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TOKYO, Japan — After a year’s pandemic-driven delay, the U.S. Dressage Team opened its 2020 Olympic Games with a silver medal in Team Dressage — the first time a United States dressage team won team silver since the 1948 London Olympic Games.

(U.S. Equestrian courtesy photo)

The team competition saw eight nations vie for the three coveted podium positions in the Grand Prix Special, with Germany taking gold, the U.S. earning the silver, and Great Britain awarded the bronze medal.

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino received a 76.109% from the panel, while Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper, finished the competition with a 77.766%, a personal best for the combination. Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo anchored the team and received a career-high 81.596% from the judges as one of the final rides of the evening.

Lyle, from Wellington, Fla., and Salvino, a 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Betsy Juliano LLC, executed a mistake-free test, giving momentum to the team for their second ride with Peters and Suppenkasper.

In the second grouping of combinations, Peters, of San Diego, and Suppenkasper, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood (KWPN) gelding owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm, rode one of their best tests to date and earned a superb score, improving from their test on Sunday in the team qualifier competition.

“This is exactly what I wanted for my team,” Peters said. “It’s one thing to ride individually, but when you pull a good score for your team it’s an incredible feeling. When we came out of the arena, I gave Mopsie a big hug and thanked him from the bottom of my heart. We were seriously in the zone. When we were out there about to go in the ring, I said, ‘Mopsie, please just do what we just did out here in warm-up,’ and we had a good schooling this morning. He did that for me when it counted and it’s an incredible feeling when a horse will fight for you like that in the arena.”

As the anchor combination for the team, fellow Californian Schut-Kery of Napa and Sanceo, a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Alice Womble, rounded out the team’s effort with another stellar performance and personal best. The duo, who made their presence known in their first outing on Saturday, returned with another strong performance for the U.S. Dressage Team, helping them clinch their second-place finish.

“For me, this was my first time here at the Olympics, and it was quite intense to wait that long for the end of the class, but I am so proud of my horse, my team, my owners, and the coaches,” said Schut-Kery. “It’s been a really, really great experience and I am still a bit speechless.”

With team rides concluded, U.S. Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald was overcome with emotion.

“I am just so proud of this team,” she said. “This is truly the dream team. They each persevered and delivered when their team needed them most. I am so elated by their accomplishment tonight, and wow, what a moment to be remembered for this program.”

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