British dressage team take fourth in Gothenburg

Great Britain's dressage team have finished in fourth place at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg. 

Carl Hester and Nip Tuck (Pic: Jon Stroud Media)

Carl Hester and Nip Tuck (Pic: Jon Stroud Media)

The final day of the Grand Prix tests saw Britain’s final two team members, Spencer Wilton and Carl Hester, take to the arena.

Spencer Wilton riding Jen Goodman’s Super Nova II, had a costly mistake out of their first pirouette, but Spencer kept his composure for a flawless final centre line, for a final mark of 72.086%.

Carl Hester riding Nip Tuck, performed a stunning test with just a slight mistake in the rein back, to record a score of 74.900%, which saw them into fifth place individually.

Their scores, alongside Emile Faurie and Lollipop 126’s Grand Prix score saw Great Britain finish fourth in the team test.

Speaking afterwards, Spencer said: “I’m so pleased with him, he had quite a difficult time in the warm-up before we went in, but I felt like he was gaining confidence all the way through.

"Apart from the mistakes it felt that he did really nicely. I was really pleased with his passage, but he just wasn’t really relaxed enough – but I’m really pleased that he gave me the feeling that he was growing in confidence. It felt really good.

“I really, really hope we get through to the Special, it would be brilliant; I know he can do it and he’s a really good horse.”

Carl, speaking about Nip Tuck, commented afterwards: “He really does his best. As usual, he’s so brilliant in canter, the two’s, the one’s, the pirouettes; he’s just so genuine. He really did get on with his job tonight.

“We’re going to be a snip off bronze and I’m gutted for the team, but for the sport as a whole, for Sweden to win a medal at home is very special; for us, Windsor lifted everyone to a new level in 2009.

"It just hasn’t gone our way and it just hasn’t been our championships, but for all three of us to be through to the Grand Prix Special is just fantastic.”

With the final scores confirmed, Germany took the gold medal, Denmark the silver and hosts Sweden the bronze.

Friday sees the Grand Prix Special contested, with the top 30 athletes coming forward from today’s test, including all three British athletes. 

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