Hester on song claims more medals for British dressage at 2011 European Championships

Man of the moment, GB’s Carl Hester, had a miracle ride with the 10 year old stallion Uthopia to claim a second silver medal in today’s grand prix freestyle. The result crowns a stellar week for Hester and the dressage team who have enjoyed their most successful championship  after the team took the gold on Thursday for the first time in dressage history as well as silver and bronze in Saturday’s grand prix special.

Hester, who has burst onto the world stage with the rising dressage superstar that he co-owns with Sasha Stewart rode a wow test to a brand new music compilation for 84.179%. “The risk paid off, it was amazing” he declared. “It was the first time I’d ridden it and somehow we arrived in all the right places at all the right time. Six weeks ago he suddenly found a new gear and after Hickstead I knew we had to get serious and get new music. For such a young horse to do what he did here I couldn’t be happier with him, it’s so exciting.”

The result comes at a championship where the sport itself has reached new highs; each of the podium winners rode personal bests to take their titles in emphatic style. Yesterday’s champion Adelinde Cornelissen was the convincing winner for the home nation (NED) and rode a faultless test for 88.768% with Jerich Parzival. Swedish rider Patrick Kittel clinched the bronze with Watermill Scandic H.B.C on 83.429%, just 0.383 ahead of Britiain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris in fourth.

“Alf [Mistral Hojris] grew in ambition as the test went on” commented Laura. “I’m so proud of him that he was so cool and focused. It felt like one of the best music tests he’s done; maybe the marks didn’t quite reflect what I felt but it’s still been an amazing show for British dressage. For Carl to get another podium finish is fantastic.”

Amidst a week of top sport British riders have stamped their authority all over the 2011 FEI European Championships in Rotterdam. Newcomer to top level dressage,Charlotte Dujardin, has been the talk of the show and finished ninth on the nine year old Valegro riding in their first ever grand prix freestyle competition together for 79.357%

President of the ground jury Ghislain Fourage commented: “We have never seen so much quality at a competition as we have seen here in Rotterdam and Britain especially has surprised a lot of people. Carl and Charlotte, I would like to compliment them on their wonderful way of riding.”

The European Championships are the last senior dressage championship in Europe before next year’s Olympic Games in 2012. The hard won results here put Britain firmly on the map to be in the medal shakeup next year.



Posted on August 24, 2011, in News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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