Germany wins gold and silver in Grand Prix Special

Carl Hester Grand Prix Special
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Germany continues to dominate the dressage at the European Championships, taking gold and silver in the Grand Prix Special.

Brilliant performance

Isabell Werth and Weihegold once again topped the leaderboard, scoring 82.61. Team mate Sonke Rothenberger was just behind her on 82.47 to take silver.

Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour produced a brilliant performance on Atterupgaards Cassidy to claim bronze with a score 79.76.

Carl Hester wasn’t far behind the leaders, and his score of 76.722% put him in fifth place.

Go for it!

Carl said he didn’t expect to medal in the Grand Prix Special, but achieved his aim of finishing in the top five. This means he will compete in the last group in tomorrow’s Freestyle when he plans to ‘really go for it’.

“He was brilliant!” said Carl. “I couldn’t be more happy with him. The special isn’t really his test but his extended trot work was better today. We slightly changed the warm up and did more trot than normal, I hardly cantered. He really relaxed and was nice to ride with just the right amount of excited but chilled. He was totally with me.

“Let’s hope for a good draw now. I’m looking forward to it as we have a difficult Freestyle and I believe he can medal if he’s like he was today.”


Spencer and Super Nova II finished sixth, just behind Carl so he also has a place in the Freestyle. ‘Neville’ missed the fourth of the nine one time changes on the centre line, but Spencer was quick to correct him and get back on track.

“He was a good boy today,” said Spencer after the test. “He felt a lot more at ease in the arena and more confident and as a rider I have to be pleased with that. He really tried and I’m delighted to get a mark like that, even with a mistake.”

Emile Faurie was disappointed to score 70.84% with Lollipop 126. The pair started well, but there were a few green mistakes alongside some very correct work.

Quite a character

“He felt more alert in there today which caught me out a little bit,” said Emile. “He’s only done one Special and he got a bit ahead of me, he can be a bit cheeky like that.

“But I’m thrilled with him considering his inexperience. I just love riding him, he’s quite a character and so much fun!”

In the Freestyle tomorrow (26 August) Spencer will be riding a routine featuring music from Justin Timberlake and Adele, which he’s only ridden once. Carl is sticking with his technical floorplan set to music from the hit TV show Mr Selfridge, which gave them bronze at this year’s FEI World Cup Final in Omaha.

Don’t worry if you missed today’s dressage as we are showing highlights of Grand Prix Special and tomorrow’s Freestyle on H&C TV.

FEI Europeans 2017: Dressage (GPS) is on 30 August at 9pm and FEI Europeans 2017: Dressage (FS) is on 31 August at 9pm. You can watch on Sky 253 or online via H&C Play or Amazon Video.

H&C coverage of the European Championships is sponsored by


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