Dressage WEG Disappointment
At the end of two difficult days the British Dressage riders finished
team 10th at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain. The team
of Richard Davison, Emile Faurie, Laura Richardson and Peter Storr
scored 4876 in the team Grand Prix, finishing 766 marks behind the
Gold medal winning German team.
thorough preparation the British team position at Jerez was the
lowest since the Games began at Stockholm in 1990. At an event where
it was hoped all the riders would achieve personal bests the British
team was plagued by under performance.
Laura Richardson and Millenium .
Photo credit to Kit Houghton.
this year Peter Storr and Gambrinus complemented their score
of 68% at Soley CDI, Gloucester, by travelling to Moscow and
achieving a score of 68.3% in the Grand Prix and 73.95% in
the Grand Prix Kür. In what must be every rider's nightmare,
Gambrinus showed some unlevel steps in the Grand Prix at WEG,
despite passing the veterinary inspection the day before,
and scored only 63.04%.
second GB rider fared little better as the intense pressure
of the event took its toll on the relative newcomer Insterburg
and, despite his wealth of experience, Emile Faurie could
only coax 63.16% out of the 12 year old gelding.
Richardson and Millenium had slightly better fortunes, but
still scored below their seasons average of 66.25% for international
competition, finishing with a score of 65.8% at Jerez, marked
down by one judge.
last GB rider to compete faced an almost impossible task,
but Richard Davison and Ballaseyr Royale produced a solid
test. They were also marked down by the same judge, who scored
him 6% lower than his fellow judges, and resulted in a disappointing
about the team performance and the task that lies ahead Performance
Manager Ian Williams said: "We are all disappointed by the
result as the whole team, riders and support staff have worked brilliantly
and achieved their goals in preparation for this event. We now have
to look at every detail and find out what went wrong. All the team
and BD selectors will be involved in this review and the formulation
of a plan to address the issues arising."
Dressage and World Class were extremely pleased with the progress
that the squad had made throughout the year and the riders all deserved
a better outcome here in Jerez."
One of the main objectives of the British WEG team was to qualify
Great Britain to take part in the 2004 Olympic Games by finishing
in a team position of 7th or above. At Aachen CDIO in June the team
result of 5th indicated that this was within reach, but now the
British participation in the dressage event at Athens is in question.
Class Performance Director, Matt Straker, at present in Jerez to
support all seven British Equestrian teams, spoke of the possibilities
of qualification for the Olympics: "The FEI will accept qualification
from the European Championships at Hickstead in 2003, but the British
Olympic Association has a policy only to accept results gained in
worldwide competition. We have the option to appeal to the BOA on
the grounds that this result is out of character and I am hopeful
that they will allow next year's European Championship results to
team will return to Britain on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th September.
Following the Performance Manager's review the BEF will apply to
appeal to the BOA regarding Olympic qualification.