Germany, which has dominated Olympic grand prix dressage since 1976, showed why with a gold-medal performance and half a bronze one.
The Germans had four riders in the top eight and scored 5,553 points to take the gold, followed by the Netherlands' 5,437 points. The surprising Americans won the bronze medal, with Michelle Gibson of Roswell, Ga., aboard Peron earning 1,880 points (75.2%), third overall and the best ever for a U.S. Olympian.
The German influence carried over to the Unites States' bronze medal. Guenter Seidel of Encinitas, Calif., and Steffen Peters of Escondido, Calif., are German-born and naturalized American citizens.
Robert Dover of Flemington, N.J., was the fourth U.S. rider, all of whom qualified for the individual event, beginning Wednesday.
With a silver medal in the team three-day event and Kerry Millikin's bronze in the individual three-day, the U.S. ended a 12-year Olympic medal drought in the sport. The United States had won team gold and individual silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
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MEDALISTS / Equestrian
Bronze: United States