October 10, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Riders from Great Britain and Germany dominated the freestyle in all five grades of the Para Dressage World Championships at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Today’s competition decided the grade IV champion, and it was Great Britain’s Sophie Wells on Pinocchio (78.50%).
Gold-medal winners over the last few days include Germany’s Hannelore Brenner on Women Of The World (79.20%) in grade III, Germany’s Dr. Angelika Trabert on Ariva-Avanti (75.90%) in grade II, Great Britain’s Lee Pearson on Gentleman (82.50%) in grade Ib, and Great Britain’s Emma Sheardown on Purdy’s Dream (78.55%) in grade Ia.
“He was a little bit more energetic than normal, so I decided not to go in with a whip, and that was very abnormal, so I was taking a risk from the beginning, really,” said Wells. “When I picked up the walk he came against me and he stopped and then I thought ‘Oh my gosh I need to find somewhere else in my plan where I can put in another simple change’. So all the time when I was going through my next movements I was trying to think where I could put it in.” Pearson created his top-scoring freestyle just for this competition.
October 5, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Great Britain, the team expected to win the gold medal at the Para Dressage World Championships, has taken the lead halfway through the team competition. Germany stands second, with the Netherlands third and Denmark fourth.
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games mark the first time that para dressage has been part of the World Games.
“[The British team hasn’t] lost a gold medal at a major championship since the sport started, so there is a lot pressure,” said Sophie Christiansen of the British team, whose score of 69.41 percent in grade Ia team test on Rivaldo Of Berkeley aided the British effort. “I went to [the 2004 Athens Paralympics] at 16, so I know how to deal with the pressure. We have so much support, and that gives us Brits the upper hand.”
October 7, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Great Britain continued its historical domination of the Para Dressage World Championships by taking the team gold, and sweeping all three individual medals in the Grade Ia division, as well as the individual gold and silver in grade Ib. These medals follow yesterday’s gold-medal performance by Sophie Wells, bringing to seven the total British medal count in para dressage at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Leading the British charge was Sophie Christiansen, 22, who took individual gold in the grade Ia test with a score of 76.100 percent and provided a crucial score for her team. Christiansen was overcome when her score was announced.
“My trainer decided I should ride for longer today. I normally ride for 15 minutes, and today I rode for 30 minutes,” she said. “I’m so happy with him because he just took care of me. That score is the highest I’ve ever gotten in the individual test. The feeling afterward is so wonderful. I was so nervous this morning!”
October 6, 2010 – Lexington, KY – British riders have traditionally dominated the medals at the Para Dressage World Championships, and Sophie Wells lived up to that history by taking individual gold in the grade IV individual test, aboard the flashy chestnut Dutch Warmblood, Pinocchio. Her score of 71.677 percent gave her the definitive lead over the Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar, and Denmark’s Henrik Weber Sibbesen at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“I was quite pleased with my test,” said Wells, 20. “ My horse was a little difficult to warm up, but I thought that the trot work was actually quite good. He came against me a little bit when I picked up the canter after the walk, but then he came back to me again, which was good. When we were in here on Monday, he was quite distracted by the open corners, but today he was much better.”
Hosmar, 42, was equally thrilled with his score of 70.129 percent aboard his bay Dutch Warmblood Tiesto.