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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | SPORT-BY-SPORT REPORT : EQUESTRIAN

Music Makes It Golden for Werth, Gigolo

August 04, 1996

They held a concert in Conyers, Ga., and Gigolo was the show-stopper.

Germany's Isabell Werth, riding Gigolo, won the gold medal in the freestyle individual dressage competition, set to music for the first time in the Olympics.

In this case, it was "Just a Gigolo," described by Werth as "pop music, like Tina Turner."

Werth came from behind to beat Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands, whose Bonfire rode to "Bonfire's Symphony," a piece specially written by film composers and named after her horse.

Worth and Gigolo scored 83% in the freestyle and had a three-day total of 235.09. Van Grunsven finished at 233.02, and her compatriot, bronze-medalist Sven Rothenberger, 224.95 on Weyden.

Overall, the combination of horses and music that ranged from classical to Abba's "Dancing Queen" pleased the crowd of more than 30,000, and that was the idea.

"I think it helps the sport, because regular dressage can be boring for people who don't understand it. By adding music, it increases the audience's interest," said van Grunsven, the defending world champion.

American rider Michelle Gibson, in third overnight, lost marks for an early error on Peron, who lost his concentration and shied, then added more mistakes while performing to Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark."

Gibson and Peron finished fifth.

* Information in sport-by-sport report from Times wire services.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

MEDALISTS

Equestrian

Dressage

Gold: Isabeil Verth, Germany

Silver: Andy Van Grunsven, Netherlands

Bronze: Sven Rothenberger, Netherlands

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