Newspapers hand British equestrian Olympic gold medal to the Dutch

Photo mix-up sees three tabloids picture the Netherlands as winners of the team dressage event

When the Dutch Olympic equestrian team opened their morning papers with breakfast today they were in for a pleasant surprise. Judging by the front page of The Express, as well as a small feature in the Daily Star and a lovely big double page spread in The Mirror (above), they’d been upgraded from bronze to gold in the Team Dressage, snatching victory from the British.


Sadly for The Netherlands – and thankfully for Team GB – it was a multiple mix-up with the photographs and the British had not, in fact, been deprived of their first ever Olympic medal in the event.

The mistakes may have come about due to the appreciable similarity between Team GB’s Carl Hester and the Dutch rider Edward Gal or because press agency pictures were mislabelled. However, there were some clues the unlucky journalists could have picked up on, even if they had been struggling to spot the difference.


Team GB’s riding jackets feature a red collar trim, while the Dutch sport their traditional orange. A closer inspection of the photographs also reveals badges on the jackets which read “Olympic Team Netherlands”. And if there was still confusion at that point, the medals hanging round the necks of the Dutch team are bronze, not gold…