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Great Britain sign off from European Para-Dressage Championships with golden hat-trick

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on 23-08-2017 18:16

Great Britain capped a fine display at the Para-Dressage European Championships with three more medals on the final day – all of which were gold – to finish top of the table with a grand total of eight.

Following two golds, a silver and a bronze in the individual tests on Monday, and then a team test gold on Tuesday, Wednesday saw the individual freestyle event.

And after a gold and bronze in the individual test, Suzanna Hext and Erin Orford went into the freestyle competition hopeful of further success.

That success came from Hext as she and Abira recorded a score of 76.406 per cent, to go into the lead of the Grade III category.

Orford put herself in with a chance of a medal too as she and Dior went into third place with a score of 73.060 per cent, with just one rider left to enter the arena.

Unfortunately for Orford, Denmark’s Tobias Thorning Joergensen leapfrogged her into third place with a score of 76.126 per cent.

It was not enough to depose Hext, though, and she celebrated a third gold medal of the week, ahead of Germany’s Steffen Zeibig in second – who recorded a mark of 76.173 per cent.

“It’s been such a long journey to get to this point and so many people have been a part of it,” Suzanna Hext.

And Julie Payne was another Brit celebrating a golden hat-trick as her score of 80.393 per cent took her to Grade I victory on the final day.

Riding Athene Lindebjerg, Payne followed up her test and team gold medals with another fine performance in Gothenburg.

Her mark was more than three per cent ahead of closest rival Rihards Snikus, who scored 77.360 per cent.

And the medal success was complete in the final event of the day as Paralympian Sophie Wells got her second gold medal of the week in the Grade V freestyle.

Her score of 78.350 per cent beat the Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar into second place and ensured Great Britain finished with eight medals, six of which were gold, from a possible total of nine.

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