Great Britain dominated the team competition at the Rio 2016 para-dressage yesterday, with London 2012 double gold medallist Sophie Christiansen winning the grade Ia team test with 77.522%. Sophie riding Athene Lindebjerg, scored the highest marks of the entire competition so far, to beat team mate Anne Dunham into second place, with Germany’s Elke Philip in third.
“For her to go in that loud, atmospheric arena I was over the moon with her,” said Sophie Christiansen. “It felt a bit tentative and it’s nice getting that score knowing that there’s more to come.”
Winning the grade IV team test was Belgium’s Michèle George the current world champion, aboard FBW Rainman, who scored 75.286% to finish just ahead of Great Britain’s Sophie Wells. Frank Hosmar of The Netherlands was third.
“It felt great,” said Michèle George. “I was very happy with my horse. When I came in he was a little bit under because there were a lot of things to see and he’s very sensitive to that, but I think the warmth was in my favour today.”
Opening the scoring for Great Britain was Sophie Wells’ who performed a strong test. “He went in and listened to what he had to do,” said Sophie Wells. “He was a little nervous which is understandable as he’s not been to a Paralympics before, but he came back to me and concentrated and did what he needed to do.”
Following yesterday’s tests, Great Britain currently lead the team competition, ahead of Belgium and Germany. However, the competition is not even at mid-point, as the results of today’s grade II team test, and then the five individual tests which follow will also be counted.