Tag Archives: Charlotte Dujardin

Dujardin Sublime on Day Three of Royal Windsor Horse Show

CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show basked in glorious late spring sunshine on its third day of world-class equestrian competition. Excited spectators arrived in anticipation ahead of the culmination of the Dressage and to witness the first of the week’s international Show Jumping classes. Results included a sensational victory for homegrown talent Holly Smith in the Manama Speed Stakes, and a supremely dominant Dressage display from Charlotte Dujardin in the CDI4* FEI Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music. The day’s proceedings were also jam-packed with colourful, energetic and musical displays from The Dubai Mounted Police, The Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry, and The Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Charlotte Dujardin made it a clean sweep at Royal Windsor Horse Show, clocking up two first places from two starts. She commandingly won the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music CDI4* on Friday, adding to her previous day’s win in the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix. All three podium finishers racked up huge new personal bests in the atmospheric Windsor arena.

Charlotte partnered her pupil Sonnar Murray Brown’s bay 12-year-old Trakehner gelding Erlentanz to an impressive winning score of 81.9% — the first time the horse has achieved over 80%. This was only Charlotte’s second show with the son of Latimer, whom she is riding while Sonnar recovers from a broken leg.

Carl Hester, who was second in the grand prix, withdrew the 15-year-old Nip Tuck ahead of the freestyle as he was found to be slightly lame. That left 10 combinations to battle it out in the shadow of the iconic Windsor Castle. Richard Davison and Bubblingh improved a place from the previous day, slotting into second with 78.31%. Last to go, Ireland’s Heike Holstein, finished third with 74.915% riding her home-bred mare Sambuca (by Samarant).

Charlotte said: “That’s my second freestyle with Erlentanz so it’s all really, really new. I wanted to test out a few things today; I wanted to go for a bit more, get more in my extensions, get him a bit braver in that arena.”

Charlotte rode to music from her double Olympic gold-winning partner Valegro — who met The Queen at Royal Windsor the previous day — which suited the bouncy Erlentanz well. Her high mark from the five judges came from Germany’s Katrina Wuest (84%), with the low of 79.625% from Finland’s Maria Colliander.

The popular home rider produced a superb test, showing clockwork passage, ground covering extensions and expressive flying changes. She received a perfect 10 for both her one-time changes and the double pirouette to the right. The only mistake in the test came when Erlentanz dropped into trot coming into the canter pirouette left. But Charlotte is the consummate professional and knows this music inside out, so was able to improvise and repeat the movement later in the test to claw back marks.

“I came in and half-halted but — and it was totally my fault — I think I was too close to the board at the top end and as I went to turn, he just backed off me and trotted,” explained Charlotte. “I did manage to do it again and kept thinking the whole way through, ‘Where am I going to put it back in, where am I going to put it in?’ I decided to do it at the end of the one-times, landed on the left and managed to fit it in, so that was a relief — at least I got it back. I’ve only ridden him for about three months so it’s just a question of getting to know him, finding the buttons and knowing how much I can push, and when I can’t.”

Charlotte is a regular at Royal Windsor, coming into the 2019 show to defend her double wins from last year aboard the young mare Mount St John Freestyle.

“This week’s been amazing,” she added. “Yesterday, I met The Queen with Valegro, and today the sun is shining and this is the most amazing arena to go into. You have the backdrop and the crowd around you. I love this show.”

Richard Davison has taken his time with the tall, powerful home-bred Bubblingh. The 13-year-old looked stronger and more balanced than ever before, with particularly notable self-carriage. Richard’s bespoke Gangsta’s paradise music is fitting for the horse, and he was on the beat, particularly in the piaffe work, which achieved a 9.5 from the judge at C, Stephen Clarke. Richard showed off Bubblingh’s straightness and power with 14 flowing one-time changes down the centre line right at the judges, into a pirouette.

Fellow British rider Louise Bell was just pushed off a podium finish by the last combination, but her 73.34% ride to Sweet Home Alabama and Justin Beiber’s Despacito was also a new personal best. Her horse, the 13-year-old Into the Blue, is no stranger to Windsor; Louise used to ride him in the showing classes before switching disciplines.

Windsor is always a valuable litmus test for riders hoping to bid for a championship place. The arena is atmospheric and selectors will have been keeping a keen eye on proceedings ahead of this year’s European Championships in Rotterdam in August.

In the show ring, this year’s prestigious Count Robert Orssich hack title headed north with lawyer Ali Talbot when her 2018 small hack winner, Young Lochinvar, put in another foot-perfect performance to triumph in the Castle Arena finale.

The seven-year-old, produced by the Stanley Grange Stud in North Yorkshire, won at Horse of the Year Show and Royal International last year and this was only his second outing of the season.

Norfolk-based Oliver Hood finally earned his first Royal Windsor cob title when Judy Byford’s lightweight victor, Master of the House, triumphed first over a strong heavyweight field and then found an extra gear in the Castle Arena.

The consistent 12-year-old chestnut won his class here last year but was pipped in the final reckoning.

“This horse has been Mr Consistent,” said Oliver, son of master showman Allister Hood. “He’s been in the championship here for the last five years, but this is the best ride on him that I’ve ever had and thoroughly deserves his reward.”

Reserve went to Cheshire with the lightweight winner Bling Cobsby, a horse originally bought by producer Vicky Smith for her partner, Alan Marnie, as a leisure ride.

Alice Homer, 17, scored a memorable win in the maxi cobs when deputising at the last minute for producer Jayne Ross to win on A Masterpiece, despite having never even sat on the horse before. This was Alice’s second victory in as many days, as she also headed the working show horses with her mother Loraine’s Miserden Savannah.

In-hand native ponies were another major feature, and the coveted supreme title, also fought out in the Castle Arena, headed to Devon with Cathy Wood and her stunning Connemara stallion, Contepomi Cashel, ahead of Sarah Noble’s home-bred Dales mare, Stuffynwood Daffodil.

Great Britain’s star Jumper, Holly Smith, scored a memorable victory against some of the world’s best riders on day three of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. 16 of the world’s top 20-ranked riders entered a beautifully sunny Castle Arena for the CSI5* Manama Speed Stakes Jumping competition, the first international Show Jumping class of the week. The competition saw 24 riders progress to the second phase, with 18 of those completing a double clear to vie for top honours.

One of the last riders into the Arena, Holly Smith and her spirited nine-year old chestnut gelding, Fruselli, produced a gutsy performance, which saw the duo complete the two-phase course in 26.11 seconds. Smith cleared the final fence with grace and ease, knocking Irish world number 25-ranked rider Bertram Allen into second place, who completed the course in 26.81 seconds. The complicated course, which included some tough tight turns, did not prove to be a problem for world number five-ranked rider Martin Fuchs and his grey gelding, Silver Shin, who finished in third place in 27.01 seconds.

After lunch, international Show Jumpers from 11 nations, including 10 of Great Britain’s leading riders, went head-to-head to compete in the CSI5* Pearl Stakes International Jumping Competition. British Jumping prodigy Harry Charles and his gelding Borsato proved to be the best of the Brits. Placed in the top six with a final time of 38.06 seconds, 20-year-old Charles was on scintillating form, as he cleared the 16 fences with conviction. But in the end, it was Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Spike Vd Withoeve who came out on top, taking the competition to another level, navigating the eight-fence jump-off to finish in an unbeatable time of 36.59 seconds.

The ten entries across the two classes in the coaching marathon – three in the road coaches and seven in the private drags – enjoyed a dry and sunny drive through the Home Park before delighting a full crowd in the Castle Arena at Royal Windsor Horse Show. Judge from USA, Bob Longstaff, found his champion in John Brown and his team of bay and grey Dutch warmbreds put to his original Shanks-built Tally Ho Road Coach. This is their sixth successive year of taking the championship. Reserve champion was the winner of the private drag section: Colonel Toby Browne CVO driving a team of Her Majesty the Queen’s greys to a Whitlock private drag. He also won the award for the best turned out coach.

It was the turn of the horse pairs to compete in the dressage phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix and their competition is considerably more closely contested than the horse fours. The first three placed competitors are separated by less than one penalty point.

Leading the field at the moment is Lars Schwitte from Germany. Together with his KWPN horses, he first competed here in 2017 when, having won the dressage, he went on to win the competition. He was again the winner of the dressage phase last year but dropped to fourth overall in the final result.

Schwitte’s good score of 44.32 is under attack from Argentina’s Baroness Amely von Buchholz, long term competitor here, who is just 0.1 penalties behind in second place. She also drives KWPN horses and is another who traditionally scores well in dressage. Last year she finished in eighth place overall.

Third place currently is occupied by first time competitor here, Sandro Koalich also from Germany and also a driver of Dutch-bred horses. He is the organiser of this year’s World Horse Pairs Championship which will take place in Drebkau in Germany in September.

Commenting at the end of this phase, Head Judge, Andrew Counsell, said: “The competition was much closer than in the horse fours with a good range of talented horses. However, a number are not yet supple resulting in tension at times and a failure to work together as a pair.”

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

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

Dujardin Shines on Day Two of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Day two of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show marked the start of the international competitions with the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix proving to be the star attraction. Spectators were also treated to a host of other disciplines, including top-class national Show Jumping, high quality Showing, military displays from Oman and Dubai, and fast and furious fun from the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games. Once again in attendance, Her Majesty The Queen was introduced to Olympic sensation Valegro by Dressage riders Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.

Home favourite Charlotte Dujardin scored a magnificent victory with a score of 78.087% in the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix on a chilly and damp Thursday evening. The golden girl of British Dressage, who is a two-time winner at Royal Windsor (2014 and 2018), entered the Castle Arena to warm applause from the knowledgeable crowd, looking resplendent aboard her relatively new ride, 12-year-old bay gelding, Erlentanz. Dujardin displayed her trademark extended trot to the delight of those watching on, while her relaxed walk and beautiful extended canter were highlights of her combination.

Dujardin and a quality field of 10 further horse and rider combinations, which included five Britons – among them Dujardin’s long-standing mentor, Carl Hester – wowed Windsor’s animated audience in the Castle Arena. With competitors building towards the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in August 2019, Royal Windsor is seen as an important place to gain some valuable confidence and experience in front of a packed crowd.

Carl Hester and his 15-year-old gelding Nip Tuck, whose stable name is Barney, were back on the circuit after a quiet couple of years. The duo, who finished second behind Dujardin with a score of 74.304%, looked relaxed and supple in the walk work, and included some impressively small pirouettes in their combination.

On her winning performance and competing at Windsor, Dujardin commented: “Erlentanz tried his heart out and I’m really pleased with my score, particularly as it was a new combination. I’ve been competing at Windsor since I was a small kid – it’s a fantastic Show for me, with some great people and fans. Seeing all the other disciplines that Windsor offers is great to see. It’s always good to watch my boss [Carl Hester] so I’ll have to be polite what I say! We bounce off each other and I’m really pleased for him. I just hope and pray tomorrow evening goes according to plan [in the CDI4* FEI Dressage – The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music].”

Delighted with his performance, eventual third place rider with a score of 72.978%, Richard Davison, commented: “I’m really pleased with my score but I’m even more pleased with the horse’s [Bubblingh] performance. He suffers from what I’d call stage nerves, so I’m really impressed with how he dealt with everything in front of the crowd. He’s a real privilege to ride and it was one of the easiest rides I’ve ever had on him. I rode his mother in the Olympics and we ended up breeding him. He really is such a lovely horse to ride; he’s got so much power and talent. I hate to compare him to his mother, but he’s a top horse. This Show is truly magical, and it doesn’t matter about the rain, as the facilities for the horses, including the stabling and the footing in the Arena are top quality.”

Working hunters provided the highlight of the showing classes, but clear rounds proved difficult to achieve. Only two lightweights remained faultless, and no heavyweights successfully negotiated the clever course.

However, after a thrilling gallop in the Castle Arena finale, the title went to the winner of the latter class, Essex-based Justine Armstong-Small with her smart Irish-bred eight-year-old, Carlingsford King, who had made just one mistake in an otherwise stylish round. They pipped last year’s intermediate victor, Silver Lough — partnered by North Yorkshire-based riding coach William Pittendrigh — who had won the lightweights with a clear round.

Although Justine has won at Royal Windsor before, she had never lifted the overall title and her last class win was 15 years ago.

Coloured horses and ponies filled the Copper Horse Arena all afternoon, providing a huge variety of type in enormous classes. After examining more than 90 animals, judges Mathew Lawrence and Linzy Dickinson opted for Royal Windsor “specialist” Jayne Ross’s ride, KBF Crescendo, as their champion.

Retrained ridden racehorses provided absorbing competition in the morning, with the championship eventually going to Oxfordshire-based Jo Bates and the stunning grey, Grandeur — formerly a successful contender on the Flat — who pipped last year’s winners, Sofia Scott and L’Amiral David.

Lady Louise Wessex made her debut at Royal Windsor Horse Show, finishing in a very respectable third place in the Private Driving – Singles exceeding 13.2hh.

Day two of Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked off with another scintillating morning of Show Jumping action. The Castle Arena opened its gates and played host to the H&C TV Senior 1.35m Open Jumping Competition in which British rider Georgia Tame and Z SEVEN CANYA DANCE deservedly took the spoils. Twenty-third into the arena and up against Laura Renwick and Robert Whitaker, Tame and her eight-year-old chestnut mare put on a captivating performance, effortlessly cruising around the course, which she cleared fault-free in an impressive and unassailable time of 63.19 seconds.

Later in the morning, the Land Rover Stakes (Senior 1.45m Open Jumping Competition) featured some of Great Britain’s top jumpers, with Ben Maher and Will Fletcher finishing in first and second places, respectively. Testament to the complex design of the course, just 11 of the 34 riders went clear to progress to the jump-off. Dan Delsart and his 13-year-old bay gelding, Lord Quidam, soared to the top of the rankings following their first-round performance in a time of 71.77 seconds. However, his lead was short lived after a masterful ride from the highly experienced Ben Maher and his talented eight-year-old mare, Ginger Blue. The duo completed a remarkable double-clear and finished ahead of the rest of the pack with a final time of 45.98 seconds, placing him 0.7 seconds ahead of second-placed Will Fletcher and his energetic gelding, Persimmon.

Dressage in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix saw pony and horse fours do battle in this first phase of the competition. Eleven nations are represented by the 27 contenders in horse fours while the much smaller field in pony fours – just seven competitors – has representation from five nations.

World horse four champion, both indoors and out, Boyd Exell from Australia, was in the first ten to drive the test and quickly set the bar high, his team of mixed warmbloods going sweetly to record a score of 31.06. Also impressing the judges and just 5 penalties behind, is Bram Chardon, son of Holland’s most successful four-in-hand driver over the last three decades. In third place, another 5 penalties adrift, is France’s Benjamin Aillaud driving his beautiful team of black Arabian/Friesian crosses.

Bram’s father, Ijsbrand Chardon, is lying in fifth place, their combined scores putting them at the top of the Nation’s Leader Board, with USA in second place and France third.

The highest placed of the home nation is experienced driver, Wilf Bowman-Ripley, in tenth place.

In the pony fours, seven times Royal Windsor winner, Jan de Boer from the Netherlands, is heading the dressage with his Welsh ponies, but challenging him closely, fewer than 2 penalties behind, is Tinne Bax from Belgium. Friendly rivals, these two took first and second here last year. Jaqueline Walter from Germany is in third place, some ten penalties adrift of these two.

Highest placed representative from Great Britain is Roger Campbell, the Welsh ponies he drives belonging to Jaqueline Walter. Roger, who is based in Germany, won the marathon section with these ponies last year.

Head judge Andrew Counsell remarked, “It was a very good day in which we saw some really lovely horses. Those with the good basics were the ones that got the good marks today. It is very encouraging to see this standard so early in the season.”

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

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

Dream Win for Hans Peter Minderhoud

Olympia, The London International Horse Show opened its door for the first day of the week-long event. The UK’s largest indoor Show saw many of the world’s best Dressage riders out in full force for the newly formatted FEI Dressage World Cup™ Grand Prix supported by Horse & Hound, which saw Hans Peter Minderhoud clinch the victory with a score of 73.895%. Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin finished close behind on a score of 73.026% to take second.

The Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National got off to a flying start as Olive Nicholls, daughter of renowned racing trainer Paul Nicholls, stormed her way to victory, taking the first win of the week. The Grand Hall also applauded a welcomed-return of La Garde Républicaine for the premier evening of the Show, as they displayed their impressive routine to the evening’s spectators.

Hans Peter Minderhoud Takes First Victory of Newly Formatted FEI Dressage World Cup™ Grand Prix

Dutchman Hans Peter Minderhoud and the young stallion Glock’s Dream Boy NOP stole the first win of the show, The FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix supported by Horse & Hound, at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. It was also the first win at Olympia for Minderhoud who has been second and third on previous occasions.

The combination headed off British golden girl Charlotte Dujardin, who for the show was paired with Hawtins Delicato, the team horse of her mentor Carl Hester. Dujardin and ‘Del’ had the debatable honour of being the first in the class, meaning they were the first ever combination to ride the newly designed and shortened grand prix being piloted at the show, as part of the FEI Dressage World Cup package. The revamp also included an immediate after test dismount and spotlight interview in the arena before the five judges’ scores were revealed.

“It was all very new and different to what we have been used to, but for me it was a really cool moment when the scores came up and I was very happy,” said Minderhoud.

Dujardin was also pleased with her ride and place, especially as she was the test guinea pig.

“I didn’t have the chance to watch anyone ride through the test and Del has never been to an indoor show like this, so I was pleased with him,” said Dujardin.

“Getting off the horse in the arena and having an interview straight away took me back a bit but it was great to have the support of the crowd.”

German debutant Frederic Wandres and the chestnut gelding Duke of Britain claimed an impressive third place on their first visit to the show. The pair produced a fluent test which could have scored higher but for mistakes in the two tempi changes.

“When I saw the arena for the first time, I thought it was just breath-taking,” said Wandres who enjoyed the new test. “I have never been to a show like this before and it is the nicest show I have ever been to.”

“I was nervous about riding the new test, but for me it rode well and my horse coped with the movements and felt really good.”

British judge Stephen Clarke commented: “Yes, the test was quite difficult as the movements come up quickly and are short – it is undoubtedly easier to judge than ride. But the evening as a whole was great; there was a good crowd and you could really feel the interest and enthusiasm – it was a good evening for the sport.”

Tickets can be purchased at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephone on 0844 995 0995.

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

FEI World Equestrian Games Medallists Celebrate Achievements in Olympia Parade

Photo: © BEF / Jon Stroud Media.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show will welcome Team GBR’s medallists from the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 to the annual event to take part in a celebratory parade on the evening of Thursday 20 December 2018.

The parade marks the success of British athletes, who won eight medals this summer, giving spectators the opportunity to show their appreciation for these top riders, owners and Chefs d’Équipe, after their successful campaign at the WEG.

Reigning Olympic champion, Charlotte Dujardin CBE, will be a central figure in the parade after she and her nine-year-old mare won individual bronze in the Dressage Grand Prix Special competition, with a personal best score of 81.48%. Dujardin, who also clinched team bronze in the Dressage Grand Prix on the first day of the dressage competition, will be joined by fellow bronze medallists and teammates, Carl Hester MBE, Spencer Wilton, and Emile Faurie.

Olympia will also celebrate the achievements of Gemma Tattersall, Piggy French, Tom McEwen, and Ros Canter who, after a commendable year, took prime podium position in the Eventing at the WEG. Not only helping the team to post the lowest score in world championship history, Ros Canter held her own to take individual gold, making it a double sweep for the record-breaking Brits.

Adding to the line-up will be Natasha Baker MBE, who stormed the Dressage arena to take a silver medal in the Grade III Para-Dressage Individual Championship. Baker’s win came aboard Mount St. John Diva, adding to Mount St. John Equestrian’s medal haul, the breeder of Dujardin’s ride, Mount St. John Freestyle. Baker will be joined by Nottinghamshire’s Sophie Wells MBE, whose world championship got off to a golden start by taking top honours in the Grade V Individual test. She topped off a successful Games by winning her second gold medal, this time in the Grade V Individual Freestyle. Baker and Wells will be accompanied by Sir Lee Pearson and WEG debutant, Erin Orford, who, together, won silver in the Para Dressage team competition.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “It is an honour to be welcoming the leading British equestrian teams to this year’s Olympia. The parade hails the fantastic achievements of Team GBR and the exceptional group of riders.”

The WEG athletes will be accompanied by the successful British Youth teams, as this next generation of riders join the Thursday evening parade to celebrate their own medal achievements of 2018. One athlete who will take part is Jack Whitaker, son of Show Jumping legend Michael; Jack won individual Show Jumping silver at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina this September.

Taking place from 17-23 December, Olympia will provide the platform for top international equestrian competition, with many of the World’s elite riders expected to compete at the Show. Highlights include three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage, and Carriage Driving, not to mention international displays from La Garde Républicaine, and ‘Land of Fire’ Azerbaijan, bringing their traditional Karabakh horses to the Grand Hall.

For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gtelford@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

Charlotte Dujardin and ‘Mrs Valegro’ to Reveal New Freestyle Routine at Olympia

Returning for another year of top equestrian action, Olympia, The London International Horse Show will be hosting the world’s best riders in London, from the 17-23 December.

Bringing a ‘first ever’ to Olympia, Charlotte Dujardin CBE and her protégée, Mount St John Freestyle, dubbed ‘Mrs Valegro,’ will be performing their never seen before Freestyle test when they compete in the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound on Tuesday 18 December.

The former world number one and winner of three Olympic gold medals will be taking centre stage in the Grand Hall. All eyes will be on the new duo as Dujardin returns to the FEI World Cup™ Dressage at Olympia for the first time since 2015 when she won the Grand Prix and Freestyle aboard Utopia. This followed a golden year when she set the world record for the highest score ever achieved in a Freestyle competition with Valegro. This year, Dujardin will be putting her 2020 Olympic gold medal hopeful – a nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Mount St John Stud – through her paces.

Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle were due to showcase their routine at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 in September; however, the Freestyle competition was cancelled due to torrential rain. Despite this, the partnership returned home with two bronze medals from the Games, a huge achievement, particularly as Mount St John Freestyle was one of the youngest horses in the competition. The stunning mare, who achieved an unbelievable debut score of 81% in her first Grand Prix, has not scored less than 74% at any level in the last three years, setting the scene for excellent competition at Olympia.

Charlotte Dujardin CBE said: “I am thrilled to be bringing Freestyle back to Olympia! Last year we presented our Masterclass at the Show; it was incredible demonstrating to the audience what she is capable of and giving them insight into one of the next generation Grand Prix horses, showing them why I am so excited by her. It will be fantastic returning to the Grand Hall and showcasing our new Freestyle routine for the first time. It’s going to be very exciting!”

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented: “We are delighted to be welcoming Charlotte and Freestyle back to Olympia, and looking forward to seeing their Freestyle test. The pair was so well received last year, spectators will be in high anticipation at their return to the Show.”

Dressage at Olympia 2018 will be piloting a new, exciting format, which aims to make the FEI Dressage World Cup™ more appealing to a wider audience. The main change is a shorter Grand Prix technical test of five minutes which will allow time for rider interviews and audience interaction giving the crowd an opportunity to gain a greater insight to the skills of the dressage riders.

Tickets are still available to see Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle in action on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 December. For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gtelford@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

Come Celebrate with Us at the Dressage4Kids 20th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, October 13th from 5:30-9:30pm

Dressage4Kids is celebrating its 20th anniversary and we would like to invite you to join us in celebration!

Over the past twenty years, Dressage4Kids has touched the lives of thousands of dressage enthusiasts who have developed into our present international competitors, professionals, and lovers of horses.

The party will take place on Saturday, October 13th, coinciding with the 2018 NEDA Fall Symposium featuring Olympic Gold Medalist and World Record holder Charlotte Dujardin.

The Dressage4Kids celebration will be held at The Boylston Rooms in Easthampton, Massachusetts and will commence following the conclusion of Saturday’s activities. Attire is casual – guests are welcome to come directly from the Symposium.

The Dressage4Kids celebration will include food and festivities by Myer’s Catering and DJ Rob Alberti.

For tickets, to make a donation, and for more info, go to: https://dressage4kidsorg.presencehost.net/news-events/20th-anniversary-celebration.html.

Spectacular Dujardin Dominates on Day Three of Royal Windsor Horse Show

CSI5* Show Jumping kicked off on day three of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show, with five of the world’s top 10 riders taking to the prestigious Castle Arena over the course of the day. The highlight of the evening performance, the CDI4* Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music, once again saw Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester dominate, taking the top two spots for the second night in succession. Earlier in the day, there was a popular victory for Her Majesty The Queen with her homebred mare, Balmoral Mandarin, in the Highland Showing class.

DRESSAGE: FREESTYLE BY NAME, FREESTYLE BY NATURE

Mount St John Freestyle lived up to her name, winning the FEI Al Shira’aa Grand Prix Freestyle to Music. Ridden by Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin, the pair dominated the class, running away with the victory and was the only one of the 12 combinations to break the 80% barrier with a score of 81.2%.

The nine-year-old mare produced a confident programme that made the most of her off-the-floor paces, impressive passage and extensions.

“That was only her second freestyle and it’s not something we practice at home so I am really happy. Everything she does, she does so well and I can’t ask for more, especially at this stage,” said Charlotte who rode the programme to the music ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ that was originally made for Valegro. “It was Valegro’s very first music and brings back many memories and always gives me goosebumps – and I just love riding to it.”

Carl Hester also chose to introduce Hawtins Delicato to freestyle using a former successful programme, originally used for his Olympic team gold medal horse, Uthopia. Delicato, like Freestyle, however also looked at ease performing to music.

“He felt much more rideable tonight,” said Carl who bought the British-bred gelding as a four-year-old from breeder Judith Davies, and has since bought a sibling. “He is a very exciting horse and at this stage just needs nursing along.”

Former British team rider Gareth Hughes finished one better tonight to make the top three with Don Carissimo and was ‘over the moon’ with the outcome. “That is only his second outing this year and was a whole lot better than the first – he is a real trier,” said Gareth.

Once again the five British riders took the first five places, with British-based Dane Ulrik Moelgaard and Michigan completing the top six.

SHOW JUMPING: D-DAY AT ROYAL WINDSOR AS CSI5* GETS UNDERWAY

Daniel Deusser made a winning debut at Royal Windsor Horse Show, taking the feature class of the day, the 1.50m CSI5* Bahrain Pearl Stakes, in spectacular style. With 16 horses through from the first round, it was an exhilarating jump-off, with an open course encouraging forward riding and leaving no margin for error. As second to go, Canada’s Eric Lamaze and the brilliant Fine Lady 5, one of the fastest combinations on the international circuit, set the pace with a fast and faultless round that was sure to take some beating. Following him into the prestigious Castle Arena, Britain’s Robert Smith, looked like he might pose a serious threat, with an extremely tight turn to the double across the middle of the arena, but he crossed the line in a time 0.58 seconds behind Lamaze, enough for eventual fourth.

As fifth to go in the jump-off, Deusser, riding the fourteen-year-old mare Equita Van T Zorgvliet, rode a beautifully smooth and deceptively fast round to shave 0.15 seconds off the previous fastest time and take the lead, stopping the clock in 37.63 seconds. With 11 riders to follow, the win was by no means certain, but no-one could topple Deusser from pole position. The notoriously fast Emanuele Gaudiano, riding Chalou, posed the biggest challenge as last to go, but despite exceptionally tight turns throughout, his time of 38.22 seconds was only good enough for third place.

Speaking after the class, Deusser said, “I am very happy with my horse Equita Van T Zorgvliet. I know she has a very big stride and is naturally very fast. I saw a bit of Eric’s round, so I knew I had to try hard to beat his time, but everything went well and I’m really happy about that. It’s my first time here at Windsor and I was very impressed when I walked onto the showground; it’s a beautiful showground; there’s a lot of space to ride and it’s great to see such a big crowd on a Friday afternoon. I must say congratulations to the organisers!”

Earlier in the day, it was a Belgian one-two in the opening CSI5* competition of the Show, the Manama Speed Stakes, a 1.45m two phase competition. As first to go, Ireland’s Cian O’Connor set the standard with a double clear aboard Veneno, however compatriot Bertram Allen was the first to lay down the gauntlet, knocking over eight seconds off O’Connor’s time, to put the pressure on the remaining competitors. Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr, a recent winner at CSI4* Hagen, jumped an impressive round, keeping his foot to the floor throughout and making an exceptionally tight turn to the Big Ben fence at 12, to post a time of 28.93 and take the lead. Crowd favourite, Britain’s John Whitaker, came close to challenging with a time of 30.25, but it was not until the penultimate to go, Wilm Vermeir, riding the twelve-year-old chestnut mare Gentiane De La Pomme, that the lead was jeopardised. Taking a stride out to the planks at 11 and galloping to the last, Vermeir managed to knock 0.27 seconds off Mathy Jr’s time to take the victory.

SHOWING: ROYAL WINDSOR DEBUTANTE TAKES VICTORY

A Welsh Section C stallion was this year’s judges’ choice as Horse & Hound Mountain and Moorland Supreme In-Hand champion. Moorcroft The Master, a 13-year-old bay stallion owned and bred by the Howard family from Wales, looked majestic in the sunshine as he strode away with this most prestigious award.

Janine Sehne’s versatile Connemara mare, Tyan Ma’Lady, was reserve in the capable hands of Sue Deakin, who will partner the eight-year-old in the BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland section.

Her Majesty The Queen, who as always took a keen interest in these classes, posted her second win of the Show when her home-bred mare, Balmoral Mandarin, headed her Highland class and stood reserve champion of the breed.

Oxfordshire-based producer Jo Bates clinched The Count Robert Orssich Hack Championship for the second year running with Suzanna Welby’s 2016 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) champion, Elusive, after some of the strongest classes seen for some years. In the Castle Arena finale, the elegant bay pipped the reigning HOYS victor, Young Lochinvar, who won the Small Height division.

The Martin Collins Enterprises Cob Championship went to Lancashire-based home producer Anne Gilliver after a sparkling performance on Sue Benson’s “low-mileage” lightweight winner, Whitegate Dazzler. Although Anne has ridden at the Show before and judged here three times, this was her first Royal Windsor championship and her joy was clear to see.

“I think a lot of this horse — we don’t show him much but he’s so sensible and straightforward that he takes it all in his stride,” she said of the seven-year-old. “However, you never know what’s going to happen so this is the most tremendous thrill.”

DRIVING: A CLOSE CONTEST IN THE LAND ROVER INTERNATIONAL DRIVING GRAND PRIX

Competitors in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix horse pairs class face a close competition after today’s Dressage phase as just five penalty points separate the first four names on the leader board. In first place is last year’s winner here – Lars Schwitte from Germany – who counts his 2017 Royal Windsor win as his most memorable sporting achievement. Driving his KWPNs he drove an accurate test to take the lead less than two penalties ahead of experienced Swiss horse pairs competitor Beat Schenk.

Schwitte’s win was all the more satisfying for him in that he was a late entry. Eager to compete here, he was put on a waiting list by his Federation and the Show, with his entry confirmed only in the last few weeks. As a warm-up, he competed in the Dressage phase at a GB national competition in Essex last weekend where his smooth test impressed those watching. With four international wins to his credit from 2017, he was a member of the silver medal winning team at the Horse Pairs World Championships in Slovenia.

Second-placed Schenk first competed here in 2006, when he won the horse pairs class, repeating this achievement in 2009 and 2011. In 2017, he was third at Royal Windsor, won the international event at Saumur, France and was a bronze medallist at the Horse Pairs World Championships in Slovenia.

Only just behind him in third place is Baroness Amely von Buchholtz from Argentina, a regular competitor here over the years. She took third place in the dressage phase in 2017.

ENDURANCE: ROYAL WINNER AT ROYAL WINDSOR ENDURANCE

Royal Windsor Endurance, supported by The Kingdom of Bahrain, provided another memorable day of sport, and Bahrain itself celebrated a win in the CEI2* with HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa riding Vipper De Luriecq coming in first in a time of 05:04:48. Portugal took top honours in the CEI1* with Rui Pereira riding a sublime three laps on Bloodie Mary finishing in 03:33:13.

HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa said, “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to ride in Windsor Great Park today and to be able to shake hands with her Majesty the Queen. What a pleasure, aside from winning, to come here and raise my flag and perform.”

British riders were also out in force with 68 entered across the three classes. One notable success was Carri Ann Dark from Wiltshire, who finished a brilliant third in the CEI1* on former Team GB Gelding, HS Drift.

Tickets for Royal Windsor Horse Show are still available via www.rwhs.co.uk.

Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)203 176 0355

Dujardin Dazzles on Second Day of Royal Windsor Horse Show

International competition got well underway on the second day of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show. The CDI4* Dressage kicked off with the Al Shira’aa Grand Prix which saw Britain’s best duo, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester, take the top spots aboard their exciting new partners, Mount St John Freestyle and Hawtins Delicato.

DRESSAGE: BRITISH RIDERS LEAD THE WAY

It might have been only the third grand prix together for Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle but it was another winning one. The pair gained their third victory in The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix with Charlotte heading off trainer, mentor and British team mate Carl Hester with Hawtins Delicato.

Freestyle, a nine-year-old mare owned by Emma Blundell of the Yorkshire based Mount St John stud, belied her main ring inexperience impressing the judges with her ground covering paces and relaxed attitude to the atmospheric arena to produce a winning score of 78.58%.

“I am chuffed to bits with her,” said the British Olympic gold medallist. “She’s so chilled and really takes everything in her stride especially as she has really done next to nothing at this international level – I am so, so happy.”

Carl was equally happy with his ride, the British-bred Hawtins Delicato, who was also competing in only his third Grand Prix and was not far behind the winning score – some judges even had the pair of riders and horses on near equal terms.

“You literally have no idea with these young horses how they will react but this is such a good arena and space and does give you an idea of how they will cope with the big occasion,” said Carl who is aiming Delicato for a team place for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ that will be held in the USA in September. “He is such a lovely horse with so much presence and the judges must, like me, also think highly of him.”

Richard Davison rounded off a British one-two-three, taking third place with his homebred Bubblingh (70.8%) while British riders Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite, and Gareth Hughes with Don Carissimo were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Iranian rider and Windsor first-timer Litta Soheila Sohi might have finished at the other end of the leader board but was simply thrilled to be competing at the Show.

“I will never forget this moment,” said Litta, who is aiming to compete in the Asian Games in Jakarta later in the year. “This is no ordinary Show – there is so much going on at the same time; it is overwhelming. Just to be a part of it is as good as winning and I am just thrilled to be through to the freestyle tomorrow night.”

SHOWING: ROYAL WINDSOR DEBUTANTE TAKES VICTORY

Royal Windsor debutante Vikki Smith, from Hapton, Lancs, was as surprised as she was delighted to head the largest section of the Show so far. Riding Michelle Cuerden’s 14-year-old traditional stallion Del Boy, Vikki beat more than 100 entries to take the coveted Coloured Ridden Championship, having topped a line of 35 in her Native and Traditional class.

“I can’t believe a traditional pony could have beaten all the plaited horses,” Vikki said, “but Del Boy is an out-and-out showman and just loves his job.”

She now takes her place in Sunday afternoon’s Royal Windsor Ridden Supreme Showing Championship.

Oxfordshire-based working hunter specialist, Rory Gilsenan, went one better than last year to regain the section title he last won in 2016 with Aoife, the Land Rover Lightweight Working Hunter. His partner this time was Christian Kwek’s versatile mare Kenlis Carrera, class winner and reserve Champion last year, whose fluent clear round was one of only seven over a testing course in a strong Lightweight class. A storming gallop in the Castle Arena finale then clinched the overall title ahead of the Heavyweight class victors, Katy Green and I’m a Diamond, who produced one of only two clears in her division.

Sofia Scott, of Norfolk-based Team Hood, partnered her own former flat racer L’Amiral David to win the ROR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Series, and then stand Champion.

SHOW JUMPING: BRITISH DUO VICTORIOUS ON FIRST DAY OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

The opening Show Jumping class of day two, the Land Rover Grades B & C Jumping Competition, went to British Olympic team gold medalist, Ben Maher, riding Eracantos, a horse recently acquired from The Netherlands for which Maher has high hopes for the future. With 12 double clears in the 36 horse class, Maher’s second-half draw proved advantageous as he shaved 0.05 seconds off runner-up Georgia Thame’s round. Tracy Priest, who set the pace from an early draw, finished in third with her grey mare Diamants Aurora.

The first CSI2* Class of the Show, the St George Two Phase, went to Joseph Davison, riding Vilenco, a homebred Je T’Aime Flamenco mare owned by his father, Dressage supremo Richard Davison. Davison’s double clear in a time of 31.20 seconds was 0.14 seconds faster than South African Charles Luyckx in second, with Scarlett Charles, daughter of London Olympic gold medal winning Show Jumper Peter Charles, in third.

Luyckx secured his second runner-up placing of the day in the following class, the CSI2* Thames Speed Stakes sponsored by Suregrow Fertiliser Ltd, which was won by Britain’s Tracy Priest on Caristo VDL. The twisty course allowed riders to take a few risks with tight turns throughout, but it was Priest who negotiated the quickest route to take the victory.

Later in the day, the focus shifted to the young horses of the future, with the Jumping Competition for Six-Year-Old horses. 49 combinations started the 1.20m single phase competition, which proved challenging, with only eight combinations jumping a double clear. William Rekert’s exceptionally speedy round with Hot Bluebird took the spoils, over two seconds faster than Megan James in second, with Alfie Bradstock a further second behind in third.

DRIVING: WORLD-CLASS START FOR WORLD NO.1 IN THE LAND ROVER INTERNATIONAL DRIVING GRAND PRIX

Reigning world champion and eight times Royal Windsor winner, Boyd Exell (AUS), got off to the best possible start in the Horse Four-in-Hands in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, storming to the top of the leader board a clear five penalties ahead of his closest challenger. Driving his mixed team of black Swedish and Dutch horses, his dressage test earned him top marks from all five judges.

“The horses moved beautifully as a team,” remarked President of the Jury, Bert Jambon from Belgium. He continued, “It was an accurate test with, above all, excellent transitions.”

Following him into the arena was Chester Weber (USA) winner at the Show in 2014 and 2015. His bay Dutch horses completed a fluent, forward test, but a few small mistakes put him in second place. Only these two competitors posted scores in the thirties.

In third place, seven penalties behind Weber, is France’s Benjamin Aillaud with his impressive Arab x Friesians. He last competed here ten years ago, after which he took a break from competing horse four-in-hands until just a couple of years ago. GB’s highest placed competitor is Wilf Bowman-Ripley, in 18th place.

Also completing this first dressage phase were the Pony Four-in-Hands which saw last year’s winner Tinne Bax (BEL) take the lead from the Netherlands’ Jan de Boer, who has recorded five previous Royal Windsor wins. Less than two penalties separate these two with Jacqueline Walter (GER) driving her eye-catching palomino team of Welsh Bs taking third place. Great Britain’s Roger Campbell is well in touch in this class in 5th place.

Tickets for Royal Windsor Horse Show are still available via www.rwhs.co.uk.

Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)203 176 0355

Behind the Scenes with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin ahead of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Ahead of competing at CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show, we were given a sneak preview of the training regime of Olympic gold medallists, Charlotte Dujardin CBE and Carl Hester MBE, as they prepare for the CDI4* Al’Shiraa Dressage Grand Prix and Freestyle competitions at Royal Windsor on the evenings of Thursday 10th and Friday 11th May.

Dujardin, who will be riding Mount St John Freestyle, her new Grand Prix horse and FEI World Equestrian Games™ hopeful, said, “I’m really excited about going to Windsor. I used to compete there Showing as a child, so it’s got some really great memories for me. It’s an incredible setting and to have the British crowd behind me will make it even more special. The Dressage always has an amazing atmosphere there; it’s usually under the floodlights at night, which makes it really unique – Mount St John Freestyle is going to absolutely love it and I’m looking forward to it so much!”

Exclusive behind-the-scenes access with the renowned duo indicated preparations were full steam ahead as Hester and Dujardin set their sights on Royal Windsor, and the jam-packed competition year ahead. Although competing against each other, Dujardin’s mentor, team mate and fellow competitor shared his joys of competing and his hopes for returning to defend his title, this year aboard Hawtins Delicato:

“I won my first championship medal at Royal Windsor back in 2009. The backdrop is sensational; there is nowhere quite like it. I remember competing to music under the lights with 8,000 people there that night watching me; it was very surreal, especially having the castle lit up in the background.”

Hester continued, “Since then Charlotte has won the Grand Prix and I won the Grand Prix there last year, so we have both had a turn at it, which is nice – keep it in the family and share the win! This year I am predicting that Charlotte will win it; her horse is sensational. We call her Mrs Valegro after our all-time star, Valegro, who won three Olympic gold medals. Watch this space!”

To see the Dressage action at Royal Windsor Horse Show first hand, or to find out more, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk +44(0)7717 776928

Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester Head to Royal Windsor Horse Show

Royal Windsor Horse Show is delighted to announce that leading British Dressage riders, Carl Hester MBE and Charlotte Dujardin OBE, will join the competitive line-up at the Show this May (9-13) when it celebrates its 75th year.

The Al Shira’aa Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music, taking place on the evenings of Thursday 10 and Friday 11 May, respectively, will attract some of the world’s greatest riders as they head to the private grounds of Windsor Castle for the CDI 4* FEI Dressage competition.

After captivating crowds with her auspicious prospect, Mount St John Freestyle, during a demonstration at Olympia, The London International Horse Show last December, the triple Olympic champion, Charlotte Dujardin and her new Grand Prix partner will be gracing the Castle Arena at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Dujardin and the nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, who has been nick-named ‘Mrs Valegro’, recently took the Dressage world by storm after achieving an 81% debut Grand Prix score at the recent national show in Hartpury. The duo is anticipated to be Team GB medal contenders at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) this September and will be competing at Royal Windsor Horse Show as part of their road to WEG campaign.

Charlotte Dujardin, OBE, said: ‘I’m really looking forward to Royal Windsor this year, and I am especially excited to showcase Freestyle’s talent to the British public. Freestyle has been performing so well this season so a win at Windsor would be really special.’

Joining Dujardin will be Carl Hester, Team GB representative, who will be trying his luck with Hawtins Delicato, a 16.3hh British Hanoverian gelding. Hester will also be looking towards WEG team selection with Delicato, who also recently made his national Grand Prix debut, scoring 76.8%.

Hester, who has many years of international success and experience, is no stranger to winning at Royal Windsor, having taken the 2017 title riding Barolo, and is a sure contender for prime podium position.

Carl Hester, MBE, said: ‘Royal Windsor is such a unique Show; the setting is like no other and the competition is always fantastic. It is great being back after winning here last year. Delicato and I are looking forward to giving Charlotte and Freestyle a run for their money!’

Royal Windsor will give WEG hopefuls the invaluable opportunity to compete in front of a WEG Dressage judge, an element that is expected to draw in many of the biggest international Dressage names to the Castle Arena.

To see the Dressage action at Royal Windsor Horse Show first hand, or to find out more, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk +44(0)7717 776928