Denmark tops medals table at Para Dressage World Championships

The hosts claimed four golds and a silver medal, building the excitement for Paris 2024 15 Aug 2022
Three athletes smile after receiving their medals at the Para Dressage World Championships.
Katrine Kristensen, who was competing in her second international championship, won two gold medals for Denmark.
By FEI and IPC

Denmark topped the medals tally at the Orifarm Healthcare FEI Para Dressage World Championship 2022, as Katrine Kristensen and Tobias Joergensen delighted their home fans by winning two gold medals each in Herning.

Denmark claimed four golds and a silver medal during the World Championships that closed on 14 August. The Netherlands came second, with three golds, three silvers and a bronze, with Belgium in third place securing two golds.

Denmark celebrates home successes

Kristensen, who was making her World Championship debut, won the Grade II Freestyle event on the final day, adding to the gold medal she took in the Grade II Individual competition.

Kristensen won the freestyle event riding Goerklintgaards Quater to music dominated by Queen songs, and scoring 80.354%. Great Britain’s Lee Pearson and Breezer took the silver with 77.860%, while his teammate Georgia Wilson won a delightful but surprise bronze medal with Sakura, and 75.834%.

“It’s very exciting and I’m so, so happy with my second gold medal. It’s fantastic. It has been an amazing experience for me with this new horse and he has developed through the days of the championships. I’m so, so proud,” Katrine said after her win.

Joergensen, who claimed two golds at last year’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, left no room for suspense in Grade III, winning both the individual and freestyle competitions.

Tobias Joergensen claimed two gold medals at the World Championships. @FEI / Richard Juilliart

“It was amazing,” Tobias said.

“Pretty much everything just worked out as it should and I’m just so happy. It was a personal best by two points and it was amazing to do that. Everything worked as I wanted.”

The Netherlands defend team title

In the team event, the Netherlands successfully defended the world title they won four years ago.

The Dutch team celebrates after defending their world title. @ FEI / Richard Juilliart

The gold clinching team of Sanne Voets (Grade IV), Demi Haerkens (Grade IV), Lotte Krijnsen (Grade III) and Frank Hosmar (Grade V) scored 230.225%, just 0.464% ahead of Denmark with 229.751%. And in a repeat of their Tokyo 2020 Paralympics breakthrough, USA took the bronze with 225.355%.

All three teams have secured qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, which will feature 11 medal events in Para equestrian.

Speaking after his gold clinching ride, Hosmar said: “We thought when we came here maybe a medal would be nice but every day with the training it got better and better and we thought maybe there’s a little bit more.

“We didn’t expect gold when we left Holland but when we were here we were thinking it was possible,” he said.

Historic firsts

Rihards Snikus won Latvia’s first ever equestrian gold medal at a European, World, Olympic and Paralympic competition.

On King of the Dance, Snikus scored 78.535% to take the gold in the Grade I Individual competition, narrowly ahead of defending champion Sara Morganti of Italy, at her third World Championships on Royal Delight, with 78.393%.

And in moment of history, Ireland won its first ever World Championship Para Dressage medal, with Michael Murphy taking the bronze.

“There are no words. Wow! It’s a historical moment. “The halt was great and the free walk was not perfect, but it was very good,” Snikus said.