Dressage medalists share their news and views | An Eventful Life

Dressage medalists share their news and views

The three medal wining teams from yesterday’s team dressage event at the Games chatted to the media to explain how they were feeling after their nail biting day of competition.

The third placed Dutch team (fresh from the indignity of being splashed across today’s British Daily Mirror with their photo accompanying a story about the British team) consisted of Adelinde Cornelissen, Edward Gal and Anky Van Grunsven.

Anky, pictured below with her team, confirmed that Salinero would be retired after these Games. “This kur will be my last – I am glad I made decision to come here – this colour medal, I didn’t have yet – it is a great goodbye,” she said of the end of their competitive relationship. When asked if she too was retiring, she gasped and said no, she was still too young for that!

Edward Gal, responding to a tricky question about whether he thought he’s see a Games so soon after losing the ride on Totilas, said he’d only had Undercover for seven months, so the horse had potential to be great. “He will improve,” Edward said.

The all women, silver medal placed German team (pictured below) were a glamorous bunch, and consisted of Helen Langehaneberg, Dorothee Schneider and Kristina Sprehe.

“We are really a team,” Helen said. “We haven’t lost gold, we have won silver – we are new here at the Olympics with young and fresh horses – we gave it our best and have done a good job. We are really happy.”

Trainer Klaus Balkenhol, responding to another uncomfortable question of whether having Totilas on the team would have won them gold, said it wasn’t his job to speculate. “We have to look forward – we are happy to have a strong team here and strong riders at home too,” he said.

The winning British team of Carl Hester, Laura B and Charlotte Dujardin, pictured below, looked to be a tight unit as they smiled for the cameras. “Any kid can aspire to this [level of dressage] – my parents can’t stand horses,” Carl explained. “You have to have the right opportunities and a break, but hard work and determination has paid off for all [three] of us.”

Charlotte, Carl’s protégé, said the pair are like a married couple. “We bicker and shout at each other, but I owe everything to Carl – for the training and for giving me horses to ride – he’s very special to me – thank you,” she told her emotional mentor.