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Sports

German riders win gold at European Dressage Championships

The German team has won gold at the European Dressage Championship in Denmark. An impressive showing from Helen Langehanenberg sealed the title for the first time since 2005.

A day earlier it seemed that all was lost, but a key performance from Langehanenberg Thursday in Herning, Denmark catapulted the Germans towards gold. The team finished just 0.684 percentage points ahead of the Netherlands.

"Unbelievable. It's hard to grasp. This is so terrific," said Langerhanenberg afterward. "It was the best ride of my life."

Germany finished with 234.651 percentage points, ahead of the Netherlands' 233.967 and Britain's 233.540. It was Germany's first gold medal finish since the 2005 European Championships, and first gold medal at a major event since the 2008 Olympics.

Langerhanenberg, with her horse Damon Hill, stayed calm throughout the performance, despite a shaky showing from Kristina Sprehe that piled on the pressure.

"I really can't believe that it still worked out," said Sprehe, who added that she was "shaking like never before" during Langerhanenberg's ride.

Sports Director Dennis Peiler described Germany's comeback by saying it "was like in football when you need to score three goals in a half."

"This is a piece of history, this was the most exciting European Championship of all times," said Isabell Werth, who has now won her eleventh European title. "This triumph is extremely important for dressage in Germany."

dr/ch (dpa, SID)