London 2012

Historic gold for GB

Hester breaks record - then sees team-mate surpass his efforts

Last Updated: 08/08/12 7:26am

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Charlotte Dujardin: was already the world grand prix special record holder

Charlotte Dujardin: was already the world grand prix special record holder

Great Britain ended Germany's Olympic dominance in the dressage by taking the gold medal at Greenwich Park.

Hot on the heels of their counterparts triumphing in the showjumping, the trio of Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin made history by claiming Britain's first Olympic dressage medal.

"I didn't want to let anyone down, and I like that test, so I knew I could do well in it."
Charlotte Dujardin Quotes of the week

Having held a lead going into the grand prix special - the second part of the team test - Hester gave them the perfect start when Hester broke Dutch star Anky van Grunsven's Olympic record on Uthopia.

That mark did not stand for long, however, as training partner Dujardin bettered his score just 90 minutes later. With Bechtolsheimer delivering a solid performance in between, they finished with a score of 79.97 percent.

Dujardin was already the world grand prix special record holder, she set that mark in Germany back in April, an amazing achievement for someone who only rode in her first significant competition in January of last year.

Nervous

"I was a bit more nervous today going in because I just wanted that gold medal," the 26-year-old said.

"I didn't want to let anyone down, and I like that test, so I knew I could do well in it.

"I had a flip I think in the one tempo change and my left pirouette didn't feel very good, but apart from that it felt pretty good.

"It's surreal because obviously I only started in January last year and I got a gold medal at the Europeans, and it was the ultimate dream to get here and ride here."

Germany had previously won every Olympic team gold in dressage since 1976, with the exception of the boycott year in 1980.

However they only just ended up with the silver this time around, holding off the determined challenge of the Netherlands to take second place on the podium.

Success in the dressage takes Britain's tally of golds to 20 - surpassing their efforts in Beijing four years ago and making it their most successful Games since 1908.

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