By Gary Anderson

August 23 - Great Britain's Ricky Balshaw with his European Championship silver medalThere was further success for London 2012 Para-dressage medallists at the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) European Championships in Herning, Denmark, as both Pepo Puch of Austria and Great Britain's Sophie Wells secured gold medals in individual competitions.

An impressive score of 76.138 per cent saw reigning Olympic and European champion Puch bag another gold to add to his collection in the Grade Ib class on board Fine Feeling S, ahead of European Championship debutant Ricky Balshaw (pictured top), while Denmark's Stinna Tange Kaastrup ensured the home crowd were happy as she claimed bronze on her new horse Steffi Graf.

"Wow, it's amazing to defend my title," said 47-year-old Puch.

"The other one [from Moorsele 2011] was on Good Boys Feeling and now it's Fine Feeling S, my second horse, and I'm really pleased.

"I was really happy, especially as it was quite noisy, but the horse was really settled and stayed concentrated.

"He was super, really super.

"I've worked over the summer and made progress especially in my body.

"My body is more smooth and I can breathe better in my riding."

Pepo Puch and Fine Feeling S added European gold to Olympic gold at the European Championships in HerningPepo Puch and Fine Feeling S added European gold to Olympic gold at the European Championships in Herning

Beijing 2008 silver medallist Balshaw, returning after a serious injury in 2011, was pleased with his silver medal and gave special mention to his horse Lady Joseph Trust (LJT) Enggaards Solitaire who was making his first appearance at a top-level international Championships.

"It's not bad at all," said Balshaw.

"I'm quite pleased really.

"I think everyone comes here and wants to win but when I actually think about it, second at his [LJT Enggaards Solitaire] first majors, when I've only had him seven months, I'm really pleased.

"Pepo is so established that maybe it was a little bit premature to think that I could do it today, but fair play to Pepo and congratulations to him.

"I'm really over the moon to beat everyone else and get the silver."

Balshaw's compatriot Wells went one better in the Grade IV class, as a fantastic performance on board Valerius saw her take top honours with an impressive score of 75.643 per cent.

Wells won team gold in London last year but finished with silver in the individual competition and revealed her delight and relief at securing individual gold in Herning.

Sophie Wells of Great Britain centre put in a dominant display on board Valerius to win European gold in the Grade IV classSophie Wells of Great Britain (centre) put in a dominant display on board Valerius to win European gold in the Grade IV class

"I'm very happy," said the reigning world and European champion.

"I've waited a year to try and get back on top to be honest.

"London didn't go my way and I've been hungry for this so I'm very happy.

"The way my horse went today I couldn't have asked any more of him so whatever the result I was going to be pleased, but obviously I'm ecstatic about it."

"He felt much more on form today.

"He was with me and was listening.

"Obviously I was quite cautious with all the people in the audience.

"I made sure I warmed up down there [at the end of the warm-up arena where more people are sitting] and exposed him to them as much as I could.

"He felt really on form and when I went in I asked for more power and I only had to ask a tiny little bit and he was right there."

London 2012 double bronze medallist Frank Hosmar of the Netherlands finished with silver behind Wells while the home crowd were treated to another bronze medal through the efforts of Championship debutante Line Kongensgaard on board Laponio.

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