Tag Archives: dressage

Werth Pips Werndl in Close Contest at Salzburg

Isabell Werth with Emilio. (FEI/Daniel Kaiser)

The Queen of international dressage, Germany’s Isabell Werth, continued her relentless march to the 2020 Final when winning the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League qualifier at Salzburg in Austria.

As defending champion, she only has to compete twice during the qualifying season with whichever horses she intends to take to the Final in Las Vegas, USA next April, and this result makes it a double of victories partnering the 13-year-old gelding Emilio in the current season.

At Lyon, France in October, the pair pinned Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle into runner-up spot, having been pipped by the British duo in the previous day’s Grand Prix. But although they kept their German counterparts Benjamin Werndl and Daily Mirror at bay in both competitions at the Austrian fixture this weekend, their winning margin was a relatively narrow one each time out.

At the press conference afterwards, Werndl said, “This is my favourite place… being so close to Isabell!”

But the five-time title-holder who is bidding to become the first-ever four-in-a-row FEI Dressage World Cup champion was quick with her joking reply: “I’m very happy that Ben had such a good tournament here in Salzburg and is going so well. As long as he stays like that – in second place – that’s fine by me!”

In the early stages there were smart performances from Austria’s Stefan Lehfeliner and Fackeltanz who posted 73.360, and from Ireland’s Anna Merveldt partnering Esporim. At this summer’s European Championships in Rotterdam (NED) this inexperienced 10-year-old Lusitano helped the Emerald Isle to Olympic qualification, and on his Freestyle debut posted a solid score of 73.310. A real eye-catcher was the lovely 12-year-old Robinvale ridden by Greek 18-year-old Theodora Livanos who put 74.455 on the board, but it was Swedish star Patrik Kittel who led the way at the halfway stage on a mark of 75.680 with Eddieni.

The target-score shot up to 78.150 when 2013 series champion, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg, took her turn with the lovely mare Annabelle. But their lead didn’t last long, Werth and Emilio setting a whole new standard with another of their power-packed tests when next into the arena. It wasn’t perfect, as Werth said afterwards: “There was just a little second going into piaffe,” but, as only she can, this extraordinary competitor simply turned up the heat to throw down a new target of 85.905 which brought the crowd to their feet and put it up to the rest.

Werndl wasn’t intimidated, however. He won with Daily Mirror at this venue last year, and as a partnership the pair has just been getting better and better. They finished second at the opening leg of this series in Herning seven weeks ago scoring 84.545, fifth at the third leg in Stuttgart with 80.900, and here racked up a personal-best 84.705 with a performance filled with freedom of movement, harmony, and lightness. Only their piaffe was holding them back from a higher score that might well have challenged even closer for the win.

It looked set to be another German whitewash until, second-last to go, Victoria Max-Theurer and Benaglio snatched third place from Langehanenberg with a lovely performance that earned the Austrian duo a mark of 78.525 to the delight of the home spectators.

Werth is now planning to give Weihegold, the mare with which she has claimed the FEI Dressage World Cup™ title for the last three years, her second outing of the season at Amsterdam (NED) in January. And looking even further head, when asked which of her rides she plans to take to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, she replied, “The season will decide… but it’s no secret that my first choice is Bella Rose, then Weihe and Emilio.”

Werndl has now bounced to the top of the league table ahead of Langehanenberg in second, The Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud in third, and French rider Morgan Barbancon into fourth place. The next leg, at London, Olympia (GBR) on 17 December, will bring the Western European League to the halfway stage.

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Olympia Announces Live TV and Streaming Schedule

Olympia, The London International Horse Show announced the live TV broadcast and streaming schedule which will take the Show out beyond the four walls of the Olympia halls. High viewing demand is anticipated for the Show which has eight of the world’s top ten show jumpers lined up to compete including British number ones and Olympic Gold medalists Ben Maher (jumping) and Charlotte Dujardin (dressage). Olympia continues to be the most watched show jumping event in the UK.

Olympia Show Director, Simon-Brooks Ward, said: “We are grateful for the BBC’s continued support of the Show. Over the years their coverage has provided an important platform for equestrian sport in the country and is not only hugely beneficial for the Show but for equestrian sport as a whole.

“This year the competition is shaping up to be better than ever and we hope the extensive viewing opportunities on offer will allow fans from around the world to be involved in what is truly a festive equestrian extravaganza.”

Live Coverage

In the UK, the BBC will be showing over 14 hours of live coverage on BBC Two and on their online platforms including the Red Button.

For those wanting to watch live from outside the UK:

All FEI World Cup™ classes can be viewed internationally on FEI TV.

In the US and Canada the full programme of classes with the exception of the FEI World Cup™ classes will be available on Horse & Country TV.

In Scandinavia, the full programme of classes, with the exception of the FEI World Cup™ classes will be shown on Riders Live TV.

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

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

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

A friend of mine in Australia wrote to me this week, expressing her excitement about learning dressage after a career on the race track. She had been a bit discouraged at her progress because she was used to being successful on the track mostly by her strong will and a strong hand. Neither are very conducive to an artful picture of riding. Once she realized that she could break dressage down into small, understandable pieces that fit together like an elegant puzzle, her sense of self-worth soared. She didn’t have to force her way into success; she could gently finesse her way to success!

The level of worthiness we feel makes a huge difference in how we live our lives. It’s true that we can never rise above nor outperform our own self-image. So if you want to improve your life, the first order of business is to improve your view of yourself.

This is easy to say, but is much harder to do. Are you open to a suggestion? Find a couple of friends you trust and feel safe with, and ask them to write down all the things about you that they LIKE. No negatives here – just the things they LIKE about you. Then do the same about yourself. Write down all the things about you that YOU like. Read these lists three times a day for 21 days. Then watch what shows up in your life!

I like my long flowing mane and tail, my shiny black coat, and my ability to do terrific pirouettes. Jane said she is most proud of my one tempis and my strong work ethic. I’m going to concentrate on these things for the next 21 days and see what happens!

In the meantime, I’m going to help the young mare who just moved into the barn with her confidence. She’s a diamond in the rough, and I want to be there with the polish! How about you? Is there someone you could help today?

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Schneider Makes It Three-in-a-Row When Topping Madrid Leg with Sammy

Dorothee Schneider with DSP Sammy Davis Jr. (FEI/Thomas Reiner)

Dorothee Schneider secured the third successive German victory in this season’s FEI Dressage World Cup™ Western European League when coming out on top with DSP Sammy Davis Jr. in Madrid, Spain; Claudio Castilla Ruiz (Alcaide) lined up second for the host nation ahead of The Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud (Glock’s Zinardi) in third.

At the opening leg of the 2019/2020 qualifying series in Herning, Denmark in October it was the home side’s Cathrine Dufour who reigned supreme, but Schneider’s compatriot’s Isabell Werth and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl dominated at the next two rounds. Schneider made it a back-to-back German hat-trick, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the partnership whose record includes European team gold in 2017, World Championship team gold in 2018, and a fifth-place finish at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA) three years ago. Because Sammy was really on his toes.

“He was very good in the Grand Prix yesterday, but in the beginning of the Freestyle today he felt really fresh and we made one mistake in the extended trot and then in the two-tempis,” Schneider said.

“I know him so very long now; I’ve been riding him for five years and he has a lot of his own ideas about how we should be doing things! But that’s one of the reasons I love him – he has so much character, we have a great feeling together, and he just keeps getting better all the time!” — Dorothee Schneider (GER)

Spain was well-represented with five starters in the 13-strong field, and it was Jose Daniel Martin Dockx and Manchego Arb who were in the lead on a score of 73.265 at the halfway stage. But fellow-countryman Juan Matute Guimon steered Don Diego out in front as the final group of competitors took their turn, only for his mark of 74.460 to be immediately overtaken by Great Britain’s Richard Davison and Bubblingh who put 74.615 on the board.

Castilla Ruiz blew the competition wide open with a spectacular ride on his handsome 14-year-old stallion Alcaide when fifth-last to go. When Madrid joined the Western European League series for the first time last year, this pair wowed the home crowd with a really enjoyable performance to take runner-up spot behind Spanish legend Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Delgado. And they didn’t disappoint this time out either. Once again kicking off their floorplan with one-handed one-tempi changes, and consistently producing quality piaffe/passage, they completed with a confident final halt to raise the bar all the way up to 80.230.

That was always going to be challenging, and when Schneider’s average was hovering around 79 percent it wasn’t clear if her double of errors was going to leave the double-Olympian vulnerable in the final analysis. But the pure quality of Sammy’s work, including his grace and elevation in passage and his fabulous pirouettes along with strong artistic scores, edged the pair up to a final tally of 82.295 which clinched it definitively.

Second-last to go, Dutch star and 2016 FEI Dressage World Cup champion, Hans Peter Minderhoud, was pleased that his 15-year-old grey stallion, Glock’s Zinardi, coped with the arena atmosphere. “It wasn’t easy for him because he’s a bit spooky, but it was great to be here for the first time in Madrid and with today’s points I’m now almost qualified for Las Vegas – I’ve been there three times before and I would love to ride there again!” he said after slotting into third place on 78.350 and moving up to the top of the Western European League table. Last to go, Morgan Barbancon Mestre from France (Sir Donnerhall) finished fourth which leaves her lying joint-fourth in the League moving on to the next leg in Salzburg, Austria next Saturday.

The top nine in the WEL rankings will qualify for the 2020 FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final and Schneider, now in joint-seventh after four of the 11 qualifying legs, has qualification clearly in her sights. But it’s not easy being German it seems, because as it stands her compatriots Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Frederic Wandres, and Benjamin Werndl are ahead of her on the league table and they all want the same thing – to be one of the two Germans who will join defending champion Isabell Werth for the season finale in the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas, USA next April.

“We have so many very good riders, and we all want to go!” said Schneider.

Result here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Up-and-Coming Stars Set to Feature in National Classes at Olympia

In addition to hosting the world’s top riders, Olympia, The London International Horse Show is proud to welcome the country’s leading national competitors as they contend for National Championship titles.

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship runs under a new format in 2019, with 24 riders selected to compete in the initial qualifying round on Friday 20 December. The top ten from this qualifier will advance to the final on Sunday 22 December.

The new qualification criteria for the class rewards achievements across the year, ensuring a top-class field. The first ten places go to the members of the Great British Junior European and Young Rider European teams, which includes Jack Whitaker, Britain’s top performer at the Junior Europeans, who is also making his mark on the senior international circuit, and William Fletcher, another rising star of the international ranks having already represented Great Britain at Senior FEI Jumping Nations Cup level.

William’s brother, 16-year-old Oliver, will also take his place on the starting line-up having been part of the Junior European Team which finished sixth at this year’s Championships, along with Oli Tuff, Sienna Charles, and Lily Attwood.

Joe Stockdale will be looking to back up his victory in the Under 25 class at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May and will be joined by his Young Rider European teammates Graham Babes, Leonie Aitkenhead, and Jodie Hall McAteer.

Others to automatically gain a coveted spot in the competition are those who have represented Great Britain at Senior FEI Nations Cup level in 2019, including James Wilson and Emily Moffitt, who will also be taking part in the 5* competition at the Show, along with Georgia Tame, Emily Ward, and wildcard Harry Charles, who was second in last year’s Championship.

James Wilson has broken into the top ranks in 2019, representing Great Britain on several occasions, including in the FEI Nations Cups at Hickstead, La Baule, and St Gallen, where he was one of only a few combinations to jump double clear. Another increasingly familiar name on the international scene is Emily Moffitt, who was a pivotal part of the team that won the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Ireland in August.

The final places in the competition go to qualifiers from dedicated classes at selected British Showjumping Shows. Qualifying at the Aintree Equestrian Centre Winter Classic was Charlie Jones, Millie Allen, Chloe Reynolds, and Joe Trickett, whereas Alanna Clutterbuck, Yazmin Davis, Flo Norris, and James Whitaker made it through from the Addington Equestrian Winter Classic.

The Pony Club Mini-Major

The Mini-Major is a popular class which sees Pony Club members pair up with top international riders in a thrilling competition to each complete a fault-free Show Jumping round in the quickest time. Last year’s competition saw leading British female riders Laura Renwick and Holly Smith, as well as crowd favourites William Funnell and Guy Williams, line up alongside young Pony Club riders from across the country.

Travelling across from Northern Ireland to represent the Iveagh Pony Club will be Charlotte McCracken, who along with Millie Lawson from Deeside in Scotland and Tom Hogan from Gwynedd in Wales, will be reigniting the battle with their English counterparts. Essex will have two representatives, Hollie Gerken from the Essex Branch and Liala Ramaci from Essex Hunt North, with Bisley and Sandown Chase, North Warwickshire, and Banwell represented by Tommy Goody, Isabella Beecroft-Luckett, and Emmie Horner, respectively.

The furious competition between the young riders and their 5* counterparts is set to take place during the afternoon of Wednesday 18 December.

BSPS Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux

The last day of Olympia, Sunday 22 December, will play host to one of the most prestigious Showing finals in the country, The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux. A place in the Olympia final is the most coveted prize within the native pony ranks and competition to qualify for Olympia has been greater than ever.

The 2019 final will welcome ponies and riders from around the country, including last year’s Reserve Supreme Overall Champion, Cadlanvalley Buzby and 14-year old Libby Grota. Following a hugely successful year, Libby returns to Olympia determined to go one better than 2018 and clinch the top prize aboard her family’s home-bred Welsh Section B stallion.

Libby will face competition from old rival Emma Boardman, owner and producer of last year’s third-placed Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso, a Welsh Section D who scored the highest performance marks at Olympia in 2018.

Competing at Olympia Grand for the first time will be nine-year-old Olivia Brightmore, with her home-produced Shetland Pony Lotuspoint Cassisus. The pair qualified at the BSPS Heritage Championships, where they also won the Restricted Open Ridden Small Breeds and the Open Ridden Small Breeds, an astounding feat given it was the young rider’s first attempt at open level. Following her qualification, Olivia described her debut at Olympia as “beyond exciting.”

Another to make her debut at the Show will be April Gilmartin with her home-produced Gems Malt Whiskey. Blackpool-based April, a beautician, and her mother Kathleen, a former champion ballroom dancer, bought ‘Malty’ as a two-year-old, and form the ultimate amateur team, producing the Welsh Section C at home. Qualifying for Olympia at the BSPS Heritage Championships on their first attempt was extra special for the team as it will provide trainer Pam Prickett, who is battling cancer, the chance to tick off a major event on her bucket list.

Also taking to the Olympia Grand for the first time will be Skellorn Royal Anniversary, the Welsh Section B star of the Netflix series ‘Free Rein’, owned and ridden by Victoria Oakes. Conversely, it will be the last-ever appearance under saddle for Lynda Calcutt’s Dartmoor stallion Shilstone Rocks North Westerly, as the prolific winner will retire at the Show. Ridden by regular partner Chloe Chubb, they recently won their final class at Horse of the Year Show and will hope to bow out in style at Olympia.

The Final of the BSPS Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 22 December, alongside 5* Show Jumping action and displays from The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and Jean-François Pignon.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “The quality of the National classes at Olympia is improving year-on-year, and really adds to the Show. It’s a privilege to see the next generation of riders coming up through the ranks and be able to provide a unique opportunity for them to be able to compete amongst their heroes at a 5* Show like Olympia.”

In addition to the National classes, spectators can also expect top international action, as the Show hosts three FEI World Cup™ competitions across the seven-day event, in Dressage, Driving, and Show Jumping, alongside an exciting array of international display acts and competitions. New features, such as the ‘Dressage Unwrapped’ masterclass, will join old favourites such as The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National and classes such as The Cayenne Puissance and the prestigious Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix to provide entertainment for the whole family.

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.

Dalera and von Bredow-Werndl Beat Weihegold and Werth in Classic Clash at Stuttgart

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB. (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl was “over the moon” with delight after winning the third leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League on home ground at Stuttgart (GER). Riding the 12-year-old Trakehner mare TSF Dalera BB with which she claimed team gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon (USA) and individual Freestyle bronze at this summer’s European Championships in Rotterdam (NED), she produced a breathtaking performance to pin defending triple-champions Isabell Werth and Weihegold into second place.

The host nation completely dominated the line-up with Helen Langehanenberg, Dorothee Schneider, and Benjamin Werndl finishing third, fourth, and fifth. For von Bredow-Werndl this was a very special result. “It’s like Christmas coming early!” she said.

Werth, winner with Emilio at the second leg of the series in Lyon (FRA) two weeks ago, looked set to march to victory once again after topping the Grand Prix in which von Bredow-Werndl had to settle for second place. But a couple of blips saw the legendary lady trailing her team-mate who set a massive target-score of 88.440 when second-last to go.

The Freestyle began with Ireland’s Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K putting 80.755 on the board, and this pair, who got the worst of the draw after finishing an uncharacteristic 11th in the Grand Prix, were still out in front with just five of the 15 starters – all of them German – left to compete.

Helen Langehanenberg demoted the Irish duo with a brilliant performance from her 17-year-old stallion Damsey FRH who danced up the centreline with foot-perfect tempi-changes to post 83.735. And when Dorothee Schneider and DSP Sammy Davis Jr slotted in close behind with 83.395 and Benjamin Werndl and Daily Mirror scored 80.900, then it was 2013 series champion Langehanenberg who was still in command with just two left to run.

But Benjamin’s sister, 33-year-old Jessica, turned the class on its head with a technically brilliant performance from Dalera that also sparkled.

“She gave me a feeling I’ve never had before! In Rotterdam she was already amazing but today it felt even lighter and easier. Every piaffe was amazing, every transition every passage and pirouette, every half-pass… I’m so excited about our future now!” — Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER)

As Werth set off with her last-to-go ride, it seemed only a matter of form that she would overtake her compatriot’s score. But Weihegold’s test wasn’t clean, and despite a confident one-handed passage to finish, their mark of 87.240 would only be good enough for runner-up spot. “I had super piaffe/passage but had two little mistakes. I maybe risked too much – Jessica deserves to win tonight,” said the five-time champion who is chasing down four titles in a row.

“Stuttgart is one of the toughest qualifiers for the World Cup, so it feels like winning at Aachen or at a Championship! I couldn’t be happier; I knew this was possible but it’s still like a dream come true!” said von Bredow-Werndl.  She’s aiming for the series Final in Las Vegas, USA next April but not with Dalera. “I want to take Zaire to Las Vegas, and I’m trying to prepare Dalera for the Olympics next summer. Tokyo is already for sure somewhere in my head, and I would be delighted to be part of Team Germany there,” she said.

The top nine on the Western European League will qualify for the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2020 Final, and after the first three qualifiers the leading four on the league table are all Germans, von Bredow-Werndl and Frederic Wandres sharing pole position followed by Langehanenberg in third and Benjamin Werndl in fourth place.

The next leg will take place in Madrid (ESP) in two weeks’ time.

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Rolex and Equestrianism: An Enduring Legacy

Photos: Ms. Baade riding Clemens in the Wallküren-Preis at CHIO Aachen, 1930; Isabell Werth riding Satchmo at CHIO Aachen, 2010.

More than 60 years ago, Rolex formed a partnership with the greatest show jumper in history to represent Great Britain, the pioneering Pat Smythe. Winner of more grand prix events in more countries than any man or woman before her, she was the first female rider to participate in the Olympics and the first to win a medal, a team bronze in Stockholm in 1956. Like Rolex, she was an innovator, always pushing back the boundaries of what was possible. In 1957 Smythe joined the Rolex family, becoming its first equestrian Testimonee, marking the start of one of the strongest alliances in the sport. Since then, Rolex’s bond with the equestrian world has grown stronger each year. In 2019, Rolex celebrates several key anniversaries within the sport, with milestones for two elite equine events and two legendary athletes.

ROLEX GRAND SLAM

Rolex’s association with one of the sport’s four prestigious Majors began 30 years ago when it partnered with the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, the annual show jumping competition held in the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Canada. It was here, in 2015, that Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash etched his name in equestrian history by becoming the first and, to date, only winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s ultimate prize awarded to the winner of the Grand Prix at three successive Majors. His feat was the result of an unwavering quest for perfection, an unprecedented display of precision and excellence required to win all of these historic Majors.

Preceding the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ is the CHIO Aachen, an event that this year celebrates 20 years of partnership with Rolex. Founded in 1924, this revered event in Germany is the oldest of the four show jumping Majors. Its rich heritage is cherished by the knowledgeable 360,000 fans that annually fill the 40,000-seat open-air stadium over nine days of top-tier competition. Widely considered equestrianism’s “homecoming” event, CHIO Aachen is often likened to The Championships, Wimbledon, being the oldest and most prestigious tournament within the sport. Another quality it shares with the esteemed tennis event, which Rolex is proud to have partnered for more than 40 years, is the unquestionable passion of the spectators who travel far and wide to watch their heroes in action. Isabell Werth is one rider who enjoys superstar status at CHIO Aachen, competing in front of an adoring home crowd whose noisy adulation fills the purpose-built Hauptstadion.

THE QUEEN OF DRESSAGE

Over the years, Werth has become known as “the queen of dressage,” a title bestowed on her due to a glittering career that has helped elevate the discipline to new heights. Werth has won more Olympic medals than any other equestrian athlete in history, 10 in total, six of them gold. Her long list of achievements includes a World Championship victory in 2006 at Aachen, where she was presented with an engraved Rolex Timepiece, and a gold medal for team dressage and a silver for individual dressage at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Speaking of her key achievements, Werth said: “You don’t forget those special moments, even after all these years. Every time I look at my Rolex watch it reminds me of reaching the very top of my sport.”

THE PESSOAS

Another key member of the Rolex family is the Brazilian show jumper Rodrigo Pessoa. Son of Nelson Pessoa, a legendary equestrian athlete in his own right, Rodrigo seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. Commenting on his childhood, Rodrigo says: “My father travelled a lot. Taking me to the shows was a way for us to spend time together and he wanted to see if I would catch the horse and competition bug at a young age, and I did.” As Rodrigo grew up, he had the benefit of his father’s knowledge and expertise to guide him through the highs and lows of being an elite equestrian athlete. Nelson supported his son every step of the way, from the moment he first made an impression on the sport at the age of 19, to winning Olympic gold in Athens in 2004. Rolex also has supported Rodrigo during his decorated career. Throughout this partnership, 20 years old and still going strong, the gifted rider has received many accolades and established himself as one of the most respected names in the sport. Of the partnership, Rodrigo says: “The support from Rolex shows how committed they are to our sport and to raising the level of professionalism. The progress made in our sport over the years has been tremendous and it would not have been possible without Rolex elevating the bar.”

Having competed in the upper echelons of the sport for more than four decades, Pessoa decided to take his career in a new direction towards the end of 2016, turning his focus towards coaching and accepting the highly respected position as Irish Chef d’Equipe. In this role, he found himself mentoring young Irish rider Bertram Allen, Rolex’s youngest equestrian Testimonee. In the same way Nelson imparted his wisdom to Rodrigo, the latter now finds himself tutoring one of the sport’s most exciting prospects. Rolex’s partnerships with key figures in the equestrian community, such as Pessoa, Allen, and Werth, run across generations and continents, enabling knowledge and experience to be shared. Rolex is confident this process will perpetuate a cycle of renewed and enduring excellence, the benefits of which can already be seen through Pessoa’s rapid success as Ireland show jumping team manager, to give one example. Within a year of Pessoa taking the reins, an Irish team featuring Allen claimed team gold at the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg. Coincidentally, Werth took gold in all three dressage categories she competed in at those Championships, once again highlighting Rolex’s wide-ranging support to top equestrian athletes.

YOUNG RIDERS ACADEMY

It is worth noting that these top competitors’ partner with Rolex not only when they are at the pinnacle of their careers, but also as aspiring riders striving to make their name in the sport. Allen, for example, is a graduate of the Young Riders Academy, an initiative supported by Rolex and the most prestigious training course available to young equestrian athletes. Since leaving the Academy, Allen joined the Rolex family of Testimonees and represents a new era of equestrian excellence. They serve as a reminder of Rolex’s long-standing support for human achievement, which can be traced back to the brand’s pioneering roots and is demonstrated by its creation of the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, the Rolex Oyster.

By nurturing young talent and supporting them as Testimonees on their journey to becoming champions, the Swiss watchmaker’s presence permeates all levels of the sport. The brand’s belief in unlimited human potential, in striving for continuous improvement, is embodied in a word inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. Perpetual. The important equestrian anniversaries being celebrated in 2019 highlight Rolex’s long-standing and continuing commitment to this elegant and historic sport.

Minna Hall
rEvolution
http://revolutionworld.com

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