Dujardin reigns supreme at Olympia World Cup Qualifier
- Written By:
Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle delivered a spellbinding performance last night to win the freestyle, supported by Horse & Hound, at Olympia’s FEI World Cup™ qualifier. In the iconic Grand Hall, Olympia, in what can only be described as another epic night for British dressage, Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Charlotte (Lottie) Fry repeated their Monday night British one-two-three, with all seven home nation riders finishing top nine.
With Emma and Jill Blundell’s exquisite ten year old Mount St John Freestyle (Fidermark x Donnerhall), Charlotte Dujardin presented an astonishing performance of harmony, expression and elastic energy to a Tom Hunt produced soundtrack from the Disney film, Frozen. The judging panel comprising Francis Verbeek van Rooy (NED), Isabelle Judet (FRA), Andrew Gardner (GBR), Katrina Wuest (GER) and Stephen Clarke (GBR) awarded the pair 87.520% for a resounding victory.
“I am absolutely over the moon with tonight’s performance,” said Charlotte after her winning ride on Mount St John Freestyle. “This is only the third time she’s done this freestyle so she’s really inexperienced, and dealing with that environment is quite tough. It was a full house tonight so you could really feel the atmosphere but I was very happy with how she dealt with it.
“She’s still green so there’s still so much to come from her,” added Charlotte. “There are still moments when I have to hold her hand and give her confidence - that’s just where she’s still inexperienced, but it’s getting better and better every time.”
There are still moments when I have to hold her hand and give her confidence - that’s just where she’s still inexperienced, but it’s getting better and better every time.
Carl Hester achieved a personal best score of 84.470% to secure second place with his own, Lady Anne Evans and Ann Cory’s 11 year old Hawtins Delicato (Diamond Hit x Regazzoni), finishing 2019 on a good note after the talented gelding’s rather tense freestyle at the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam.
“I’ve watched it back already and thought, that could still be so much better,” said Carl. “But it’s a big stepping stone from how he was feeling yesterday. I know what he's like and what it should feel like, I know how he normally feels and you don’t always get that same feeling in a competition environment - but I was starting to get it back this evening.
“We’ve laid down a good gauntlet tonight. We’ve had five scores over 80% and four of those are British – that is absolutely fantastic. That will keep the other nations on their toes, as we are on ours.”
We’ve laid down a good gauntlet tonight. We’ve had five scores over 80% and four of those are British – that is absolutely fantastic. That will keep the other nations on their toes, as we are on ours.
Lottie Fry (23), the cool-headed young lady from North Yorkshire but based in the Netherlands, achieved another podium place with Van Olst Horses’ KWPN breeding stallion Everdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro). Riding to Rihanna’s Shine Bright Like a Diamond and Whitney Houston’s Higher Love, the Olympia debutante scored a super 82.620%.
“Wow, what an amazing show at Olympia!” said Lottie on Van Olst Horses Facebook. “Everdale is one in a million. We scored two massive personal bests in his first World Cup qualifier with 82.6% for our new freestyle last night! It’s been a dream come true competing in that arena. Everdale gave me everything and we both loved every second of it.”
It’s been a dream come true competing in that arena. Everdale gave me everything and we both loved every second of it.
2018 Olympia winner Frederic Wandres and the British bred Duke of Britain (Dimaggio x Rubinstein) placed fifth with 82.550% ahead of Lara Butler and Rubin Al Asad for Great Britain in fifth.
Lara and ‘Rufus’, who is owned by the Bechtolsheimer family, raised the roof with a super performance to their Dire Straits compilation. The test was seamless, powerful and beautifully ridden for a score of 81.540%.
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle, 87.520% (GBR)
2. Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato, 84.470% (GBR)
3. Charlotte Fry and Everdale, 82.620% (GBR)
4. Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain, 82.550% (GER)
5. Lara Butler and Rubin Al Asad, 81.540% (GBR)
6. Anders Dahl and Fidelio van het Bloemenhof, 77.550% (DEN)
7. Richard Davison and Bubblingh, 77.060% (GBR)
8. Gareth Hughes and KK Woodstock, 76.900% (GBR)
9. Louise Bell and Into the Blue, 76.060% (GBR)
10. Thamar Zweistra and Hexahon’s Double Dutch, 75.310% (NED)
11. João Miguel Torrao and Equador, 73.075% (POR)
12. Simon Missiaen and Charlie, 72.415% (BEL)
13. Dane Rawlins and Espoire, 71.425% (IRL)
14. Mojca Usnik and Libertino, 71.245% (SLO)
15. Mikaela Soratie and Dacor, 65.985% (FIN)
Photo © Tanja Davis for Kevin Sparrow