Annabella Pidgley and Gio win Kronenberg CDI3* Grand Prix Special
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Senior international debutant, Annabella Pidgley and her star ride Gio have won the Grand Prix Special at Kronenberg CDI3*, held at the Peelbergen Equestrian Centre in Kronenberg, the Netherlands (01 – 04 December 2022).
Annabella (18), contesting her first CDI at Senior level, and Olympic bronze medallist Gio took third place in Friday’s CDI3* Grand Prix scoring 73.630% – an exciting achievement in itself - before claiming the win in Saturday’s Grand Prix Special on 75.085%.
An error-free and stylish performance, showing impressive teamwork between the talented young combination, earned an abundance of 8s and four 8.5s from the judging panel made up of Nicole Nockemann (GER), Maarten van der Heijden (NED), Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA), Mariette Sanders-van Gansewinkel (NED) and Jacques van Daele (BEL).
Completing the podium in the Special, the home nation’s Marlies van Baalen rode 10-year-old Habibi DVB (Don Schufro x Johnson), the gelding competing in his first international Grand Prix, into second on 74.489%, while Germany’s Carina Scholz and Soiree D’Amour OLD (San Amour x Latimer 2) finished top-three with 73.213%.
The partnership between young Brit Annabella, a Junior multi-medallist, and Sarah Pidgley's Apache x Tango 11-year-old continues to flourish under the guidance of Gio’s former rider, Charlotte Dujardin, and Danish star Cathrine Dufour, as was clear to see with their two fantastic rides in Kronenberg.
“I couldn’t be happier with him,” commented Annabella. “As our first senior level international, only our fourth Grand Prix together and my first Special, it was a huge step up, but he was incredible.
“Our partnership has got really strong now, so we really wanted to go for it,” she continued. “He listened to everything I asked of him and gave an amazing feeling. I was so emotional and proud of him at the end of the Special.”
The new partnership of Emile Faurie and 11-year-old bay mare Bellevue (Bordeaux 28 x Brentano II), who he co-owns with Diana Rose, showed promise in the Big Tour. For the Grand Prix, where a mistake in the one-tempis was costly, they finished 20th on 68.370%. Electing to compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle, Emile ascended the leader board to fifth place with a score of 72.255%. Riding to a Dionne Warwick compilation, they showed super highlights and earned 8s across the board for music and interpretation.
The Freestyle was won by Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and 16-year-old Delaunay OLD (Dr Doolittle x Feinbrand) on 76.410%, with Kittel later announcing the gelding’s retirement after a long and illustrious Grand Prix career.
Results – top three and British placings
CDI3* Grand Prix
1. Marlies van Baalen and Habibi DVB, 73.956% (NED)
2. Patrik Kittel and Delaunay OLD, 73.761% (SWE)
3. Annabella Pidgley and Gio, 73.630% (GBR)
20. Emile Faurie and Bellevue, 68.370% (GBR)
CDI3* Grand Prix Special
1. Annabella Pidgley and Gio, 75.085% (GBR)
2. Marlies van Baalen and Habibi DVB, 74.489% (NED)
3. Carina Scholz and Soiree D’Amour OLD, 73.213% (GER)
CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Patrik Kittel and Delaunay OLD, 76.410% (SWE)
2. Devenda Dijkstra and Hero, 74.280% (NED)
3. Karen Nijvelt and Elysias, 73.015% (NED)
5. Emile Faurie and Bellevue, 72.255% (GBR)
CDIU25 Intermediate II
1. Nico Nyssen and Farrington, 75.294% (BEL)
2. Marten Luiten and Fynona, 73.039% (NED)
3. Daphne van Peperstraten and Greenpoint’s Cupido, 70.245% (NED)
11. Emily Bradshaw and Enjoy Amaris V, 64.167% (GBR)
CDIU25 Grand Prix 16-25
1. Nico Nyssen and Farrington, 73.803% (BEL)
2. Marten Luiten and Fynona, 71.496% (NED)
3. Jessica Poelman and Chocolate Cookie R.D.P., 69.188% (NED)
11. Emily Bradshaw and Enjoy Amaris V, 63.432% (GBR)
CDIU25 Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Nico Nyssen and Farrington, 76.310% (BEL)
2. Marten Luiten and Fynona, 74.610% (NED)
3. Julia Bouthoorn and Choice Finch, 72.895% (NED)
10. Emily Bradshaw and Enjoy Amaris V, 69.165% (GBR)
Photo © Timo Martis