Perhaps the only time a world championship medal is sweeter is when it comes with a spot at the Olympic Games, and when it happens front of a home crowd, no less.
The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team won the silver medal on Thursday at the FEI World Equestrian Games, being held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Germany won gold and Great Britain took the bronze. The Americans earned an overall score of 233.229.
Because of the top-six finish, the team earned a quota spot for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. A quota is an entry into Olympic competition, so the U.S. is now assured the chance to win consecutive Olympic medals following its bronze medal in Rio in 2016. The athletes selected to compete in Tokyo will be determined closer to the Games.
The U.S. last won a medal at the World Equestrian Games in team dressage in 2006 when it took bronze. The U.S. also won silver in 2002 and bronze in 1994.
Dressage requires riders to take their horses through a series of predetermined moves. In the team event, three riders compete per country are judged by a seven-member panel on precision and execution of movement.
The U.S. team of Allison Brock, Kasey Perry-Glass, Steffen Peters and Laura Graves won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. It was the first Olympic medal for the U.S. in dressage since 2004.
At this year’s event, it was Peters aboard Suppenkasper, 2012 Olympian Adrienne Lyle and Salvino, Perry-Glass with Goerklintgaards Dublet and Graves on Verdades who earned the silver.
Graves and Verdades were the last to compete for the U.S. and earned a score of 81.537 percent, second-best of the day behind Germany’s Isabell Werth on Bella Rose.
The U.S. was in third place behind Germany and Sweden heading into Thursday, which was the second day of competition.