage Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA, when winning the team title, taking a clean sweep of the medals in the Grade 1a Individual, and gold and silver in Grade 1b. It was The Netherlands Petra Van de Sande who put a stop to their gallop when winning Grade 2 ahead of Germany’s Britta Napel, while Denmark’s Caroline Cecilie Nielsen took bronze.
Britain’s Para Dressage record is outstanding – they have never been beaten in the battle for the World title since taking team gold on their home turf in Hartpury in 1991. But their shining star, the formidable Lee Pearson who predictably also took the Grade 1b gold in convincing fashion today, said tonight that the standard of the sport is improving rapidly and that he and his team-mates no longer have the advantage they have grown accustomed to – the margins are getting tighter all the time.