Dream Teams: Inspirational Quotes from the Final WEG Press Conference

Great Britain wins team gold. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Brits and the Irish gave us an incredible finale at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. These teams clearly have a lot of positive chemistry, and they used that to their advantage this weekend. The media center was buzzing during the final press conference as we heard first-hand experiences from our gold and silver medalists (Sadly the French were not present as they had flights to catch). Check out what these teams had to say:

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Ros Canter (GBR), Individual Gold, Team Gold

On winning double gold: “I don’t think it’s hit home yet. It was quite a shock when it first happened. It’s just absolutely incredible – not just for me but the whole sport and team behind me and Team GB. It’s a very surreal day for me, so many emotions, but very proud of my country and just excited for the whole team around me and everyone that’s put so much into this. It’s very exciting.”

On the Bartle effect: “I’ve been going to Chris Bartle the last two years and since I’ve started getting help from him my results have rocketed. My style is different – it’s less intense, I ride with a bit of a longer rein. It’s the confidence he instills and also it’s always about the rider with Chris. The horse does his job and the rider always has a job to do. So today, instead of getting really nervous it was all about the process – jump by jump, and then the results just happen.”

On team experience: “I’ve been lucky enough the last two years – I went to Europeans last year which gave me a feeler on what this is about. I’ve had a bit of exposure at the top level – maybe for me it helps a little bit – I can just think about the process and I suppose maybe not having done it before that takes pressure off me a little bit and allows me to do my job. But I’d say most of it is about the team around us. Team GB is phenomenal – they make the dream come true really.”

On the pressure of riding for a medal: “I think I was pretty focused going into the arena. I was fortunate enough to sit on a horse like Allstar B where as long as I can get it right, he’ll just keep going higher and higher for me.”

Gemma Tattersall (GBR), Team Gold

On what made the difference for Team GB: “I think the whole team environment is great – Chris Bartle is an absolute legend. It’s not only Chris, is’s also Dickie (Waygood) and the last two years we’ve had the most incredible team environment. This year the morale has been incredible and it’s made it so good.”

Dickie Waygood, British Eventing Performance Manager

“These guys and girls stuck to the basics, kept them there, kept the system going, absolutely fantastic.”

Padraigh McCarthy (IRL), Individual Silver, Team Silver

On his show jumping: “It wasn’t really hard. I wasn’t in medal position when I went in, and I have experience jumping at bigger competitions and he’s a great jumper. In a previously life I was a show jumper. The horse was jumping brilliant, so I didn’t go in with any pressure since I wasn’t in medal position.”

On winning and individual medal: “I’ve dreamt about a medal for the last six months. With a horse like this, you have to dream big. If you think you can’t do it, you don’t do it. It’s been on my mind since the beginning with him.”

Sam Watson (IRL), Team Silver

On winning a medal for his country: “These guys have gotten good results the last 12 months. We knew Padraigh and Sarah (Enni)could put in really good individual performances and that the rest of us could put in good team results to help. It’s been a fantastic competition – expect more of it!

“My view is that medals happen. Sometimes you get them because other people have a good day. So our focus is always on performance. The journey getting to here has been improve our performance as a team. I love competing with this horse. It’s been a fantastic journey. It’s great to have the medal, but it’s just a bonus.”

Sally Corscadden, Irish Eventing Senior High Performance Director

On what this means for Ireland: “This is absolutely huge. We’re making history today when you really think about it. We haven’t had a world medal since 1978 in individual or team since ’95 so to be here as a team is absolutely fantastic. Our goal the whole time was to be competitive and we stuck to that goal. We pushed those brits – we made them a little nervous.”