Tag Archives: Charlotte Dujardin

Dujardin and Her Horse with a Heart of Gold Do It Again

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. (Dirk Caremans/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 15 August 2016 – Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin (31) and the fabulous 14-year-old gelding, Valegro, were in a class of their own when posting an Olympic Dressage record score of 93.857 in the Grand Prix Freestyle to claim their second successive individual title. The double-gold medallist at London 2012 is the first British woman to retain an individual Olympic title, and she now matches the British record of three gold medals for a female athlete set by cyclist Laura Trott Sunday.

On an afternoon of high emotion in Deodoro Olympic Park, it was two members of Friday’s gold-medal-winning German team who took silver and bronze, the multi-medalled Isabell Werth (47) and Weihegold scoring 89.071 to finish ahead of world no. 1 Kristina Broring-Sprehe (29) and Desperados on a mark of 87.142.

Emotions

Dujardin could hardly contain her emotions after securing the victory. “He couldn’t have done any more,” she said of the much-loved horse who is known at home as Blueberry. “I was thinking this could be the last time,” she added before bursting into tears. The British partnership hold all the world records in their sport, and the result was just short of the Freestyle record of 94.30 per cent they set at Olympia Horse Show in London (GBR) in 2014.

The scores really began to soar as the final six combinations took their turn, and IOC President, Thomas Bach, arrived just in time to see Broring-Sprehe set the new standard before Dujardin and Valegro blew that away when rocketing into the lead by a margin of more than six points. America’s Laura Graves produced the performance of her career with Verdades to finish just off the podium on 85.196, her third personal-best result posted at these Games.

Record books

Werth already entered the record books when her team gold on Friday gave her the edge over the previously most-medalled German Olympic equestrian, Dr Reiner Klimke. Monday’s silver brings her tally to a massive 10 Olympic medals during an extraordinary career but, last to go, she was realistic in her expectations. “I knew Charlotte had 93 or 94 per cent, and Germany already won team gold, so with silver today I couldn’t ask for more. I really enjoy competing against the best; that’s what makes us all better, and Charlotte and Valegro really deserve this,” she said.

Dujardin talked about her own expectations. “We set the world record at 94 so I knew it was possible, but to come and do it again here at the Olympics is quite special. Today was magic; in London there was no pressure to take gold but today I was nervous because I felt the expectation to deliver. But trotting around the arena before the start, Blueberry felt so good it just put a smile on my face and I just knew it was going to be okay. I felt he knew what I was thinking in there and he looked after me; he did his very best. I have a partnership, a connection with this horse that nothing is going to break; he has a heart of gold,” she said.

Lit up

The pair has lit up the sport since coming together in 2011. “To think what he has achieved in the last four or five years, it seems almost impossible,” the British rider said, admitting that retirement is “on the cards” for Valegro now. “We’ll discuss it when we get home, and he definitely won’t be doing another Olympic Games or a big championship. I owe it to him to finish at the top,” she pointed out.

As for her own plans, marriage is at last on the horizon. Her partner, Dean Wyatt Golding, proposed to her during the London 2012 Games “and I said yes,” she explained. “Bless him, he’s been waiting a long time; we’ve been together nine years but it’s definitely going to happen now!” Somehow it seems very likely that a horse with three Olympic gold medals around his neck could be a prominent member of the wedding party.

Result here https://www.rio2016.com/en/equestrian-dressage-individual-grand-prix-freestyle

Quotes:

Patrick Kittel SWE: “I only heard a couple of days ago that I couldn’t use my Stevie Wonder music. We asked a long time ago about using it for the Olympic Games and we only heard back at the very last minute so this music is an old one and Deja isn’t used to it and I think she felt lost in it, and I did too! I’m happy overall; this is an amazing horse; she needs more experience competing over three days but she’s going to be great!”

Carl Hester GBR: “I felt the mark matched my test; sometimes you go in there and think you should have gotten more, but not today. We got five more marks than Friday and he was so much more relaxed. He was so quiet I could just let him walk for the last five minutes before we came in.”

Charlotte Dujardin GBR: “I’ve only ridden that floorplan once, at Hartpury, and we’ve changed it a few times since. There were things I hadn’t even tried before today and that’s why he is so magical!”

Laura Graves USA: “I’m thrilled with this score. I didn’t feel like I had quite as much horse as I had in the last couple of days; it’s obviously very hot; we’ve been here now for a day over two weeks, so it’s been a long time to keep our horses going like this.

“It was another personal best for me, by three percent or something like that, so that’s three personal bests at the Olympic Games!”

Equestrian in the Olympics

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic Games since 1912. Team and individual medals are awarded in three disciplines – Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. Uniquely across the Olympic Movement, men and women compete against each other for all the medals in equestrian sport.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

Rio 2016:

Anja Krabbe
Venue Media Manager
anja.krabbe@rio2016.com
+55 (21) 97556 1218

FEI:

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

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Queen Charlotte Steals the Show, but Germany Leads Olympic Dressage Team Rankings

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. (Richard Juillart/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 11 August 2016 – The multiple record-breaking British partnership and defending Olympic champions, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, more than lived up to expectations when producing the top score as the Dressage Grand Prix drew to a close at the Olympic Equestrian Venue in Deodoro. But not even the shining star of the sport could halt the steady march of the Germans who look set to claim their 13th Olympic team title Friday.

“If there is no drama, which we all know can happen, we will hopefully take home the gold!” said five-time Olympic gold medallist Isabell Werth (47), who helped anchor the German total at 81.295 with a great test from the mare Weihegold. But the British are breathing down those German necks on 79.252, just over two percentage points behind, while Team USA is sitting in bronze medal spot another two points further adrift.

Only the top six teams from the Grand Prix go through to Friday’s Grand Prix Special team medal decider, so Spain, France, Australia, Brazil and Japan have now slipped out of contention, leaving the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark still in the medal race along with the leading pack.

Germany was already out in front after two riders from each side competed Wednesday, and looked set to gain an even bigger advantage after Kristina Broring-Sprehe (29) posted a massive 82.257 with Desperados. “We are here over eight days now so I was very happy to begin!” said the world number one afterwards.

And when Dujardin’s London 2012 gold medal winning team-mate Carl Hester (49) had some tricky moments with Nip Tuck, the British looked vulnerable. The 12-year-old gelding is notoriously spooky, unshipping his rider during a training session at last year’s FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany when he took fright, and living up to his reputation again Thursday.

“He is probably the biggest horse here, but he has the heart of a mouse!” said Hester, who is also team coach. “He is good with noise but very visual. It was probably something ridiculous that spooked him, like a flower moving in a pot – maybe he needs glasses!” Hester joked. “He went fantastic all week and we had ten minutes in the arena this morning and he was totally relaxed. He had me completely fooled. I didn’t expect this and I’m gutted!”

Dujardin rode to the rescue, however, her fabulous 14-year-old gelding producing one of those spell-binding performances which have ensured his superstar status. “I can’t help but smile when I ride Valegro,” she said. “Today I didn’t even have to ask him to do a thing; he just did it himself! He enjoyed it and it felt easy; he just tries his heart out.”

The 31-year-old is really enjoying her second Olympic experience. “Some people come to the Olympics under pressure, but they still have to do the same as at any other show so I’m enjoying it and having the time of my life. I’m in the village with the world’s best athletes. ‘Oh there’s Roger Federer, oh there’s Nadal, or Murray’ and I’m star-struck! I’ve been pin-swapping and everything; it’s just great fun!”

A score of 85.071 left her out in front individually and brought Team GB back up into second place, but although the Germans now hold the next three slots to cement their position at the head of affairs, it’s still tight at the top and it’s still all very much to play for as the action resumes in the morning.

The Americans will also have to stay on their toes to fend off the Dutch who are very hot on their heels, less than one percentage point behind. Olympic veteran, Steffen Peters (51), boosted Team USA’s chances with a mark of 77.614 with Legolas. “This was one of the biggest tests of my horse’s life and it’s difficult, but there wasn’t a single point we gave away,” he said. “He delivered the test I dreamed of for my team! It’s going to be tight here now for the team placings though,” he said earlier in the afternoon. And he was right, with team-mate Laura Graves pulling her side closer to the top of the leaderboard but leaving them still just off a podium placing when scoring 78.071 with Verdades.

Full results here

Quotes:

Laura Graves (USA): “I had my horse out here this morning for a little bit of very light schooling and he was so quiet and so relaxed; I popped on him again this afternoon and he was very quiet and then the wind popped up and the plastic bags around the speaker started going and he just burst into action so I was kind of happy with that! I didn’t get a chance to settle him down before he came in (to the arena) and unfortunately I didn’t ride clean today but super-happy with the feeling and the way the training is reflecting in the arena.

“Can’t say enough good things about our team. Team has a lot of different meanings, and for us as equestrians in particular I think the Olympics is very special. We have the team of our horses and ourselves, and then we have our trainers and our friends and family, and we have each other – I couldn’t ask to be here with a better group!”

Kristina Broring-Sprehe (GER): “It was really good today but we did make a few mistakes. In the piaffe we lost rhythm and there was a mistake in the zig-zag. I’m very proud of him. It was his first time on a flight coming here and he was a bit nervous at first but he’s really happy here now. We are here over eight days so we are happy to begin. We have a very strong team and Sonke (Rothenberger) and Dorothee (Schneider) were great yesterday. I hope Isabell will do the same!”

Patrik Kittel (SWE): “I’m really happy; there was great harmony; there were some small things but at the end of the day I’m very happy. Now I can say I’ve done my third Olympic Games; it’s quite a relief when you’ve actually done it! Everything is special about the Olympics; it’s all crazy-cool, and every time you do it you can’t get enough of it; it’s the same for every sportsman; I think they will all agree with me about that. I enjoyed the test; sometimes you go in there and you just want to go home, but my horse felt really confident today. Scandic (now retired) used to be a bit spooky and scared, but Deja is much more secure in herself; she’s a super character and a very sweet horse. She’s really easy; you could put her in a headcollar and ride her around here!”

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR): “Valegro has the biggest heart; he’s very intelligent and very brave. His only weakness is that, like me, he loves his food. He gets ‘hangry’ when he can’t eat and if I have food in my hand he’ll follow me wherever I go!”

Equestrian in the Olympics

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic Games since 1912. Team and individual medals are awarded in three disciplines – Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. Uniquely across the Olympic Movement, men and women compete against each other for all the medals in equestrian sport.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

Rio 2016:

Anja Krabbe
Venue Media Manager
anja.krabbe@rio2016.com
+55 (21) 97556 1218

FEI:

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

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Bateson-Chandler Joins Hester and Dujardin in Winners Circle at Hartpury Festival of Dressage LeMieux

Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Hartpury, England (July 12, 2016) – The hotly contested Hartpury Festival of Dressage LeMieux FEI Grand Prix this weekend came to a close with leading European riders Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin placing first and second, respectively, and USA’s Katherine Bateson-Chandler claiming third with a 70.22 percent. Bateson-Chandler, aboard Jane F. Clark’s Alcazar, was proud to take a victory lap behind her personal friends and stable-mates, Great Britain Olympians Hester and Dujardin.

The Hartpury Festival of Dressage, held in Hartpury, England on July 6-10, was Bateson-Chandler’s last competition before going on to represent The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team in the upcoming FEI Nations Cup competition at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen.

“I was really happy with Alcazar in the LeMieux Grand Prix,” Bateson-Chandler stated. “I tested him a bit by not letting him see the arena beforehand, so I knew he would be a bit more nervous, but I wanted to know he could handle the situation.”

Not only did Alcazar, a 10-year-old KWPN (Contango x Polin, Ferro) gelding, handle the situation, but rose to the occasion by challenging some of the host nation’s top contenders. Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar travel to Europe each summer to train with Hester, where they are stabled at his yard with fellow competitor Dujardin.

“He was really great. Carl [Hester] and I have been changing some things up in his training, so I wanted to see if I could achieve some of the training changes in a test environment. We still had a couple of smaller mistakes, but the feeling in general was lovely! It’s so nice to be able to compete with my friends Carl and Charlotte as there is so much support from everyone here!”

Now Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar are fully geared up for the CHIO Aachen Nations Cup – the Final FEI Nations Cup competition for the 2016 year – which runs July 12-17 in Aachen, Germany. Bateson-Chandler said, “It will be great to be able to ride in that amazing stadium in Aachen! It is most riders’ dream to compete there, so I am thrilled that my first time riding at this facility will be on Alcazar. We are so looking forward to it!”

Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar train with both U.S. Olympian and Developing Dressage Coach Debbie McDonald while in Wellington, Florida during the winter. When not competing on the international stage, Bateson-Chandler offers training and coaching services through her business KBC Dressage. Her worldwide Grand Prix experience ensures that her students – both human and equine – have the competitive edge necessary for success in the dressage ring. KBC Dressage offers training, lessons, clinics, and prospect selection for clients. For more information about Katherine Bateson-Chandler, visit www.kbcdressage.com.

Contact: Katherine Bateson-Chandler
chandlercarlos@aol.com
908-391-9096

Hester Pips Dujardin in Battle of the British Olympians in London

Carl Hester and Nip Tuck. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

Olympia, London (GBR) 16 December 2015 – Carl Hester pipped his super-star protégé, fellow-Olympian and world no. 1 rider Charlotte Dujardin, for victory in the spell-binding sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European League at Olympia in London (GBR). Riding Nip Tuck, the 11-year-old gelding with which he helped clinch team silver at this summer’s FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, the 48-year-old rider delivered a performance that simply demonstrated why he has long been a legend in this sport.

Winner of the third leg of the series in Stockholm, Sweden last month, Hans Peter Minderhoud from The Netherlands lined up third with Glock’s Flirt, while on a great night for the home-country contenders, Lara Griffith claimed fourth spot with Rubin Al Asad.

Ground Jury President, Great Britain’s Stephen Clarke, put tonight’s competition into perspective when he said, “It was fantastic; the whole level was really high with all the riders going for it. Hans Peter and Charlotte both did great tests, but then Carl came in with a degree of difficulty that was just amazing. He spent the first five minutes on the centre line! It was a test with a great degree of difficulty that worked, and that’s why he won.”

Influence

Hester’s influence on tonight’s competition even extended to the rider who held pole position until after the halfway stage. Trainer and rider, 32-year-old Hayley Watson-Greaves, is coached by the man who joined Dujardin on the British gold medal winning side at the London 2012 Olympic Games. And she sparkled when second to go with the fabulous black gelding Rubins Nite, taking all the risks to post a mark of 75.075.

It was fellow-countrywoman Griffith who demoted her from the top of the order, showing rhythm and relaxation as her 13-year-old gelding strutted his stuff to a rousing Scottish-themed musical score. Posting 78.025 for a test the judges described as “close to perfection technically,” this 27-year-old rider was always going to finish well in the frame, but Dujardin created a whole new parameter when next into the arena with Uthopia.

The 14-year-old stallion has not shown for the last two years and Dujardin has only competed him “seven or eight times” during her sensational career which has principally been dominated by her extraordinary partnership with the amazing gelding Valegro. But she stormed to victory in yesterday’s Grand Prix, pinning Hester and Nip Tuck into runner-up spot ahead of Minderhoud and Glock’s Flirt, and a repeat performance seemed very much on the cards this evening.

Calling card

The pair produced breathtaking extended trot and fabulous tempi changes, and although their final few movements didn’t come together they stamped 82.550 on their calling card, leaving it up to the rest to chase that. Minderhoud followed with a great effort that earned 80.975, but, second last to go, it was clear that Hester wasn’t riding for runner-up spot this time out.

“I just chucked everything at it to see what I could do! I know the degree of difficulty is being stepped up so I took every movement that was difficult and just rode it one day, wrote it down and then did it again the next day. With this horse I have no choice; if I want to be in the top lot I have to do something that showcases that,” he said after posting the winning mark of 83.750.

Stephen Clarke said at the post-competition press conference, “This man (Hester) just keeps opening all sorts of chapters! It was certainly a very exciting test and the music also worked beautifully. It wasn’t just that it was a difficult test, but that he managed to make it look easy. Pirouettes on centre line – both of them were really really good; he kept adding to the degree of difficulty and it really worked,” he added.

Never say never

Hester said that Nip Tuck has taught him to “never say never!” He had a long history of runner-up placings at Olympia since he first competed at the hugely popular Christmas fixture back in 2003, so this result was particularly satisfying. “I’m very proud of Nip Tuck; I’ve had him since he was a year old and he’s still only 11. He’s over 18 hands high – not a traditional dressage horse, not really made to do dressage, but in his head he is a gold medallist and that’s why his body gets better and better,” he explained.

Dujardin, who affectionately calls Hester “granddad,” said she didn’t mind having to settle for second place tonight. “If there’s one person to be beaten by, it’s granddad; he inspires me every day,” she said. “Watching him made me have goose-pimples. He said he was going to nail his floorplan tonight and he did such a cracking job, he made it look effortless. I’m so thrilled for him because he’s always wanted to win here and he’s done it at last!” said the rider who, with her no. 1 horse Valegro, holds every record and every title in the sport.

Today’s third placing has now promoted Hans Peter Minderhoud to the top of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Western European League table. I’m very lucky that I have three fantastic horses,” the Dutchman said. “I did two qualifiers with Glock’s Romanov and two with Flirt, and I will do two next year with Johnson and then decide which one to ride in the Final,” he explained.

“Yesterday it was quite close in the Grand Prix; I knew it would be hard to beat one of the Brit superstars, but they are great friends and I’m very happy for them!” he insisted.

Winning horse

Hester meanwhile mused about how much better he can do with tonight’s winning horse. “I missed my canter passage; I didn’t nail the transition and the walk isn’t relaxed. The halt was very difficult at end because he’s so used to everyone clapping, so there are still more points I can work on but I need to keep competing in this sort of atmosphere,” he said.

For the moment, however, Nip Tuck won’t be under any pressure. “He will have until the new year off; he’s very energetic and keeps himself very fit and is quite happy living out in field. So he will do that until January.”

He hopes that Uthopia, whose previous achievements include European team gold in Rotterdam (NED) in 2011 and Olympic team gold at London 2012, will be a reserve horse for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. “Charlotte will hopefully qualify him in Amsterdam,” Hester said. So there is every incentive to look forward to the next leg of the Reem Acra series at the Dutch fixture at the end of January.

For further information on the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European League at Olympia, London (GBR), go to www.olympiahorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Jo Peck, jopeck@hpower.co.uk, +44 1753 847 900.

The next leg will take place in Amsterdam (NED) on 29/30 January 2016. For information on the Dutch fixture, visit http://www.jumpingamsterdam.nl/ or contact Press Officer Charlotte Gunnink, media@jumpingamsterdam.nl, +31 638325326.

Detailed result here.

Facts and Figures:

The London International Horse Show at Olympia presented the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European League tonight.

15 riders from 8 nations – Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Ukraine – competed.

British horse-and-rider combinations filled the top two places, Carl Hester and Nip Tuck pipping Charlotte Dujardin and Uthopia.

Dujardin is ranked world no. 1 with her Valegro, the horse with which she claimed double-gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), and with which she was crowned Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion in both 2014 and 2015.

Hester’s winning score with the 11-year-old gelding was 83.750.

The Ground Jury panel of judges consisted of: At E, Andrew Gardner (GBR); At C, Stephen Clarke (GBR); At B, Isabelle Judet (FRA); At H, Susanne Baarup (DEN); At M, Thomas Lang (AUT).

3 remaining rounds in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European league – at Amsterdam (NED) in January, at Neumuenster (GER) in February and at ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in March 2016.

The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2016 Final will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden from 23 to 28 March.

Quotes:

Carl Hester GBR (1st), talking about his winning horse, Nip Tuck: “A year ago he found it difficult to go round the edge let alone do the test. You have to have a special temp to be a winner, relaxed but with the energy to be a super star with pirouettes and passage.”

Charlotte Dujardin GBR (2nd), talking about the horse she rode tonight, Uthopia: “He hadn’t competed for nearly two years so last night I surprised myself (when winning the Grand Prix). It’s a great honour to ride a horse like Uthopia, to take him on after Carl. He felt a little tired tonight but he tried really hard. He hadn’t done that freestyle since Windsor two years ago, but he felt fantastic!”

Carl Hester GBR (1st), when asked about growing a beard to support the charity Decembeard: “I think I’m hormonally challenged; it took three weeks to get something growing on my chin!

“The bowel cancer charity asked me would I (grow a beard) and I said I can’t; I’m a dressage rider and I’m supposed to look chiselled and clean! But I gave in. I tried to trim it up for today but I look like a Dalmatian at the moment!”

Ground Jury President Stephen Clarke (GBR): “I have to say I think one of the best things for the sport this evening was that out of just half an ear could hear Imke (Bartels) and the commentary. She was so positive and honest and clear; it really made such a difference to the public, helped them understand and it’s one of the best things for the sport I have seen in a long time.”

Carl Hester GBR (1st): “Lara (Griffith) and Hayley (Watson-Greaves) were incredible tonight. The confidence of Hayley was great. We need to have future teams and Lara is such an elegant beautiful rider. It’s great to see her supported by the Bechtolsheimers who started me off. I’m very confident and happy to see new riders here; this is the best show in the world and with Reem Acra as the sponsor; we’re just thrilled to be here.”

Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED), 3rd: “It was quite noisy when I went in (to the arena) as Charlotte had just come out, but my horse was really going for it and had a great feeling. I was very happy; he’s a great horse; he’s really trying for me in the ring and gives me a super nice feeling. He’s not as pretty as my stallions but much easier!”

Carl Hester GBR (1st), talking about his future plans: “I’m taking Charlotte (Dujardin) to Amsterdam to get two qualifiers under her belt for the Final, but that’s me done for the season. I’ll appear in April after this big show. I’ve got to think about Rio for next year, so I will start the outdoor shows in April.”

Full standings here.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Olympia:

Jo Peck
Press Officer
JoPeck@hpower.co.uk
+44 1753 847 900

At FEI:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

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

Charlotte Dujardin Claims 5th Consecutive Victory on Opening Night of Olympia

Photo credit Kit Houghton/Hpower.

For the fifth consecutive year, Charlotte Dujardin has won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Grand Prix (supported by Horse & Hound), much to the delight of the packed crowds at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

While the last four Grands Prix have been won with her Olympic gold medal partner Valegro, this year her winning ride was Uthopia (77.46%). The 14-year-old breeding stallion owned by Carl Hester was last ridden in competition by Dujardin to win the Grand Prix at Royal Windsor 19 months ago. He was also the horse that gave Hester his first team gold (European in 2011).

Uthopia came back to competition like he had never been away with a mistake free test full of expression and as first to go, the pair was the one to catch. Hester and Jane De La Mare’s team horse Nip Tuck (76.66%) couldn’t quite match the score. Despite highlights of clean piaffe and pirouettes the extensions failed to match those of the stallion and the pair was just less than 1% behind for second. While Dutch rider Hans Peter Minderhoud, a regular at Olympia, produced a strong test with Glock’s Flirt (76.12%) the 10-year-old Florestan gelding ran out of steam on the final line, losing balance and rhythm and valuable marks, to be a close third.

Unlike the past four years, this year’s win was an unexpected one for Dujardin especially as the indoor arena and the electric atmosphere at Olympia can prove difficult to master.

“It was quite a risk to come here and you couldn’t do that with many horses, but he has the best temperament in the world and I am over the moon to win.”

“It was also nice to bring another horse, take the pressure off Valegro and give another horse a chance,” said Dujardin who would now like to take Uthopia to Amsterdam.

Hester intends to come out fighting in tomorrow’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Freestyle with a new test for Nip Tuck set to new music based on the TV programme Mr Selfridge.

“I have gone for the most difficult test possible,” said Hester.

To view the full results, click HERE.

For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44(0)778 757 6490 or +44(0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

Three World Number Ones under One Roof at Olympia, the London International Horse Show

The world’s best riders, including three FEI world no. 1s in Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving, have announced they will be descending upon the capital to compete at Olympia, the London International Horse Show which takes place from 15-21 December.

Show Jumping sensation Scott Brash will be making a rare competitive appearance in the UK along with Team GBR Dressage legend Charlotte Dujardin and Carriage Driving’s unstoppable Boyd Exell, who will head up the first-rate quality of competitors taking part over the seven days at London’s premier horse show.

SHOW JUMPING

Once again, the world’s top-class show jumpers will gravitate to the Olympia Exhibition Halls to compete at the UK’s biggest indoor equestrian show and wow fans with unforgettable competition. A collection of the world’s top 10 riders are among the entries along with the top British riders in attendance, including British world no.1 Scott Brash.

The talented Scotsman, and Team GBR gold medal hopeful for Rio next year, has had an incredible 2015 and hopes to end it on a high at Olympia: “I love Olympia. The atmosphere is always great and the home crowd always cheers me so I’m looking forward to that. I don’t often get the chance to ride in front of home fans as there aren’t many five star events in Britain so it’s always nice to come home and compete in front of the home crowd.”

Brash will face fierce competition with some of the biggest international names in the sport confirmed, including an incredibly formidable team of German riders: Daniel Deusser, Marcus Ehning, Ludger Beerbaum and Hans-Dieter Dreher.

From across the pond top French riders Simon Delestre and Kevin Staut will be hoping to continue their 2015 success at Olympia. European Team Champions, Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Jur Vrieling (NED), will also be returning to the famous arena, whilst world number six, Bertram Allen, will be hungry for a victory to end the year on.

The best of the British will be out in force much to the delight of the home crowd, including Olympia’s favourite family, the Whitakers, with John, Michael, Robert and William all confirmed and armed with a strong team of horses. Former world no.1 Ben Maher will be hoping to defend his Olympia Grand Prix title, bringing with him a solid selection of horses, including Diva II. Young rising star, Jessica Mendoza, will be the one to watch hoping to round off a stellar year with a win at Olympia. Joe Clee, Laura Renwick and Guy Williams will complete the impressive line-up.

Show Jumping takes place during every performance from Thursday 17 December to Monday 21 December. Highlights include the Alltech Olympia Puissance on Thursday 17 December, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Leg presented by H&M on Sunday 20 December, and the Olympia Grand Prix on Monday 21 December.

DRESSAGE

The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage, supported by Horse & Hound, which takes place on the first and second day of Olympia, welcomes a star-studded line-up. Returning this year is the current world, Olympic and European champion, Charlotte Dujardin, who will be hoping to retain her unbeaten record at the event.

Joining Dujardin is crowd favourite Carl Hester upon his noble partner Nip Tuck, with whom he helped the team to score a silver medal at the European Championships earlier this year. With a career spanning over three decades, Hester is arguably one of the greatest dressage riders the world has seen and will be hoping to produce a shining performance under the bright lights of the Olympia arena. Fiona Bigwood, Henriette Andersen and Lara Griffith will complete the British line-up.

Leading the international contingent is one of The Netherlands’ best riders, Hans Peter Minderhoud, on his chestnut gelding Glock’s Flirt. Individual Bronze medallist at this year’s European Championships, Minderhoud will be joined by fellow Dutchmen, Diederik van Silfhout, both of whom will certainly provide stiff competition for the British riders.

DRIVING

A total of seven of the world’s leading four-in-hand drivers will set the arena alight in what promises to be a flurry of nail biting competitions on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 December, with the Final taking place on Saturday 19 December.

Defending champion, Boyd Exell (AUS), who has won the FEI World Cup Driving Championship title a record six times, will be hoping to repeat last year’s success where he drove an unimpeachable round to win by a four-second margin.

Ranked second and fourth from the outdoor season are Dutch competitors, Ijsbrand Chardon and Koos de Ronde, both of whom have competed at the show each year since 2011. Chardon has been at the top of world four-in-hand driving longer than any other driver currently on the circuit and his tally of medals is correspondingly larger; most recently he was on the gold medal winning team at last year’s WEG and this year’s European championships where he claimed second place individually. Just pipped to the post by Exell in 2014, he will be hungry for the win this year. De Ronde is also serially successful, having been a team member with Chardon over several years; he was third in the 2015 European Championships.

Jozsef Dobrovitz snr (HUN), ranked third in the world, is making his Olympia debut. Georg von Stein (GER) and Glen Geerts (BEL) will be looking to make the mark on the competition, and flying the flag for Great Britain is Daniel Naprous, lead member of the Devil’s Horsemen Stunt Team, who emerged victorious from the three events staged in the autumn to be selected as the home driver. He will be bringing the daring, precision and skill of his display and film work to driving a four-in-hand.

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information or imagery, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

Rolex Central Park Horse Show Concludes with Charlotte Dujardin Master’s Class

Charlotte Dujardin, aboard Renaissance Tyme, and Robert Dover during Sunday’s Master’s Class. Photo by Josh Walker for The Chronicle of the Horse.

New York, NY – The second annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show wrapped with a day of equestrian demonstrations and family-friendly fun on Sunday. Number-one dressage rider in the world Charlotte Dujardin took to Wollman Rink aboard Evi Strasser’s Renaissance Tyme, along with Olympian and United States Dressage Federation Hall of Fame Member Robert Dover, for a Master’s Class, presented by The Chronicle of the Horse and Breyer.

Dujardin guided spectators and viewers tuning in via live stream through her process of warming up, schooling and cooling down her horses with commentary from herself and Dover.

Dujardin had only sat on Renaissance Tyme, a 12-year-old German-bred Oldenburg gelding, twice before Sunday’s exhibition, including a performance in Saturday night’s U.S. Open $75,000 Dressage Freestyle, presented by Axel Johnson Group, at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show.

“I hope you all can appreciate after two times riding this horse Charlotte is able to get on and beautifully show this animal how she works,” said Dover. “The training is so secure that the end result is what you see with Valegro and the other horses she rides.”

According to Dujardin, when riding someone else’s horse, keying into how that rider rides is the hardest part. While continuing to learn more about Renaissance Tyme, she demonstrated Grand Prix movements and shared her philosophies on the development of each gait, transitions and more. “What you see as the end result in dressage is years and years of training,” she said. “It’s a bit like gymnastics with a horse.”

While Dujardin boasts Olympic, FEI World Equestrian Games and European Championship gold medals to her credit, her message to spectators was focused on the well-being of her horse, as well as establishing a solid foundation for success.

“It’s like building a house: if you have a bad foundation, you’ll have a bad house. If you have bad basics on a horse, you’re going to run into problems,” she said. “It’s so important that these horses enjoy every day of their work. I hack my horses on the road; they all go outside and have a normal life, even Valegro. We don’t wrap them up in cotton wool.”

United States Pony Club Mounted Games. Photo by Meg Banks for Equestrian Sport Productions
United States Pony Club Mounted Games. Photo by Meg Banks for Equestrian Sport Productions

Preceding Dujardin’s Master’s Class, horse-sport fans of New York City and beyond were welcomed into Central Park for admission-free demonstrations, including a versatility exhibition of the Arabian Horse, United States Pony Club mounted games, a show jumping clinic with Candice King, and the Land Rover Mini-Car Driving Experience.

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show concluded Sunday, September 27, but the excitement isn’t over yet. Coverage of Friday night’s $212,000 U.S. Open CSI 3* Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, will air tonight, Sunday, September 27, 2015, on NBC Sports Network from 9:00 – 10:30 p.m. EST. Show managers are already making plans for the return of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show in 2016 with more competition showcasing varying disciplines of horse sport in the heart of New York City’s iconic Central Park.

About Rolex Central Park Horse Show

Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. In its second year, Rolex Central Park Horse Show will make its triumphant return from September 23 to 27, 2015 and will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the inaugural U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers, Dressage, Hunters, U25 Jumpers, and Arabians. For more information, visit http://centralparkhorseshow.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CPhorseshow, and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contact:
Shin-Jung Hong
Nicholas & Lence Communications
ShinJung@nicholaslence.com
Tel: 212.938.0005

Equestrian Media Contact:
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jenniferwoodmedia.com

US Open Dressage Riders Ready to Take on Rolex Central Park Horse Show

Photo by David Handschuh.

New York, NY – The second annual Rolex Central Park Horse Show is proud to announce the final list of international dressage riders who will take to Wollman Rink in the first annual U.S. Open Dressage Grand Prix, presented by Breyer, on Friday, September 25, at 1pm, and the U.S. Open $75,000 Dressage Freestyle, presented by Axel Johnson Group, on Saturday, September 26, at 7pm.

The final U.S. Open Dressage riders, representing six nations, include:

  • Catherine Haddad Staller (USA)
  • Charlotte Jorst (USA)
  • Karen Pavicic (CAN)
  • Lauren Sammis (USA)
  • Isabell Werth (GER)
  • Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (SWE)
  • Juan Matute Jr. (ESP)
  • Charlotte Dujardin – Freestyle Only (GBR)

Competing under the lights in one of the world’s most iconic locations, dressage will take the spotlight in Central Park, as returning champion Isabell Werth will look to defend her title, while first-time competitor and six-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén will ride in New York City for the first time.

“I looked on at the show from a distance last year and I think it’s very exciting to be able to be a part of this competition,” said Vilhelmson Silfvén. “It is important for equestrian sport to have a show like this that promotes and engages an incredible audience with the versatility of horses.”

Riding Paridon Magi owned by Lövsta Stuteri, Vilhelmson Silfvén will embrace the incredible experience of riding in the heart of the city that never sleeps. She added, “The atmosphere will be a challenge, but as all of the bigger shows have grown in size and scale, many of the horses competing at this level are used to it. They have to learn to cope with it and it will be exciting and quite the challenge.”

In addition to competing inside Wollman Rink, Charlotte Dujardin, one of the most celebrated dressage riders in history, will also present a Dressage Master’s Class on Sunday at 1:30pm. Dressage fans will have the opportunity for a personal look into Dujardin’s riding, training and some of the secrets to her success.

The U.S. Open Dressage events will be streamed live at www.centralparkhorseshow.com. Tickets for all events at the 2015 Rolex Central Park Horse Show, including the Dressage Master’s Class, can be purchased at http://bit.ly/1AV2imv.

Additional information can be found at www.coth.com and www.centralparkhorseshow.com.

Media Contact:
Shin-Jung Hong
Nicholas & Lence Communications
ShinJung@nicholaslence.com
Tel: 212.938.0005

Equestrian Media Contact:
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Narrow Victory for Dujardin in Hard-Fought Freestyle

(L to R) Kristina Bröring-Sprehe from Germany (silver), Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin (gold) and Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat (bronze). (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Aachen (GER), 16 August 2015 – It was double-gold for Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro when the British superstars added the Freestyle title to yesterday’s Grand Prix Special honours at the FEI European Dressage Championships in Aachen (GER) this evening. But today’s medal was particularly hard-won, with Germany’s Kristina Bröring-Sprehe only 0.25 percent off Dujardin’s winning score when taking silver with Desperados FRH, while Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat produced another sensation when claiming the bronze with Delgado.

Continuing the week-long theme of expecting the unexpected, the day began with the news that Britain’s Fiona Bigwood was withdrawn because her mare, Atterupgaards Orthilia, had a “slight skin reaction causing sensitivity.” And then, just before the competition began, it was announced that Anna Kaskpkrzak had also pulled out. The Danish rider is no shrinking violet and had climbed into the saddle to prepare for her early-afternoon start with Donnperignon. But the pain she has been suffering since she was kicked in the chest by her horse after the horse inspection six days ago was just too intense today.

Strong test

Newly-crowned European team champion, Patrick van der Meer from the Netherlands, got the competition underway with a nice test from Uzzo who set the standard at 74.375, and this was followed by the farewell performance of Morgan Barbancon Mestre’s 18-year-old stallion Painted Black who posted 73.375.

However, it was Karen Tebar from France who led the way into the first competition break. It is rare to see a rider smiling as they enter the arena, especially one as intimidating as the Soers in Aachen, but the 50-year-old who fits her competitive career around managing her own German-based company, looked equally as happy as her 10-year-old gelding Don Luis who, in his first year at international level, took over the lead with a score of 74.964.

The target rocketed up to 80.214 when German team bronze medallist, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, took her turn with Unee BB, their performance concluding with a dare-devil extended trot up the centre-line. And then Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven went out in front, the six-time Olympian and her 13-year-old gelding demonstrating their unique partnership based on a mutual understanding that allows them to ebb and flow with the rhythm of their test for a mark of 80.643.

A day to savour

This was a day to savour, with many young horses suggesting great future potential, including the nine-year-old Batuta ridden by Portugal’s Goncalo Carvalho (72.768) and Carl Hester’s 10-year-old Nip Tuck (79.571) for Great Britain. But it was the 82.482 produced by Germany’s Isabell Werth and Don Johnson FRH that was the score to beat as the final four took their turn.

Werth is both a natural-born entertainer as well as an edge-of-the-seat competitor, and she had the home crowd right behind her as she swung her way through her musical score that included a newly-introduced excerpt from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” – the late, great Freddie Mercury singing “nothing really matters” – but of course it did. And the crowd went wild when the judges awarded 82.482. Still the excitement was far from over.

Only a chosen few knew that Beatriz Ferrer-Salat would shine this week. First, like Frenchwoman Tebar, she would steer her country into an Olympic qualifying spot and then go on to finish just off the podium in yesterday’s Grand Prix Special. As she started into her routine today it was clear the Spanish rider was upping her game even further, her chestnut gelding Delgado presenting a beautifully balanced, forward-going picture as they cruised through seamless transitions and presented a picture of lightness and harmony for a new leading score of 82.714. Quite an achievement for a horse that has struggled with unsoundness since he was a six-year-old and who, at 14 years of age, is only now getting the opportunity to show his true ability.

Close to perfection

But while that was lovely to watch, the penultimate performance of Bröring-Sprehe and her fabulous black stallion was close to perfection. The 28-year-old rider came to Aachen this week with a weight of expectation on her shoulders, and although she didn’t get the result she wanted in the team competition she was very impressive when taking silver in yesterday’s Grand Prix Special. Today, however, the horse-and-rider combination were in a different league altogether, lighting up the ring with spectacular passage and piaffe, the tiniest of pirouettes and breath-taking extended trot. The defending champions were chasing a big score of 88.804 as they set off, and it was difficult to know if they would beat that score.

Dujardin found the one-tempi changes something of a bug-bear this week and once again they let the pair down this afternoon, but even though her 13-year-old gelding was much less animated than in yesterday’s test, the quality of their work was such that they overtook their German rivals by a narrow 0.25 percent to round up their week with both of the individual titles.

Only the ones

Talking afterwards, the record-breaking rider said, “It was only the ones (one-tempi changes) that let the performance down. I think he’s got a thing with them now; he’s done it all week. Yesterday in the last one he made a mistake; outside he’s been really good with them. It’s only one movement at the end of the day and it has cost me, but I was really happy with the rest of it.

“The toughest part of being here is having to deal with the crowd; you know they are rooting for their nation, and when I walked in there was a huge atmosphere. Then her (Kristina’s) score came up just as I went in, and I had to deal with that as well. And then we had a shot of Isabell (Werth) stuffing her face with something, so as I went to start the crowd were laughing! So there was a lot in my mind to deal with at the very beginning. I think I handled it quite well,” she said.

Ferrer-Salat said of her bronze medal finish today, “When we came here I was expecting to qualify the team for Rio and I hoped to get into the Kur, but a medal? Never! I’m very happy for my horse; I’ve had him for years and he’s always been injured, but now we have rehabilitated him. It has taken a long, long time, but it’s been worth it!”

At the post-competition press conference, Freestyle silver medallist Bröring-Sprehe said, “Desperados was so fantastic, so good to ride today; he felt great in the atmosphere and we did our best Freestyle ever. Next year I hope,” she added, and then looked across at Dujardin and hesitated, “Next year, I want to do even better!”

Championships were tough

It sounded like a warning to Dujardin who admitted these Championships were tough. “Yeah, I knew it would be coming here. But in the end I’m going home with two golds and a silver medal, so I’m happy!” she replied. When asked about the narrow margin between herself and Bröring-Sprehe, she said, “That’s sport and it makes it more and more exciting… it would be really boring if I was winning by miles all the time. So the fact that Kristina is catching me up – everyone, even Edward in the Grand Prix – I think for me here I just had mistakes in my tests. I haven’t had one test which I haven’t had mistakes in, and that’s obviously expensive, but I know when I have a mistake-free test it’s a very good test. He’s (Valegro) going to have a holiday now for three weeks and I’ll work on it and hopefully get my changes back and go to Olympia… get ready for Rio. I’m not giving up easily!” she concluded.

For more information on the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen, visit www.aachen2015.de.

Full results of FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 here.

Facts and Figures:

13 horse-and-rider combinations lined out for today’s Grand Prix Freestyle at the FEI European Dressage Championships 2015 in Aachen, Germany.

There were two withdrawals – Great Britain’s Fiona Bigwood whose mare Atterupgaards Orthilia was experiencing “a slight skin reaction causing sensitivity” and Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak who was feeling unwell. She was kicked in the chest by her horse, Donnperignon, during Tuesday’s veterinary inspection and rode in both the team competition and in the Grand Prix Special – she finished 11th in the latter.

8 nations were represented in today’s Freestyle final – Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

The Netherlands and Germany each had three riders qualified for the final competition.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro claimed the gold for the second time – they also topped the podium at the 2013 FEI European Dressage Championships staged in Herning, Denmark.

Germany’s Kristina Bröring-Sprehe finished in silver medal spot with Desperados FRH and Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat took the bronze with Delgado.

96,000 spectators attended the Dressage competitions during the week at the Soers Arena while the full tally of spectators for all events to date iss 159,000.

Quotes:

Kristina Bröring-Sprehe GER: “I’m really happy; Desperados was wonderful today, so easy to ride all the time and the audience at the end – it was perfect!”

Beatriz Ferrer-Salat ESP: “I have the horse (Delgado) since he was six; he has been injured a lot… so I would go to a show, stop him, go to a show, stop him again, but every time he was really good, really good, so I just keep trying. Finally we got it solved, and I started in March in Spain and did a couple of shows in Spain and then my first international outing was at Hagen and then I came here. Our goal was to qualify for the Olympics, which we achieved, finishing fourth, and then when I saw I was in the top five I was really surprised, then yesterday I was fourth and today I was third. I got him sound thanks to a chiropractor and a masseur. No medicines, no nothing, just this and that’s the only way until now he has been sound. I had taken this horse to clinics, vets, everything, but there was no way to get him sound. We did it just naturally, a lot of rehabilitation, very slowly, slowly, slowly and now he’s really, really good. This is a hard week… because it’s a bit hot I have to ride him twice, once in the stadium when it was open; he’s really sound at the moment.”

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Aachen:

Niels Knippertz
Press Officer
nielsknippertz@chioaachen.de
+49 (0) 241 9171 182

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro Remain Double European Champions

(Aachen, Germany 16 August 2015) True champions are made from something they have deep inside them, a desire, a dream, a vision. Today, in front of a 38,000 strong crowd, Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain proved that she is an undisputed champion by sealing victory in the D3 Deutsche Bank Individual Grand Prix Freestyle, and retaining her European title, with a score of 89.054%.

Charlotte, riding Valegro, was last to go in the final 15 on the closing day of a week-long dressage extravaganza. Tensions were high for the British rider who had to beat an impressive score, and a lifetime best of 88.804%, from Germany’s Kristina Bröring-Sprehe, riding Desperados FRH. Though we have come to expect great things from Charlotte and Valegro, the pressure mounting from the home-crowd spectators was palpable. It was a test of real metal strength for the duo in the impressive Aachen arena.

Despite the rain and the intense pressure, Charlotte and Valegro rode a beautiful test and placed first, scoring 89.054%. Crowd favourite Kristina Bröring-Sprehe was placed second – the young rider (28), has had a fantastic week at the FEI European Championships, contributing to Germany’s Team Bronze medal and finishing second in yesterday’s Grand Prix Special.

Following her win and when asked about Kristina’s impressive score, Charlotte said; “Well that is sport and that’s what keeps it exciting. It would be really boring if I was winning by miles all the time but Kristina is catching me, and even Edward on the Grand Prix…. We’re going to go back home and work on it, we’re going to Olympia and also preparing for Rio, so don’t worry, I won’t be giving up easily!”

Spanish rider Beatriz Ferrer-Salat also produced an impressive display of horsemanship to place third on her horse Delgado. Beatriz started competing Delgado in 2009; the pair has been hit with injuries over the years so it was incredibly enjoyable for equestrian fans to see them back on the podium.

The dressage element for this year’s 2015 FEI European Championships has seen participation figures at an all-time high, with the definite entries revealing a massive 20 nations and 72 horse-and-rider combinations entering.

Final Result from the Individual Grand Prix Freestyle

Gold Medal: Charlotte Dujardin (GBR)
Silver Medal: Kristina Bröring-Sprehe (GER)
Bronze Medal: Beatriz Ferrer-Salat (ESP)

Rolex Testimonee Isabell Werth at the European Championships

Whilst individual success may have escaped her this year, Rolex Testimonee, Isabell Werth, riding Don Johnson FRH, made a great contribution to the German team claiming Bronze earlier in the week. Yesterday’s Grand Prix Special saw the duo placed seventh, despite a small error, with a strong score of 75.924%. Today’s Freestyle test saw the pair ride an impressive and captivating display to place fourth with a score of 82.482%. After her round, Isabell said, “I am completely happy with him. He came out of the shadow of Bella Rose and I’m really happy for him and proud. It was so emotional in front of that crowd. To do it here in Aachen is so great; I’ve been coming here for more than 20 years and have had such great victories so it was like a victory today.”

For more information on the 2015 FEI European Championships, please visit http://www.aachen2015.de/en/.

Rolex and the European Championships

Rolex is a major supporter of the biennial European Championships, an event which brings together Europe’s best equestrian pairs. For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Competitors test their metal strength and show their equine discipline in front of crowds of up to 40,000.

Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.