Netherlands lead halfway through team competition at World Dressage Championships, with Britain in fifth

  • The Netherlands hold the gold medal position in the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Championships results at the end of the first day of competition in Herning, Denmark. With two riders from each team still to go, Germany are sitting in the silver medal spot, while home side Denmark are in bronze.

    Sweden are holding fourth place going into the second day of grand prix, with Great Britain very close behind in fifth. Spain are currently sixth, ahead of Portugal in seventh and the USA in eighth.

    The Netherlands’ second rider of the day, Dinja van Liere, pulled out all the stops on the 10-year-old Easy Game stallion Hermes, scoring 78.84% to shoot straight to the top of the leaderboard in the World Dressage Championships results.

    “I was very pleased with the test; there were some things that could go better, so I want to do even better, but I’m very happy,” said Dinja. “It’s not a difficult arena but it’s really big and with the wind today, I was happy that he was fully focused.”

    Just behind Dinja in second place is Germany’s Benjamin Werndl with Famoso OLD, on a mark of 77%. This is a personal best for Benjamin, the brother of reigning Olympic champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who is missing from the German team this year as she is shortly due to give birth to her second child.

    Benjamin Werndl and Famoso OLD at the World Dressage Championships 2022

    Benjamin Werndl and Famoso OLD at the World Dressage Championships 2022

    Benjamin explained that since competing Famoso at CHIO Aachen in July, he has been working on developing the connection, which paid off today, as he made his championship team debut for Germany.

    “It’s an honour to ride for Germany. There are big footsteps left by the riders before us, but it’s always new and it’s sport and everything can happen,” he said.

    “Jessica and I have worked together for so many years now; when she won Olympic gold it was also my medal, and it feels the same the other way round for her now I am in the team.”

    Denmark’s second rider Carina Cassøe Krüth boosted the home side’s chances as she laid down another great score to add to teammate Nanna Merrald Rasmussen’s super result earlier in the day. Carina rode the 11-year-old Fürstenball mare Heiline’s Danciera to 76.86% and reported that the mare gave her one of the best feelings ever in the arena.

    Carina Cassøe Krüth and Heiline’s Danciera at the World Dressage Championships 2022

    Carina Cassøe Krüth and Heiline’s Danciera at the World Dressage Championships 2022

    Denmark are the hot favourites for the gold medal here in Herning, especially since their team victory in Aachen last month, and Carina said that she has been feeling the pressure in the run-up to the World Dressage Championships.

    “In the past couple of months, every time I would open my Instagram or my Facebook, there had been a photo of our team from Aachen, saying, ‘Can the Danes win?’ Pressure can be difficult, but yes there is pressure, but also, we can only do our best. So if we give the best version of ourselves that will have to be enough,” she said.

    Juliette Ramel and the experienced Buriel KH laid down 76.16% for Sweden, enough for fifth place in the individual standings at the moment. Her mark squeezed Britain’s Gareth Hughes into sixth, after his super test with Classic Briolinca that earned them 75.98%. This followed Britain’s first rider of the day: Richard Davison and Bubblingh.

    The grand prix continues tomorrow, when the team medals are decided, and currently there are five teams in serious contention for a place on the podium, Britain among them. Charlotte Dujardin will be the first British rider into the ring tomorrow on Imhotep, competing at 1.35pm local time (12.35pm BST), with Lottie Fry on Glamourdale taking the anchor spot for the team, riding at 6.51pm local time (5.51pm BST).

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