Great Britain has won team bronze in the dressage at the Tokyo Olympics; the reigning champions, Germany, have successfully defended their title.
The British team of Charlotte Dujardin (Gio), Lottie Fry (Everdale) and Carl Hester (En Vogue) scored 7723 overall to finish just behind the USA.
The American riders — Adrienne Lyle (Salvino), Steffen Peters (Suppenkasper) and Sabine Schut-Kery (Sanceo) — scored 7747 points for team silver.
Germany secured gold — an incredible 14th for the nation, including team gold in Tokyo back in 1964 — with three standout performances from Isabell Werth (Bella Rose 2), Dorothee Schneider (Showtime FRH) and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (TSF Dalera).
They finished more than 400 points ahead of the USA with a cumulative score of 8178.
All three British team members have qualified for tomorrow’s Freestyle, where the individual medals will be decided.
Charlotte’s team bronze takes her medal tally to five: dual gold at London 2012 followed by team silver and individual gold at Rio 2016, all with Valegro. This equals the medal haul of rower Katherine Grainger, making them the British female athletes with the most Olympic medals to their name.
Charlotte and Gio were the last British combination to enter the main arena at Equestrian Park. Charlotte said the 10-year-old, whom she described as “a little powerhouse” after their first test on Sunday, is green and inexperienced, but he produced some lovely work, earning 8.5s and 9s for his half-pass, for example.
However, they had an expensive mistake in the one-time changes today — when the horse’s back legs came off the ground together and he was unable to make the change in front — which saw 4s and 4.5s flash on the scoreboard and left Britain just out of reach of team silver.
Charlotte has partnered the chestnut since he was four after finding him while teaching a clinic in America and they have a lovely bond: he comes to the front of the stable when he hears her voice.
Seventh gold for Werth
This is a seventh gold medal for Isabell Werth, 51, and if she lands the individual title tomorrow she will become the most decorated female German Olympic athlete of all time.
Her teammate Dorothee Schneider’s route to Tokyo with Showtime, the horse on whom she helped Germany to team gold in Rio five years ago, has not been straightforward after she broke her collarbone in a fall — the horse she was riding dropped dead during a prize-giving ceremony — in April.
View the full team results here.
Main photo (top) by FEI