Dujardin captures clean sweep in Hagen

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Tue, 30 Apr 2024 12:21

Charlotte Dujardin headed an exciting British crusade at Hagen CDI4*/3* in Germany, this year themed ‘Horses and Dreams meets Portugal’ (24 – 28 April 2024). Unbeaten in the CDI3* with Alive and Kicking, Dujardin also claimed a dual win in the CDI4* aboard Imhotep, while Carl Hester opened his 2024 campaign in magnificent style.

Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep

Two of the four British combinations that rode to team gold in Riesenbeck last summer travelled to Hof Kasselmann in Hagen for the celebrated springtime CDI. Charlotte Dujardin with Imhotep, pictured, and Carl Hester with Fame, both partnerships making their first appearance of the year, made an impression in the hotly contested CDI4* competition.

Charlotte and the 11-year-old Imhotep, owned by Carl Hester and Coral Ingham, were unanimous winners of the CDI4* Grand Prix. On their first start since winning the World Cup qualifier in London at Christmas, the duo laid down a decisive 77.478% to claim the victory ahead of the home nation’s Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD (75.326%), with Carl Hester and his own and the Bigwood family’s 14-year-old Fame (Bordeaux x Rhodium) taking third place on 74.478%.

Underlining their great start to the 2024 season, Charlotte and ‘Pete’, as the Everdale-sired Imhotep is known in the stable, also claimed Sunday’s CDI4* Grand Prix Special on 79.064% for a performance radiating suppleness and power. “I still need to balance and slow him down a bit,” explained Charlotte in the press conference after the award ceremony. “Sometimes this can affect the frame a little. But I love having a horse that is so eager and willing. His work ethic is second to none and he is so much fun to ride. He is a bundle of energy and that energy never seems to run out.

"I was really pleased with my ride," continued Charlotte, who had small glitch in the transition from canter to trot towards the end of the Special. "There was just the last bit, that simple transition - something I never normally worry about. It just goes to show, it can catch you out. But my pirouettes and my piaffe were really good. It's a great to start the year and coming away from here we both learned a lot."

With Wandres and Bluetooth OLD scoring 76.632%, and another masterful ride from Carl producing 75.809%, the top-three remained unchanged for the Special. “It’s a pleasure to ride this horse,” said Carl talking about the expressive stallion, Fame. “I am pleased to have finished the test with this result.

"This is a nice riding area for horses that are a little claustrophobic," he continued, referring to the Grand Prix Special taking place in the main Jumping stadium at Hof Kasselmann. "He was much more rideable, a pleasure really! I just had a mistake with my pirouette, which was very expensive and my mistake. But I was really happy to finish the competition with such a ride. For us it's not just about the points, but also about the feeling and to see where we are up to." 

Earlier in the week, Charlotte rode her own, Carl Hester and Ulrike Bachinger’s Alive and Kicking (All at Once x Fürst Piccolo) to win the CDI3* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special on the young mare’s second ever CDI at Big Tour. After a winning debut in Lier a few short weeks ago, the duo posted scores of 74.848% and 74.170% respectively in Hagen to seal the fourth straight international win of their early career together.

Carl Hester and his Tokyo 2020 partner, En Vogue, who he owns together with Charlotte Dujardin, Lady Anne Evans and Sandra Biddlecombe, placed second on both occasions on the 15-year-old’s first competition start since winning the LeMieux National Champion title last September. The Jazz x Contango gelding looked a picture of harmony, piloted by Carl to scores of 72.761% and 72.170% respectively.

Emma Hindle and Zippo M.I., who she co-owns with Richard White, continue to show their potential with 11th in the Grand Prix (67.739%) and a top ten place in the Special (66.596%).

Results – British placings
CDI4* Grand Prix
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep, 77.478% (GBR)
2. Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD, 75.326% (GER)
3. Carl Hester and Fame, 74.478% (GBR)

CDI4* Grand Prix Special
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep, 79.064% (GBR)
2. Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD, 76.632% (GER)
3. Carl Hester and Fame, 75.809% (GBR)

CDI3* Grand Prix
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Alive and Kicking, 74.848% (GBR)
2. Carl Hester and En Vogue, 72.761% (GBR)
11. Emma Hindle and Zippo M.I., 67.739% (GBR)

CDI3* Grand Prix Special
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Alive and Kicking, 74.170% (GBR)
2. Carl Hester and En Vogue, 72.170% (GBR)
10. Emma Hindle and Zippo M.I., 66.596% (GBR)


Photo © Stefan Lefrantz