Britain continued to dominate on day two of Olympia, The London International Horse Show with another sensational win for Charlotte Dujardin in the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound.
The day kicked off with the Services Jumping Championship, the ultimate accolade for military riders, which was won by LCpl Holly Hall representing The Royal Logistic Corps. LCpl Hall’s double clear aboard WKD San Remo proved the only faultless performance of the class. Squadron Leader Elise Kidd and Wing Commander Laurie Tostevin, both from the Royal Air Force, battled it out for second and third place, respectively, finishing on four faults with the second-round time being the deciding factor.
The Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and Jean-François Pignon once again had the crowd on its feet with spectacular performances and the iconic 2019 edition of the Christmas Finale supported by The Hilton London Olympia premiered to great acclaim.
Britain’s ‘Queen of Dressage’ Charlotte Dujardin lived up to all expectations, riding Mount St John Freestyle to a euphoric victory in the FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound, scoring an impressive 87.52%. Having won Monday’s FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix supported by Horse & Hound by a comfortable margin, Charlotte rose to the occasion, with a near-perfect rendition of her new freestyle routine, The Snow Queen.
With the top three places replicating the previous night’s result, British riders once again dominated. Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato showed what they are capable of to take second, with a personal best score of 84.47%. with Britain’s newest superstar, Lottie Fry and the spectacular stallion Everdale also smashing the 80% barrier, finishing on 82.62%, their second personal best of the show.
This was Charlotte’s fourth win in the FEI Dressage World Cup qualifier at Olympia, her first with the Fidermark mare. Speaking after her victory, Charlotte said: “This was her third ever Freestyle. The crowd felt even closer than last night and it was quite a difficult floorplan. She really tried and listened to me; I couldn’t ask for more. I’ve had my highs and lows this year [referring to disqualification in the Grand Prix at the European Championships] and it is great to end the year with such a positive ride.”
Carl Hester, who was disappointed with his previous day’s performance, said: “What a difference a day makes. I have a big smile today. His last Freestyle was at the European Championships this summer, where he had a meltdown. What a way to finish the season.”
Under-25 European Champion Lottie Fry, who rode to new music she had received just a week ago, was still pinching herself after previous day’s third place: “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet and it won’t sink in for quite a while,” said Lottie. “We trained hard in the lead up to Olympia and everything fell into place. I dare to dream that next year will be an exciting year.”
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics around the corner, judge Andrew Gardner was particularly pleased with Britain’s domination: “These horses are young, so there is more to come. This is my favourite show and judging horses of this calibre here is such a treat.”
Olympia was the sixth of 11 qualifiers in the 2019-20 FEI World Cup dressage series, which culminates with the final in Las Vegas in April.
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