Wells makes does the Grade V double at WEG

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 23:11

Sophie Wells brought her FEI World Equestrian Games campaign to a close on a high by completing the para grade V golden double with and her ride, C Fatal Attraction, owned by Charlotte Hogg with a huge performance which earned a world record score of 80.755%. It was her career fourth Individual world gold.

Speaking after her test, a delighted Sophie said; “He was a little bit tense today and on edge but he’s come out this week and given me everything.

“I was a little bit stressed last night as I thought it may be too difficult and we have only done it once at Hartpury but he’s come out today made me very proud.

“When you miss out on an Individual Gold [WEG 2014] after training everyday it’s hard, but to achieve this after a big gap like I’ve had is amazing; that’s why Rio [Olympic Games 2016] was so special because I missed out on the gold in London [Olympic Games 2012] too.”

Commenting on Great Britain’s success, she added; “The British team are amazing and it’s so hard to get on the team and selection is a massive hurdle that you have to overcome. We have a lot of good riders with a lot of horse power and we’re seeing that more across the world – yesterday [the team competition] proved that. The standard of the riders, the training and the horses is amazing for the sport and it makes proud to be a part of it - but that means you have to fight.”

The Grade III class brought the para competition to a close and after a Canadian horse didn’t pass this morning’s horse inspection, Erin Orford was promoted up the order and gained a place to compete alongside Natasha Baker.

Drawn second to go Erin looked brimming with confidence with Annabel Whittet’s Dior to produce a test worthy of 71.073%. It was then the turn of Natasha Baker with Mount St John Equestrian’s nine year old Mount St John Diva Dannebrog who, after a silver in the individual test and topping the team test, were amongst the favourites for a medal.

The test started brightly but then on a turn up the centreline away from the judge at C, ‘Diva’ took fright and put in a huge buck and leap which, having no strength in her legs, deposited poor Tash on the floor, resulting in elimination. Fortunately it was only her pride which was hurt as she left the arena on her trusty scooter, waving to the crowd.

So it wasn’t to be for Natasha on the final day but Erin finished in a very credible fifth spot in the Freestyle on her World Championship debut.  Afterwards, Erin said; “I was so pleased with her today, she felt amazing. She’s grown in confidence this week and today she went in there and said ‘OK I’m ready, what do you want me to do’. I had a new freestyle music made for here and a technical issue meant we didn’t get to ride to it which was a massive shame. To finish within 0.8% of bronze and 2% of silver despite this, just proves her quality and how close we are to the best in the world.”

After leaving the arena Natasha said; “My ego is bruised and my bum is bruised but I feel fine and at least I hit the centre line! I don’t know what got into her today but it was out of character for her. We untacked her and cooled her down and we’re going to go and sit back on and see how she feels and give her some confidence back.”

That brings the para dressage to an end and it’s four medals for Britain to bring home after days of competition which witnessed courageous riding, epic determination and plenty of inspirational performances. Safe trip home everyone!