They wanted to win bronze and went home with gold: The Dutch once more showed that they work as a team and won team gold at the European Championships in Aachen with a result of 235,629 percent. “Yes, two weeks ago I said that we wanted to win bronze, but during those two weeks we trained a lot and got better and better,” said Bondscoach Wim Ernes, jokingly. Edward Gal also had a good explanation for the strong performance with his KWPN gelding Glock’s Undercover N.O.P who finished in second place with 82,229 percent and created enthusiasm among the audience. “Las Vegas was very impressive for him, the audience was so close to the arena. Here we had so many judges’ boxes that he wasn’t able to look out of the arena.”
In the end the British were not too happy about winning silver. Gold was within reach, the end result of 234,229 percent was close to the Netherland’s result. Still, chef d’équipe Richard Waygood said: “We are proud of all our riders.” Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro remained below their possibilities even though they finished in first place. Flaws in the zig zag half pass and the one-time changes meant that the lead over Edward Gal and Undercover became smaller.
The Germans who won bronze with 230.19 percent were deeply disappointed – gold had been the goal. “It’s like soccer: If one doesn’t get the ball over the line, one can’t win,” chef d’équipe Klaus Röser summarized. National coach Monica Theodorescu explained not to be totally disappointed (“It’s still a medal”); however, a look into the faces of the four team members spoke volumes. Last rider Kristina Bröring-Sprehe also hung her head, but seemed competitive concerning the individual rating: “We will try to make it better next time.” The piaffes were not as good as the pair can show them and additionally they had a flaw in the zig zag half passes. “In order to win gold everything would have had to work, but it just wasn’t enough,” so Bröring-Sprehe said.
After Totilas’ much discussed Grand Prix the Germans still have one issue: will Matthias Rath and the black stallion compete in the special? While Rath had uttered a resounding “yes” directly after his performance, he was more reluctant to voice a decision in the press conference that followed: “We will have to wait and see until tomorrow.”
Shortly before Matthias Rath said on television that Totilas had showed some uneven steps and that they had to find out the reason. Rath also confirmed the rumours concerning the vet check. There had been problems during the check but he passed it. For Totilas, an internal vet check has been scheduled for tomorrow in order to decide if the pair will perform in Aachen again.