The score board in U.S. Trust Arena was ablaze when Germany's multi-medalist Isabell Werth captivated hearts again, winning her second Gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 aboard Bella Rose. The duo bested US-stalwart Laura Graves and Verdades who captured Silver and defending champion Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Mount St John Freestyle to Bronze.
Werth and fiery chestnut mare Bella Rose came out as the last rider of 30, presenting a flawless test. The pair scored 86.246%, including several 10's from the judges' panel of seven.
"Three were out with more than 80 already so I knew we had to give it our best. When Bella started to trot I felt she wanted to go and do it and the half passes could not have been better," said Werth.
Graves had put everything into her ride, presenting the 16-year-old Verdades with utmost precision in each step, despite gusts of wind picking up during her ride.
"It feels amazing. Two days in a row we really delivered for our country. The heat is a test of a horses' character."
Equally sensational was Charlotte Dujardin's ride to Bronze, piloting her mare Mount St John Freestyle to 81.489%. The nine-year young mare showed picture-perfect passage that is usually only acquired at a more advanced age.
"Her passage was incredible. We continue to work on it and will give Isabell a run for her money."
Laura Graves, Isabell Werth, and Charlotte Dujardin with their medals following the Helgstrand Dressage FEI Grand Prix Special in U.S. Trust Arena.
Germany's Sönke Rothenberger missed the podium by 0.44 points after mistakes in the one-tempi changes.
"I am disappointed. The horse would have deserved a medal because of its overall quality, but of course, we should not make mistakes."
Germany's quest to retain the Team and Individual Eventing world titles gathered pace in record breaking fashion on another thrilling action-packed day at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Friday in Tryon Stadium.
German challenger Julia Krajewski not only held her overnight lead with Chipmunk FRH after the second day of dressage, but her closest challenger emerged as team-mate and reigning European champion Ingrid Klimke.
Klimke delivered a trademark display that oozed star quality on SAP Hale Bob OLD, posting a score 23.3 penalties to trail Krajewski by just 3.4 penalties heading into Saturday's cross-country phase of the Mars, Inc. Eventing competition.
Great Britain's Ros Canter and Allstar B complete the top three on 24.6, while Germany hold a convincing lead in the team competition, with their score of 73.4 breaking the previous best FEI World Equestrian Games™ record for a team dressage score set by Great Britain in Jerez, Spain in 2002.
They lead the British quartet by more than seven penalties, while the United States are close behind in third, followed by France, Australia and New Zealand.
Germany are chasing a third world team crown in the last four FEI World Equestrian Games™, and they are also well-placed for another Individual Gold medal following Sandra Auffarth's 2014 success in France.
"I am very happy," Klimke said. "He did such a wonderful test, he was so calm and concentrated. He was perfect. He was ready and waiting to get in there. He is 14 now and very mature. He did a beautiful job and for me it was a pleasure."
Assessing the Cross-Country challenge, Krajewski said, "There are quite a few fences where you have to have your line right and be very concentrated."
For Canter, her dressage performance maintained consistently impressive form on the 13-year-old stallion Allstar B, and she unquestionably poses a serious threat to German domination with her colleagues Piggy French, Tom McEwen and Gemma Tattersall.
Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH helped lead Team Germany to a world-record low score of 73.4 for the team as they head into the second phase of Cross-Country tomorrow at Tryon 2018.
"No matter what the atmosphere, he never changes," Canter said. "I gave him a day off on Thursday because he worked so well the day before. He has just got that temperament where he puts 100% in for me every time, and it's more the pressure for me that I want to do him proud and everyone else who has helped get me here."
Although Krajewski has a clear lead, just 3.9 penalties separate the riders placed from second to ninth, and it is certain that the leaderboard will change considerably across the North Carolina terrain on Saturday.
That group features riders from six different countries, including French Olympian Thibaut Vallette, Sweden's Sara Algotsson Ostholt, New Zealand's world number two Tim Price and leading Irish challenger Sarah Ennis, who lies sixth.
World Eventing Stars Ready To Meet Cross-Country Challenge In Tryon
Concentration and stamina look set to be the key requirements when Eventing athletes takes to the Cross-Country course on the White Oak track of TIEC during the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday, September 15.
More than 80 horse and rider combinations will tackle the course designed by Captain Mark Phillips and it is likely to prove pivotal in terms of shaping the final leaderboard when Mars, Inc. Eventing Team and Individual medals are decided at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Mars, Inc. Eventing is now scheduled to conclude on Monday, September 17, due to inclement weather expected on Sunday, September 16.
New Zealand's twice Olympic champion Sir Mark Todd is ready for a test that poses "plenty of questions."
With a close and exciting dressage phase completed in Tryon Stadium on Friday, attention now switches to what promises to be a blockbusting day of world-class sport.
"It looks a good course," said Great Britain's Ros Canter, who holds third place individually after dressage.
"The challenge is going to be the humidity and the potential weather conditions. As last team member to go, I don't know what weather will be thrown at us yet. I will try to stick to the plan and hope I can deliver for the team."
World number two rider New Zealander Tim Price, recent winner of the Burghley Horse Trials in the United Kingdom, added: "The cross country is demanding. None of us know what the (completion) time is going to be like because with a tight time it heightens the difficulty everywhere else because everyone else is trying to go and do a good speed."
"It will be what it will be. We are pretty gutsy, the Kiwis, and hopefully we will make a good plan together and go and execute," he continued.
Price's teammate Todd said, "Is it going to be hot? Is it going to be torrential rain? We have just got to make a plan and ride to the conditions. The course looks really good. There are some more straightforward fences, but some of the combinations ask plenty of questions."
Team USA member William Coleman, meanwhile, described the testing closing hill on the course as akin to a metaphorical climb up Mount Everest.
"It's pretty intense in the middle part," Coleman said. "From the third to the seventh minute it is like an onslaught, and then you finish that and then climb Mount Everest up to the main arena. It will be a stamina test and I think the middle bit will be especially testing."
British rider Tom McEwen cautioned, "I don't think the course should be underestimated. It is possibly not the biggest course we've jumped, but saying that, it is technical, it is strong and you have got to keep your wits about you. There are plenty of strong questions out there."
Please click here to review the FEI's most recent statement on schedule changes due to inclement weather forecast in the region over the weekend.
For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.
To purchase tickets or for more information about the WEG, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.
Click here to watch the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 promo video!
About the Tryon International Equestrian Center
Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort, host of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, is one of the world's premier equestrian lifestyle destinations, with first-class facilities for all eight FEI disciplines. From carousel to competition, the mission of Tryon Resort is to celebrate the magic of the horse, grow equestrian sport, and increase access to this majestic animal. Tryon Resort is a spring, summer and fall haven for equestrian competitors and enthusiasts, and a year-round destination for connoisseurs of diverse cuisine and shopping, lodging getaways, and family entertainment. Learn more at www.Tryon.com.
About the FEI World Equestrian Games™
The FEI World Equestrian Games™, held every four years in the middle of the summer Olympic cycle, is the property of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for horse sport organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar, combining World Championships in the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, the Paralympic discipline of Para-Equestrian Dressage, as well as Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.
The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990. Since then the Games have been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organized outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010. The Games came back to Europe for the 2014 edition, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FRA), which attracted more than 500,000 on-site spectators and a worldwide television audience of 350 million, as well as delivering an economic impact of €368 million to the French economy.
The Tryon 2018 Games offer qualifying slots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.