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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 September, 2004, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Britain win team dressage
Debbie Criddle won her third equestrian gold medal of the Games
Britain continued their domination of Paralympic equestrian events by winning gold in the team dressage in Athens.

The GB four of Lee Pearson, Debbie Criddle, Nicola Tustain and Anne Dunham took a 10% lead into the final event.

And they finished with a score of 220.390 to finish well ahead of Germany and the Netherlands, giving Pearson and Criddle their third golds of the Games.

Britain are the only team to have won the team dressage gold medal since the event was introduced at Atlanta.

And the victory means Pearson has retained all of the three titles he won in Sydney four years ago after winning grade I individual dressage and freestyle golds.

Criddle had already won the grade III individual dressage and freestyle titles, with Tustain taking bronze medals in the grade II individual dressage and freestyle events.

The judges awarded Criddle 75.538% for her test - even higher than the score that won her individual dressage gold.

"That was one of our best tests, so I'm very happy," she said.

Individual gold medals are life-changing but the team gold is the most important
Lee Pearson
"I felt terrible in the morning, I was so nervous I was shaking.

"I think it was the pressure of knowing this was for the team and we all had to come up with good scores.

"Athens has been a dream come true for me. We did so much preparation at home and it has paid off."

Pearson rode third for Britain on Blue Circle Boy and recorded a score of 76.842% to further stretch the team's lead.

"I knew it would be difficult as I was tired and my horse was tired," he said.

"There is also more pressure on you when you are ride for the team. Individual gold medals are life-changing, but the team gold is the most important.

"Everybody had been talking about the possibility of me winning three gold medals, but at the end of the day you are on a live horse and you never know what's going to happen."

Paralympic Games 2004



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