Following strong performances from the remaining two Team GB members – the second day of dressage competition came to a close in Rio, with Great Britain’s dressage team occupying the silver medal position heading to the final day of the team competition on Friday 12th August.  

Carl Hester (GBR) & Nip Tuck - Dressage – Grand Prix (1st Team & Individual Qualifier) – Rio 2016 Olympic Games – Deodoro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 11 August 2016

Photo credit Jon Stroud

Aboard Nip Tuck owned by Jane De La Mare, Carl Hester, who also coaches all the British dressage team, produced a masterful ride after a spook early in the walk, to deliver some superb work through the pirouettes and flying changes. With a score confirmed of 75.529% there were cheers from the British camp.

Speaking after Carl said; “I don’t have time to get nervous and no time when I’m riding that horse [Nip Tuck] to be nervous, you have to anticipate where and what you’re going to do next. By the time he got to the canter he was really good and I could get some marks back from the zig-zags and the pirouettes, and I have to have him very relaxed with trot and walk. I finished my test happy, thinking if I start tomorrow like I finished then I can really go for it because he’s been so rideable all week.”

The final GB dressage rider in to the Olympic arena to complete their Grand Prix test was current Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin with Rowena Luard, Anne Barrott and Carl Hester’s Valegro. After a stunning first centre line, the highlights came thick and fast, with high marks awarded for the passage, extended trot and flying changes.

photo credit Jon Stroud

photo credit Jon Stroud

A delighted Charlotte spoke afterwards; “Today was about going in and enjoying it, that was the biggest thing. I watched a lot of people yesterday going in there looking nervous and I thought, it’s my absolute passion, I’ve got the horse of my life, I’ve got a top trainer and huge support team around me, I’ve got amazing arenas and I’ve got to go out there and enjoy it. I came out with a huge smile on my face, to be honest I had a huge smile on my face before I went in, I can’t help but smile when I ride Valegro.

“Now we’ve all been in the arena once, I think tomorrow will be better. Fiona did a fantastic job yesterday, Spencer did a really good job at his first Olympic Games and Carl did a great job too – he’s not only had to ride himself but he’s been training Spencer, Fiona and me. He’s been the rock for everyone. I honestly don’t know how he’s done it, but he’s done it for the team and I know for a fact that we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.”

Thursday’s result sees Team GB currently sitting in second place on the scoreboard heading into the team final. Individually, the British riders are currently placed; Charlotte Dujardin (1), Fiona Bigwood (8), Carl Hester (15), Spencer Wilton (25).

Friday 12th August; The stage is now set for the final day of the team competition tomorrow, when the Grand Prix Special will decide the team medals. All four British combinations will take to the arena, alongside five other nations as the team event draws to a close. Timings for the British riders tomorrow will be confirmed in due course.