The trio made it nine wins out of the last 10 stagings of the Olympic event for Germany as they continued their phenomonal record at Baji Koen equestrian park. Dorothee Schneider & Showtime, Isabell Werth & Bella Rose and Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl & Dalera were simply too strong for the other seven nations in the Grand Prix Special.

Von Bredow-Werndl, Germany’s anchor leg, scored an Olympic record mark of 84.666, while it was an incredible 11th medal for Werth — her first having come 29 years ago in Barcelona.

“I was so lucky that I had my two teammates before me,” Von Bredow-Werndl said. “They had both produced such high percentages that there was not so much pressure. It’s the best team I could wish for!”

In an upset after the last round of riders performing the Grand Prix Special test, Team USA were awarded the silver medal. The Americans topped Great Britain, who took the bronze.

Germany scored a combined 8,178, which was well clear of the USA (7,747) and GB (7,723). Denmark finished just outside of the medals in fourth, with the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Portugal ending the competition in that order.

Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera sealed the deal for Germany. (MacMillan Photography)


There was no let up in the summer heat at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park on Tuesday, but the athletes and their horses couldn’t let fatigue be a factor with so much at stake.

New changes for Tokyo meant that only three riders competed per team, with no dropped score in case of a troubled performance. Combos executed the Grand Prix Special test to music, which for the first time could be chosen by the rider or left to the venue to provide.

Scores from each ride were converted from the usual percentage to points, and the team with the highest number of points would be made the winner.

After the first two rounds of athletes, team Germany were in the lead, chased by Great Britain and the United States. Both Dorothee Schneider with Showtime FRH and Isabell Werth with Bella Rose 2 had scores above 80 percent, giving the German team a huge lead heading into the last round.

Speaking after her performance, which earned 83.298, Werth said: “I’m so happy and so proud about Bella. She was fantastic. And this (performance) is I felt more than 83% I would say. She was so great, this was one of our best tests. It is like it is (the judges’ scores) and I don’t know why. We can only do the best we can do, and show the best we can show, and I’m really happy with Bella.”

The podium positions were far from decided, however, and the last round would be performed in reverse order of the standings after the first two horse and rider combinations.

Bronze medallists Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Charlotte Fry. (Shannon Brinkman photo)

The Final Round

Riding first in the final group, Portugal’s Rodrigo Torres and Fogoso, his Grand Prix partner since 2017, earned high scores for their piaffe and were awarded 74.726 percent from the judges.

Next up, Therese Nilshagen of Sweden earned 75.988 percent from the seven international judges aboard Dante Weltino OLD but would have to see where that put her team with six riders still to come.

Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Elegance were awarded marks of 74.894 percent for consistent piaffe and passage work, but it wasn’t enough to best Sweden on total team points.

Isabell Werth and Bella Rose 2 – 17 10s from the judges! (MacMillan Photography)

Edward Gal of the Netherlands showed off the potential of Total US, who is just nine years old and was performing in only his fourth international show and first international Grand Prix Special. The pair earned a score of 79.894 percent, not a threat to the podium but definitely a warning of what’s to come with them at the 2024 Paris Games.

With Cathrine Dufour of Denmark in the ring next, the competition was ratcheted up a notch, as medals were within sight of the final four riders. She and Bohemian, just 11 years old, scored 77.720 percent and were left to bite their nails for the last three rides to see where things shook out.

Dufour was somewhat disappointed, saying: “Of course I’m disappointed today. I mean it was just super expensive in the end to do that pirouette, but besides that he felt really good. I’m overall pleased, but of course disappointed about the mistake. I think we just we lost balance for like 0.1 second, and that just cost the jump out of it.”

Superb Sabine

The pressure was on for Sabine Schut-Kery of the United States riding Sanceo. The duo were predicted to score at least 77 percent in the Grand Prix Special, having already had a tremendous personal best in the Grand Prix. A 75.2 would land the US on the podium over Denmark, thanks to stellar rides from teammates Adrienne Lyle with Salvino and Steffen Peters with Suppenkasper.

In true Olympic style, Schut-Kery blew past her prediction to win an amazing 81.596 percent, a personal best that guaranteed the USA a spot at the medal ceremony and laid down the gauntlet for Great Britain.

No stranger to tense Olympic moments, Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain had already won Individual gold in 2012 and 2016, but with her partner Gio being only 10 years old, would she be able to hang onto her country’s silver medal position, achieved by teammates Carl Hester with En Vogue and Charlotte Fry with Everdale?

The combo maintained perfect focus and incredible transitions throughout their entire test, but it wasn’t to be their day. An error in the tempi cost them just enough points that their 79.544 percent wasn’t quite enough, and they would have to finish behind the Americans.

Jessica’s Record

Riding last for the evening, Germany’s Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl, ranked No.2 in the world, and Tsf Dalera Bb were all smiles as they performed a gorgeous, relaxed test. Knowing that they only needed 75 percent to keep their first place, the pair earned 22 10s in total, a record for Von Bredow-Werndl and Dalera, for final marks of 84.666 percent and the Team gold medal.

Isabell Werth’s Team gold, for which she and Bella Rose scored 17 10s from the judges, makes her the first equestrian to win six Olympic golds. And she did it wearing riding boots that been around a while and seen a lot of action. “I’ve had them since 1991 and I’ve worn them at every Championship since then – they are my lucky boots!” the German superstar admitted. That’s 30 years of service, with many golden moments along the way, and Lady Luckyboots may well be about to make more history. She will face off against her teammates on Wednesday in the Grand Prix Freestyle, which will determine the Individual medal winners in Dressage.

Werth was asked after the final if winning yet another Team gold becomes boring for the Germans! “Winning a gold is never boring!” the champion said. “It’s always good and we must always celebrate. We’ll get about half an hour at the stables to enjoy ourselves!”

All nine of Tuesday’s Team medalists will be performing on the final day of Dressage, along with nine other duos, which looks to be quite a show, with the world’s best going toe to toe to land on the podium. Germany’s Dorothee Schneider earned three 10s on Tuesday, and with the rest of the field having five 10s as well, the programmes are sure to be spectacular.

Facts and Figures:

Germany first won team gold at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam (NED) in 1928, with a three-man team of Carl Freiherr von Langen (Draufganger), Hermann Linkenbach (Gimpel) and Eugen Freiherr von Lotzbeck (Caracalla).

Germany were the defending champions coming to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and two of tonight’s winning team members were in the side that reigned supreme at the Rio 2016 Games -. Dorothee Schneider riding the same horse, Showtime and Isabell Werth riding her other great mare Weihegold.


Steffen Peters with Suppenkasper. (MacMillan Photography)


Isabell Werth (GER) – “I expected higher scores but it is like it is. She (Bella Rose) was more tense on the first day, already in good shape but more tense and I had to deal a bit with her temperament. That’s on one hand her advantage, she’s 17 but also you could say she is 12. She wants to go and sometimes her temperament needs time to cope with the situation and the atmosphere. Today she was so relaxed and super.

I love this horse and I hope she loves me too. She is a gift!”

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – ‘I went in there to do best I could and I’m absolutely thrilled with Pumpkin (Gio) because that’s the second time he’s gone through that Grand Prix Special, we’ve had very little shows to compete in this year, he is only 10 years old and with not a lot of experience at all and the last few days he’s really tried his heart out and I can’t really ask for more than that. This might look like bronze but for me and my horse it feels like a gold medal”.


Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper – “I had a really good schooling this morning and I wanted to take that in the arena. That he did that for me when it really counted, that is an incredible feeling. Overall, it was a really, really good test. And again, to do that at the Olympic Games at my age is definitely more rewarding. And still to get so emotional about it shows how much I still how badly I want this.

“The amazing part is at 18 hands, he rides like a 16 hand horse. He’s so supple, so sensitive, so adjustable, he makes me look good.”

Adrienne Lyle with Salvino – “I’m super thrilled, I was really hoping we could pull that score off for the team today. We were a little conservative in the Grand Prix, it wasn’t our greatest display, so I really wanted to come out here and push for a little bit more. And despite the heat and humidity, he was really was a good boy. And he delivered with no mistakes, which is what you want for the team test. Just the fact that he was still able towards the end to maintain the power and the enthusiasm and the lift. The fact that he finished just as strong as he started made me really happy.

“He’s – I can’t talk about him, I start getting all emotional – he’s the most amazing horse. We’ve been to the World Games, we’ve been to a World Cup. We’ve been all around the world together. And he just always digs deep when he has to.”

“Just the logistics of getting here have been greater than anything I’ve ever done, especially for the US horses who had to fly to Aachen and quarantine and then fly here. And it was all beautifully handled, but when you think back about since you even were named to the team and what you’ve gone through to get here, is pretty incredible. I can’t say enough about the venue and the way it’s run and the people, the footing, the stable. Thank God those horses have those cool air-conditioned stalls so they can rest all day. It’s really top notch.”

Full results here.