Tag Archives: Charlotte Dujardin

Dujardin Delights with Freestyle Win as British Dominate at Olympia

Charlotte Dujardin with Mount St John Freestyle. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

Charlotte Dujardin produced a superb victory with Mount St John Freestyle before an ecstatic home crowd at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League qualifier in the Grand Hall at Olympia, London (GBR). And to put the icing on the British Christmas cake, her compatriots Carl Hester and Charlotte Fry lined up in second and third.

It was an evening of great theatre, with Dujardin’s charming 10-year-old mare producing a stunning test for a mark of 87.520 to take the lead when fourth-last to go, only for a technical hitch to delay the scores of the three who followed. Still waiting for the final result, the riders were all sent back to the stables while Santa took over the arena for his Christmas Finale. But finally, the red carpet was rolled back out again, and it was Dujardin who led the British victory gallop.

She was delighted with the performance of her mare who has clearly matured a great deal since showing her massive potential at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA where she claimed two bronze medals. Freestyle’s freshness and freedom of movement, the elegance and height of her passage, and the expressiveness of her extended canter were just some of the highlights. And the horse really seemed to be enjoying herself, her big ears pricked as she gave her rider her full attention.

“It’s only her third time doing that test; she’s very inexperienced at Freestyle and I’m so pleased with her. The atmosphere was buzzing, it was a full house, and I could really feel it when I rode in. But she’s coping better and I couldn’t have asked any more from her!” said the winning rider who, though still only 34 years old, is a legend of the sport following her world-beating career with the now-retired Valegro.

Her friend and mentor, Hester, followed her into the ring and put a score of 84.470 on the board with a lovely performance with Hawtins Delicato. “A personal best – I can’t believe that at my age!” laughed the 52-year-old who has long been a huge influence in this sport. He was sitting back in the stable area when he learned his result – “One of my girls texted me and said you got an amazing score – it was a bit of a weird way to hear about it!” he added.

Fry was second-last to go, and the 23-year-old, who alongside Dujardin and Hester was a member of the British side that finished fourth at this summer’s FEI European Championships, produced a score of 82.620 with the 10-year-old stallion Everdale. This was good enough to pip the final partnership, and last year’s Olympia winners, Germany’s Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain who finished a close fourth with 82.550 this time around.

Hester said that although he was happy with the way things turned out, he realises he needs to put more pressure on himself, because he continues to have big ambitions. “It was clear after the Grand Prix test yesterday that this horse needs to get out more. I know I need to get myself committed – this happens before every Olympics!” said the man who has competed at five of them, taking team gold with Uthopia at the London 2012 Games, and team silver with Nip Tuck at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dujardin confirmed that she has both the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final 2020 in Las Vegas, USA in her sights now. So her plan? “Just to carry on doing what I’m doing and see how we go as we prepare for Tokyo. I’m hoping to get to Vegas in April, so I’ll go to the qualifier in Amsterdam in January and maybe another after that,” she explained.

She was twice winner of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ title with Valegro, taking her second title in Las Vegas in 2015. This result sees her move up to eighth on the Western European League table from which the top nine will qualify for the 2020 Final, so she may need another good result to ensure she makes the cut.

There are still five legs of the Western European series left to go, the next taking place at Mechelen, Belgium on 29 December.

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Brits Dominate at Olympia with a Second One-Two-Three

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.

Please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Britain Reigns Supreme on First Night of Olympia

The World’s best Dressage riders were out in force on day one of Olympia, The London International Horse Show, where Charlotte Dujardin was crowned winner of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix supported by Horse & Hound.

In addition to the top-class competition, some of the sport’s most respected names took centre stage to be part of Dressage Unwrapped, hosted by Carl Hester MBE, Gareth Hughes, and Richard Davison. With the help of some well-known equestrian friends, including Olympic, World, and European medalist Pippa Funnell and Performance Manager to Britain’s Senior Eventing Team, Richard Waygood, the unique masterclass explored all aspects of dressage, including producing, training, and managing dressage horses, how to cope with the pressures of competition, and insights from top dressage judge Stephen Clarke.

Spectacular performances from The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and Jean-François Pignon, and a fast and furious opening race from The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National, won by Freddy Tewson-Green, added to the excitement on the opening night of the 2019 Show.

Not only was Charlotte Dujardin back in pole position in the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix, but Britain completely dominated, taking the top four places.

Charlotte was in a league of her own, riding the spectacular 10-year-old Mount St John Freestyle, to win by a margin of more than 5% on 81.55%.

Charlotte said: “This was Freestyle’s second indoor show. Olympia is a really big atmosphere for a young horse that doesn’t have much experience. While I was going around the outside of the arena, I could hear everybody going, ‘Good luck, Charlotte’ — that’s how close the audience is. I am so excited about her; each time she performs, she just gets better. I was so pleased with how she dealt with it all.”

Carl Hester, the man dubbed The Master of Dressage, and the 11-year-old British-bred Hawtins Delicato took second place on 75.79%. The combination had just one error in the two-time changes, otherwise producing a fluent, soft test.

“He can do a lot better; he’s the most talented horse I’ve ever had, but it has taken time for him to gain confidence. Considering this was his first test since the Europeans, he’s done great,” said Carl.

Lottie Fry, who is based with the Van Olsts in the Netherlands, took third place with the hugely talented 10-year-old stallion Everdale, her second string. It was the 23-year-old’s second competition in her homeland in five years and only the combination’s fifth grand prix test.

Lottie said: “I am really proud. I cannot quite believe I am sitting next to Carl and Charlotte at this press conference. This is the biggest atmosphere we’ve ever competed in and he’s not used to going abroad. It is our best test and best score yet.”

Fourth place went to the European Championships Team GB second reserves Lara Butler and Rubin Al Asad with 74.05%.

The riders faced the additional challenge of riding the latest shortened grand prix test as part of a pilot project to make dressage user-friendlier. With each test lasting less than five minutes, the movements come up fast; however, it was generally well received by the riders, and regarded as a big improvement to last year’s test.

Katrina Wüst, the judge who was instrumental in writing the shortened version, said: “It is easily manageable for good riders; it is a true proof of thoroughness.”

An appreciative audience gathered earlier in the day at Olympia for a brand-new treat, a 90-minute “Dressage Unwrapped” demonstration, which kicked off the show. Led by three of Britain’s most celebrated dressage riders, Carl Hester, Gareth Hughes, and Richard Davison, it explored all aspects of dressage, including producing, training, and managing dressage horses, what it means to compete, and how to cope with the pressures of competition.

For the masterclass, Gareth Hughes rode his small tour horse Sintano Van Hof Olympia while explaining his training techniques and routine. Following this, Stephen Clarke, one of the world’s top judges, gave live comments and scores on a test performed by Jess Dunn and Alicante Valley, before a highly entertaining duo demonstration by performance manager to Britain’s senior eventing team, Richard Waygood, and one of the country’s best-loved eventers, Pippa Funnell, explained their favourite pole exercises to improve cadence and impulsion. Carl then completed the session by teaching Charlotte Dujardin on her phenomenally talented young superstar, the eight-year-old Gio, known as “Pumpkin.”

Please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Charlotte Dujardin and Boyd Exell among World’s Best Dressage and Driving Stars Heading to Olympia

Dressage

Britain’s best horse and rider combinations will be gracing the Olympia Grand for the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix and FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music, both supported by Horse & Hound, on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 December.

Triple Olympic gold medalist, Charlotte Dujardin CBE, will be riding her exciting Olympic prospect Mount St John Freestyle, and Carl Hester MBE brings with him his top ride Hawtins Delicato, giving spectators the chance to witness world-class action across the two nights of Dressage competition.

With the 2020 Olympics fast approaching, Olympia will be a pivotal event for competitors, both in terms of preparation and as a crucial opportunity to impress the Team GB selectors. Successful results at the Show could have an impact on team selection for Tokyo next year.

Keen to impress the selectors will be four-time Olympian and former British number one Richard Davison riding Bubblingh, a combination who were part of the winning FEI CDIO5* Nations Cup team in Compiègne earlier this year. He will be joined by teammate from that event, Charlotte Fry, riding the ten-year-old stallion, Everdale. Olympia will also welcome Lara Butler, aboard Rubin Al Asad. The combination was part of the second-placed team in the CDIO3* Nations Cup at Hickstead, where she also won the individual Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle to Music titles. Rounding up a strong British contingent will be Louise Bell and Gareth Hughes, both of whom are having a career-best season, having each broken several personal best scores.

Heading a strong international challenge will be 2018 Olympia victors Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED), who returns with Glock’s Dream Boy N.O.P, the combination which won the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix supported by Horse & Hound last year, and Frederic Wandres (GER), who took the FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle supported by Horse & Hound from Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin, despite finishing on the same score.

Following a successful summer, which included victory in the Grand Prix Special at Hickstead, Portugal’s João Miguel Torrao, a pupil of Carl Hester, will also be one to watch, riding his 10-year-old Quo Vadis stallion, Equador.

The full Dressage line-up can be found here.

Driving

With four of the world’s top five Drivers set to take their place in the starting line-up at Olympia, the competition will be hotter than ever.

World No. 1 Boyd Exell returns to the Show seeking to continue where he left off, following his emphatic victory in the FEI Driving World Cup Leg last year. The Australian driver, FEI World Equestrian Games gold medalist at the last three consecutive Games, comes to Olympia on the back of a superb victory in the FEI Driving World Cup of Stuttgart in November.

One of Exell’s closest rival, Dutchman Koos de Ronde, the World No. 4, also returns to the Show, looking to put the pressure on the man who has dominated the sport for so long. Fellow countryman Ijsbrand Chardon, currently ranked third in the world, and runner-up to Exell at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018, will be another to provide a significant challenge.

World No. 5, Chester Weber, representing the USA, team gold medalist from the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018, will be another to look out for, as will Britain’s Daniel Naprous, famed for his work as a stunt rider in productions such as Game of Thrones and Star Wars, with his trademark tight turns and unwavering pace.

The confirmed Driving entries can be found here.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Who Are the Most Famous Dressage and Equestrian Competitors?

If you are a fan of dressage and equestrian, there is certainly a few names that really catch your attention. Like all sports, dressage has its elite competitors that are the most sought-after in the sport. The world of dressage and equestrian stops when these elite names compete. Fans of dressage are gearing up for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, but before the excitement of the Summer Games begin, fans can play the PA lottery and enjoy the fun before the horses take to the arena.

So, who are the top performers in dressage and equestrian? If you are a fan of the sport, you surely know most of these famous names.

Charlotte Dujardin

Charlotte Dujardin started her career at an early age after first learning to ride horses at the age of two. Since those early years of riding, Dujardin has become the most successful dressage rider in the history of British equestrian. Due to starting at such a young age, Dujardin has been riding horses for 32 years. She is only 34! Dujardin won gold in team and individual dressage at the 2012 Olympics and individual dressage gold four years later in Rio. Fans of equestrian are gearing up for the end of the 2019 season and can use the latest racing codes to wager on the horses and riders they believe will win the next big event.

Anky van Grunsven

Anky van Grunsven has lifted the Dressage World Cup on nine different occasions during her illustrious career. Van Grunsven began riding at the age of 12 and in 1999, after years of success, Van Grunsven began a dressage and equestrian clothing line due to the lack of performance gear available to riders. Van Grunsven won individual dressage gold at the Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

Valentina Truppa

Italian rider Valentina Truppa suffered a devasting head injury while competing in 2015. She rebounded from the fall and has since continued her sparkling dressage career. Truppa hasn’t had the Olympic success of Dujardin nor van Grunsven, but could turn that all around in 2020 in Japan. Truppa competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games but failed to place.

Jill Henselwood

Jill Henselwood is one of Canada’s top show jumpers. Henselwood was a part of team Canada’s silver medal win in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. Henselwood made her national showjumping team debut in 1991, a mere two years after making her debut at the Grand Prix. Voted the 1992 Rookie of the Year, Henselwood has appeared in a number of major events on the back of her horse, Special Ed.

Amy Tryon

Olympic eventer Amy Tryon passed away in 2012, but her memory as a top Olympic eventer is long-lasting. Tryon won bronze at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens in Team Eventing. She appeared at the World Equestrian Games, winning gold in 2002 in Team Eventing and bronze in 2006 in the individual category. Tryon was unable to continue her success in 2008 at the Summer Olympics; however, her reputation as a top performer was set before the Beijing games.

Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester Confirmed for FEI Dressage World Cup at Olympia

Charlotte Dujardin CBE and Carl Hester MBE have confirmed that they will be bringing their best horses, Mount St John Freestyle and Hawtins Delicato, to Olympia, The London International Horse Show, and with the 2020 Olympics fast approaching, the Show will form an important part of their Olympic preparations.

Mount St John Freestyle will be making her competitive debut at Olympia, and having picked up two bronze medals at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, is widely regarded as one of the favourites for Tokyo 2020, bidding to win Dujardin a fourth Olympic Gold.

Announcing her participation, Dujardin said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to Olympia for 2019. Being able to compete on Mount St John Freestyle at the Show for the first time is incredibly exciting and will also provide a valuable stepping stone ahead of the 2020 Olympics. The audience at Olympia is incredible and will prepare us for the crowds in Tokyo.”

Dujardin’s 2018 Olympia ride, Hawtins Delicato, will be back with regular partner Carl Hester, rekindling the formidable partnership that won them team bronze at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018 and FEI Dressage Nations Cup team gold in Compiègne, France earlier this year.

Hester and Dujardin will go head-to-head in the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix and FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music, both supported by Horse & Hound, on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 December. The format of the Grand Prix is the second year of a pilot scheme which includes a more precise test and stronger audience interaction.

“Olympia is the show I look forward to every year and this December I’ll be competing on Hawtins Delicato,” said Hester. “Performing under the roof of Olympia Grand is always such a unique experience and the crowds are so encouraging. It’s exciting to see the revised new format take shape and to see the Show coming up with new and innovative ways of connecting with the audience. I know this year will be a huge success!”

Organisers have reviewed the format of the Grand Prix since last year and have taken the most popular elements from 2018, such as live interviews with the competitors in the arena immediately after their test as they watch the scores come in. The test itself has also been updated, with all the classic Grand Prix characteristics present and attention paid to maintaining the flow of the movements whilst also demanding the highest level of technical ability, athleticism, and precision to satisfy FEI Dressage World Cup standards and qualification requirements.

Richard Davison, Dressage Consultant to the Olympia Organising Committee, who has been working together with the FEI on the project, commented: “We have been working hard to develop a concept which maintains the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix as the ultimate technical test which reflects the highest degree of difficulty, whilst also widening its appeal to new audiences. The aim is to strike a balance for both competitors and fans and this pilot marks a significant step in achieving our goals.”

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “We are always looking for ways to make the action at Olympia as entertaining, dynamic, and educational for our audience as possible.  We are confident that the second year of the Dressage Grand Prix pilot will be met enthusiastically by our audience. Not only do we have the competition, but we are also introducing ‘Dressage Unwrapped’ hosted by Carl Hester, Richard Davison, and Gareth Hughes which gives a 90 minute deep dive into dressage and what it means to compete at an international level. The whole evening is set to be a feast for dressage enthusiasts.”

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Werth Pips Dujardin in Exciting Second Leg at Lyon

Isabell Werth riding Emilio. (FEI/Eric Knoll)

Germany’s Isabell Werth showed exactly why she is known as The Queen of international dressage when, on her debut in the 2019/2020 FEI Dressage World Cup™ Western European League at the second leg in Lyon, France, she produced yet another of her right-royal victories.

Partnering the 13-year-old gelding Emilio, she was pinned into second place in the Grand Prix won by Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and her latest shining star, the 10-year-old mare Mount St John Freestyle. But the German legend did what she does best and fought back to win the Lyon leg for the third consecutive year when putting a massive 87.090 on the board.

There was great anticipation of the clash between Werth, who has taken the series title a total of five times including the last three in succession, and Dujardin who was twice crowned champion with the great Valegro. It was at the 2014 Final in Lyon that the British rider first lifted the coveted FEI Dressage World Cup™ trophy, and fans are super-excited to see her back fighting for the supremacy she held in the sport during the heady years before Valegro’s retirement in December 2016. She’s aiming for a spot at the 2020 Final in Las Vegas, USA next April so made a great start to her points campaign when collecting the maximum 20 – as defending champion Werth doesn’t need to collect points; instead she is only obliged to compete twice with her horse of choice in order to qualify.

Werth is the ultimate competitor, already relishing the return of potentially her biggest rival over the coming season and beyond. She always says that competing against the best raises everybody’s game.

“Welcome back Charlotte! It’s good to have the best in the field, and that is also what the public like to see! It’s great to have Charlotte away from her island – now the World Cup season will be really exciting!” said the lady who is herself a longtime legend, with more medals in her trophy cabinet than any other athlete in the history of equestrian sport.

When she came into the ring, fifth-last to go, she was chasing the leading score of 80.015 set by compatriot, Frederic Wandres, riding Duke of Britain. And the crowd were clapping even before she started. “It was a wonderful crowd; the stands were full and the atmosphere was great. This is the second time I rode this Freestyle with this music and I really like it. I’m really happy and proud of Emilio. When you ride the last line and the crowd starts to clap you know you are in a good position!” Werth said after putting that 87.090 up in lights, despite taking the time out during her test to signal, on three occasions, for her music level to be turned up.

She was still holding sway when, last to go, Dujardin came into the ring, aware that her mare was more tense. “Yesterday at the prize-giving she was quite stressed, and today when she saw so many people, she thought we were doing another prizegiving. I felt her stressed and a little worried going into the arena but I’m very proud and happy with how she behaved. She lacks experience and I have to keep her with me, but this was super experience for the future and I think she will become hard to beat!” she said after putting 83.925 on the board for runner-up spot.

Dujardin is already looking down the road to the series Final, and the experience her mare can pick up along the way. “I will go to Olympia (London, GBR) and this will again be a big show with a big crowd and a great atmosphere. Then I plan to go to Amsterdam and hopefully Las Vegas!” she pointed out.

Third-placed Wandres, who posted a mark of 80.015, was delighted with his result. “When I saw the rider-list here I thought it could be difficult to do well, but now being third behind the two Dressage Queens is fantastic! With Duke it is special as we learned together. It is now our second Grand Prix season and we keep progressing,” he said.

Her winning Freestyle score was just fractionally below a personal best for Werth and Emilio as a combination, and the lady who is in the privileged position of having multiple top rides, including her two super-mares Weihegold and Bella Rose, is delighted that the 2019/2020 Western European League is off to such an impressive start. “Herning (the first leg in Denmark) has already taken place and the level was already very high. It is not only Charlotte but lots of good riders taking part, so it will be interesting to see what will happen in Vegas,” said the rider on whose home ground in Stuttgart (GER), the third round of the 11-leg league, will take place in two weeks’ time.

Result here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Charlotte Is Back

Image copyright PSV.

British rider Charlotte Dujardin was the fourth rider to enter the dressage arena for the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix presented by CREARA, and she managed to put in a great performance to hold off the competition. Taking first place in the provisional ranking with 79.978%, she held on to her lead throughout the class, even finishing ahead of Isabell Werth, who scored 77.826%.

This result in Lyon represented a major comeback for the English star. Indeed, she had not competed in Lyon since 2014, riding her famous Valegro. Charlotte Dujardin introduced the ten-year-old Mount St John Freestyle to the judges. It was a first for her horse, which was participating in its first FEI World Cup class. “I’m so happy. This was Mount’s first indoor World Cup class. She is really courageous and has worked a lot for this event. I felt great and I think it was one of the best dressage tests we have done together. Looking forward to tomorrow, I adore Freestyle and I love my music – The Snow Queen! – and my horse loves it too! This is the second time that I’ll be presenting this routine. It’s great music for horseback riding.”

The event was also a first for Anne-Sophie Serre and her very young mare Actuelle de Massa. Tenth in the final ranking with a score of 70.565%, the French rider can be extremely proud of her performance. The couple performed a very pretty, fluid routine, under the watchful eye of the French coaches. When she left the arena, Anne-Sophie could not hide her joy: “This is a first for me and my horse in a World Cup! I am really happy about the way I felt in the arena and with how Actuelle behaved. She was really concentrated despite her young age and the little experience she has at this level. This is just our fifth Grand Prix together, so she is newcomer at this elite level. So, I am really pleased to be part of the event and with my horse’s performance. Tomorrow I’ll be doing my third Freestyle to music test, but I was particularly under pressure today, because the first class is often decisive for the rest of the competition. So, I have done what I set out to do, so far. I did a little over 70% by doing a routine without pushing things too much, so now it’s just about having fun!”

The top French rider in the ranking was Morgan Barbaçon-Mestre on her faithful Sir Donnerhall II Old, with 72.109%. The couple finished eighth in the class. Finally, a quick word about the third French couple involved. Despite their 13th place with a score below 70 (69.739%), Amorak and Stéphanie Brieussel completed a nice, smooth dressage test. “I am very happy with the performances of all three of them, since they managed to complete the tests without making any faults, as they say,” said Emmanuelle Schramm, Deputy Technical Director in charge of dressage for the French Equestrian Federation.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

FEI Dressage World Cup: The Clash of the Queens

Their male counterparts had better watch out! The FEI Dressage World Cup leg in Lyon, organised as part of the Longines Equita Lyon Concours Hippique International (30 October to 3 November), will offer its loyal public a line-up of riders, and in particular of lady riders, which has rarely been seen at a French dressage show.

Charlotte Dujardin at the FEI World Cup leg in Lyon for the first time
The last (and only) time she appeared in the main arena at Lyon-Eurexpo was back in 2014, at the FEI Dressage World Cup Final, organised by Sylvie Robert’s team. And it was in Lyon that the English rider, at that time partnered by her legendary Valegro, won her first Final. Charlotte Dujardin, two-time winner of the title (Lyon 2014, Las Vegas 2015), three-time Olympic champion (team and individual medallist in London in 2012 and individual medallist in Rio in 2016), World champion in 2014, and five times gold medallist in a European Championship between 2011 and 2015, has made the 2019-2020 FEI Dressage World Cup her objective this winter. After a curtailed European Championship in 2019, where with Mount St John Freestyle she nevertheless beat her own record in the Grand Prix (81.91%), ‘Queen Charlotte’ is aiming to qualify her young ten-year-old mare for the 2020 Final in Las Vegas. Since her titles in Lyon in 2014 and Las Vegas in 2015, Charlotte Dujardin has only competed in three FEI World Cups: London in 2015 and in 2018, and Amsterdam in 2016. This season she should appear on at least three occasions, including Lyon.

Isabell Werth, one of our most loyal riders, heading for a fifth victory in Lyon?
Just as the Lyon ring brought success for the English rider Charlotte Dujardin, other riders have succeeded her since 2014 and in particular Germany’s Isabell Werth. Winner of the FEI World Cup leg in Lyon in 2010, then in 2016, 2017, and 2018, this legend of equestrian sport has nothing but praise when speaking of the only French leg on the circuit. She was also the ‘patron’ of the candidacy of the show when Sylvie Robert’s team was applying to the FEI to organise a Dressage World Cup.  In 2019, the German team is sending another of its brilliant ambassadors in the form of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who won the bronze medal this summer at the European Championships, and will also be appearing at the Longines Equita Lyon Concours Hippique International. She will be riding Zaire-E, the horse with which she came second at the FEI World Cup leg in Budapest, at the end of September.

Serious competitors also to be found on the men’s side
Dutchman Hans Peter Minderhoud, the winner of the FEI Dressage World Cup Final in 2016, is expected in Lyon, along with his fifteen-year-old stallion, Glock’s Zanardi.  Sweden’s Patrik Kittel, another horseman loyal to the Lyon leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup, will be riding his gelding Delaunay OLD, the horse with which he leapt up the world rankings this month (from the twentieth to the thirteenth position). The combination also won the FEI World Cup leg in Budapest, ahead of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.

French riders headed up by Morgan Barbançon-Mestre
In the Hungarian World Cup leg in Budapest, Kittel was the winner, Germany’s Von Bredow-Werndl was second and Mestre came third. Riding Sir Donnerhall II OLD, she finished in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a record score for the combination: 77.75%!  Morgan and ‘Gus’ (the affectionate nickname given to the stallion by his rider) will head up a major French delegation in Lyon. The audience at the Longines Equita Lyon Concours Hippique International will have the chance to show their support for Stéphanie Brieussel and Amorak, Anne-Sophie Serre and Actuelle de Massa, and Alexandre Ayache with Zo What.

In order to showcase dressage to as many people as possible, the organisers of the Longines Equita Lyon Concours Hippique International have decided to open the FEI World Cup leg in Lyon to all the visitors. On Thursday 31 October in the morning and on Friday 1 November in the afternoon, spectators who have “trade show” tickets will discover the best dressage riders in the world, during performances worthy of the greatest specialists. On Thursday, the doors of the trade show will open at 7.30am to let spectators be comfortably seated in the stands at 8am.

  • The FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix presented by the Comité Régional d’Equitation Auvergne Rhône-Alpes: Thursday 31 October, at 8am
  • The FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle presented by FFE Generali: Friday 1 November, at 4pm

Press contact: Blizko Communication
Daniel Koroloff, Juliette Feytout – Mob.: +33(0)6 11 02 18 12
Email: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Olympic Superstar Valegro Stars in Exclusive Documentary on Horse & Country TV

Wellington, Fla. – Sept. 19, 2019 – Featuring the dressage superstar Valegro on the screen for fans around the world to enjoy, Valegro: Sculpting the Legend is now available on demand only on Horse & Country TV. The exclusive documentary tells the heartwarming story of the citizens of Gloucestershire, England and their inspiration to honor Valegro with a bronze sculpture.

In November of 2017, Valegro’s hometown of Newent celebrated one of the world’s most famous horses with the launch of a project that would commemorate his brilliance for years to come. A half life-size bronze statue of Valegro was to be constructed to proudly stand in the center of the Gloucestershire market town, in celebration of the gelding’s achievements representing Great Britain.

The film highlights the creation of the half life-size bronze statue, designed and commissioned by world renowned equine sculptor, Georgie Welch, who was also tasked with producing 12 limited-edition bronze miniature models. Each of the smaller sculptures, which stands around 11 inches high, will be sold and one raffled in order to raise funds for the exciting masterpiece.

In partnership with Charlotte Dujardin, Valegro, who is owned by Carl Hester and Roly Luard, has accumulated three Olympic gold medals and hold multiple world records in all three divisions: the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Freestyle, and the Grand Prix Special. Great Britain’s equestrian dream team of Dujardin and Valegro closed the competitive chapter of their partnership at a retirement ceremony held at the CDI-W London Olympia Horse Show in 2016, but the excitement of their performances is still talked about around the world.

Welch takes viewers through the various processes of making the miniature bronzes before sitting down with Hester, Dujardin, and the other people involved in the project for interviews, in addition to paying a visit to Valegro himself.

“Valegro was a horse of a lifetime – he is a complete legend,” his rider, Charlotte Dujardin, stated. “This lovely documentary gives a fascinating insight into the horse that had brought so much global awareness to the sport of dressage and has a place in my heart forever, as well as for many of you.”

To mark the start of the project, Valegro, Dujardin, and his groom, Alan Davies, made an appearance to the town center, meeting some of the locals who would enjoy the iconic structure for years to come.

Don’t miss out on this exclusive behind the scenes look at the process that has gone into Valegro’s sculpture, recognizing the dressage legend’s achievements. Head on over to Horse & Country TV to subscribe and watch the event’s highlight show to see their podium finishes.

H&C TV broadcasts in Europe, Australia, and in the United States on cable, satellite, and broadband television, including Roku, and online at www.horseandcountrytv.us.