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Dressage Team Gold for Germany - FEI European Championships 2017


Cathrine Dufour (DEN) riding Atterupgaards Cassidy (Photo FEI/Claes Jakobsson)

Dorothee Schneider (GER) (Photo FEI/Claes Jakobsson)

Helen Langehanenberg (GER) - 635 Damsey FRH (Photo FEI/Claes Jakobsson)
by Louise Parkes

Team Germany showed that they most definitely have the bit between their teeth once again when following up their Rio 2016 Olympic team victory to claim their 23rd Dressage team title at the Longines FEI European Championships 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden, August 22, 2017.

Already in the lead after the first two team-members completed their Grand Prix tests, they inched ever-closer to that top step of the podium when third-line rider Sonke Rothenberger (22) took his turn with Cosmo. This is a partnership that has matured splendidly, and such was the quality of their work that they posted 78.343 to become the new leaders, despite a spooky moment and a mistake in the tempi changes. Rothenberger’s score brought the German total to 227.915, so victory was already well within their grasp long before anchor rider Isabell Werth (45) came into the ring.

Meantime a battle was raging between neighbors Denmark and Sweden for silver and bronze, with that result finally sealed by a very special performance from Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour. Riding the 14-year-old Atterupgaards Cassidy, which she has partnered since her Junior years, the 25-year-old sparkled for a score of 78.300 which put the result beyond doubt. Denmark had not been on a European medal podium since 2001 so there was plenty to celebrate along with team-mates Anna Kasprzak, Anna Zibrandtsen and Agnete Kirk Thinggaard.

For Sweden it was their fourth team bronze. Rose Mathisen, Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven, Therese Nilshagen and Patrik Kittel were all riding horses that still have something to learn so Chef d’Equipe, Bo Jena, rightly admitted to feeling “really proud” of them.

Carl Hester (Nip Tuck) made a valiant effort to claw back a podium place for the beleaguered British team who were always compromised once reduced to a three-member side, and his score of 74.900 placed him individually fifth. But Team GB finished two percentage places behind the Swedish bronze medalists, while the defending champions from The Netherlands lined up fifth.

Last to ride into the ring, it was only a matter of putting the icing on the German cake as Olympic silver medalists Isabell Werth and her fabulous mare Weihegold swaggered their way through a lovely test that demoted team-mate Rothenberger to runner-up spot in the individual rankings, while Denmark’s Dufour finished third and Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg (35) and Dorothee Schneider (48) slotted into fourth and six spots respectively. The top 30 riders now go through to Friday’s (August 25) Grand Prix Special.

In Friday’s Grand Prix Special, Germany’s Isabell Werth (45) and her lovely mare Weihegold waltzed their way to gold at the Longines FEI European Championships 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden. But the doyenne of world Dressage was chased to the line by compatriot, Sonke Rothenberger (22), who joined her on the top step of the team podium on Wednesday, while Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour (25) produced a brilliant performance to claim bronze. 
Individual Results:
1.     Weihegold OLD (Isabell Werth) GER – 83.743
2.     Cosmo (Sonke Rothenberger) GER – 78.343
3.     Atterupgaards Cassidy (Catherine Dufour) DEN – 78.300

Team Results:
1.     Germany – 237.072
2.     Denmark – 224.643
3.     Sweden – 221.143

Grand Prix Special Results:
1.     Weihegold OLD (Isabell Werth) GER – 83.613
2.     Cosmo (Sonke Rothenberger) GER – 82.479
3.     Atterupgaards Cassidy (Catherine Dufour) DEN – 79.762

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