Tag Archives: Charlotte Dujardin

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.

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