A smooth, controlled display from the German dressage team saw them win the country’s sixth gold in Rio. Isabell Werth, Kristina Sprehe, Dorothee Schneider and Sönke Rothenberger held off a British challenge to win.
The dressage team grand prix special victory was Germany’s second on horseback this Games after Michael Jung’s individual win on Tuesday.
Werth, riding a horse called Weihegold, led the team home and was the star of the show for Germany. Riding last, her score of 83.711 points meant British rider and London 2012 gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin could only claim silver. The United States won bronze.
The win is Werth’s sixth Olympic gold medal from five Games. That, combined with her three silvers makes the 47-year-old the most successful rider in Olympic history.
The victory was particularly sweet for Germany, the most successful equestrian nation in Olympic history, after Great Britain unexpectedly won the event in London four years ago.
“It went perfectly, it was the day of days, everything worked,” Werth told German broadcaster ARD. “We have a super great team, as good as we have ever had and it was deserved.”
The result means Werth moves above German equestrian rider Reiner Klimke, who won six gold and two bronze medals from 1960 to 1988 in the Olympic honors list.
Many of the riders in Friday’s event will have another chance at a medal in the individual grand prix on Monday.