Dujardin spearheads strong British campaign at Horses and Dreams
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With Tokyo on the horizon, it was thrilling to see British riders on form at Horses and Dreams Hagen CDI4*, the first international of the outdoor season in Germany (21 – 25 April 2021). Charlotte Dujardin attained three wins, Charlotte Fry and the Van Olst breeding stallions were outstanding, whilst Carl Hester and En Vogue showed the makings of a world class combination and Sonnar Murray-Brown impressed with Erlentanz amongst many of Europe’s best.
The dressage world was eager to see Charlotte Dujardin with Emma Blundell’s Mount St John Freestyle (pictured above) on their first appearance since winning the LeMieux Grand Prix Championships at Hartpury last December, and the wait was well worth it. The Fidemark x Donnerhall mare (12) showed huge expression, balance and harmony with her rider in the Grand Prix qualifier for Special. This was rewarded with 81.457% to finish on the heels of Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and the beautiful TSF Dalera BB (81.652%).
The tables were turned in the Special however with Charlotte and Mount St John Freestyle taking the win (82.872%) ahead of Bredow-Werndl’s 82.553%.
How do I put enough words together for this incredible mare [Mount St John Freestyle].
“How do I put enough words together for this incredible mare,” said Charlotte on Facebook. “She was simply outstanding last night and I could not be more proud of her. I truly believe she really enjoys it and she gave me a feeling that she really wanted to win, to dance. She has so much expression and really tried so hard for me.”
Charlotte Fry and Van Olst Horses’ Glamourdale (pictured above), FEI World Young Horse Champion 7yo in 2018, enjoyed an incredible international Grand Prix debut with 74.457% for seventh ahead of Carl Hester and En Vogue (74.304%) - pictured below. Both young horses at the level, they have tremendously exciting times to come.
For the first time at Hagen, and only the second time ever, the Special was ridden to background music of each rider’s choosing, in a new initiative by the FEI to make non-freestyle tests more appealing to spectators. This is in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games where the Grand Prix Special will decide the team medals.
Hagen was the first international appearance outside the UK for Charlotte Dujardin’s Gio (Apache x Tango) - pictured above - but in typical fashion, the pocket-sized powerhouse tried his heart out to win Thursday’s Grand Prix qualifier for the Freestyle on a score of 78.761%.
The home nation’s Frederic Wandres, stable rider for the event host, Hof Kasselmann, and the British-bred Duke of Britain claimed second place on 75.761%. Charlotte Fry with Van Olst Horses’ black breeding stallion Everdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro) showed super quality for 73.804% and fifth, whilst Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz, with a couple of uncharacteristic miscommunications, achieved 69.348% to reach the top 15.
It really is astounding to think how far our little pocket rocket [Gio] has come.
Riding to their Tom Hunt-compiled music from How to Train your Dragon, made famous by Charlotte and Valegro winning the FEI World Cup Final in 2015, Charlotte and Gio earned an incredible 84.404% under floodlights on Saturday night to also claim the Freestyle.
“It really is astounding to think how far our little pocket rocket has come,” said Charlotte “From spotting him in California to winning under the lights of iconic Hagen. This super horse danced his socks off last night.”
Charlotte Fry (25), a young lady from North Yorkshire but based in the Netherlands, moved up a place to fourth with Van Olst Horses’ Everdale (pictured above) scoring 81.77% to a Kygo/Whitney Houston/Rihanna soundtrack. Sonnar and Erlentanz (below) put Thursday’s blips behind them to post a combination PB score of 76.310% to rise to ninth and concluded their week with fourth place in Sunday’s additional CDI4* Grand Prix on 70.261%.
Top-five results and British placings
CDI4* Grand Prix (qual. for Special)
1. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB, 81.652% (GER)
2. Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle, 81.457% (GBR)
3. Isabell Werth and DSP Quantaz, 78.630% (GER)
4. Benjamin Werndl and Daily Mirror 9, 76.652% (GER)
5. Victoria Max-Theurer and Abegglen FH NRW, 75.804% (AUT)
7. Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale, 74.457% (GBR)
8. Carl Hester and En Vogue, 74.304% (GBR)
CDI4* Grand Prix Special with music
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle, 82.872% (GBR)
2. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB, 82.553% (GER)
3. Isabell Werth and DSP Quantaz, 80.340% (GER)
4. Benjamin Werndl and Daily Mirror 9, 74.468% (GER)
5. Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale, 76.404% (GBR)
10. Carl Hester and En Vogue, 73.447% (GBR)
CDI4* Grand Prix (qual. for Freestyle)
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Gio, 78.761% (GBR)
2. Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain, 75.957% (GER)
3. Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Blue Hors Zack, 75.739% (DEN)
4. Henri Ruoste and Kontestro DB, 74.935% (FIN)
5. Charlotte Fry and Everdale, 73.804% (GBR)
15. Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz, 69.348% (GBR)
CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Charlotte Dujardin and Gio, 84.040% (GBR)
2. Frederic Wandres and Duke of Britain, 82.855% (GER)
3. Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Blue Hors Zack, 82.025% (DEN)
4. Charlotte Fry and Everdale, 81.770% (GBR)
5. Henri Ruoste and Kontestro DB, 80.370% (FIN)
9. Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz, 76.310% (GBR)
CDI4* Grand Prix
1. Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Atterupgaards Orthilia, 74.478% (DEN)
2. Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Marshall-Bell, 72.935% (DEN)
3. Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Elegance, 70.565% (ESP)
4. Sonnar Murray-Brown and Erlentanz, 70.261% (GBR)
5. Marieke Van Der Putten and Her Majesty TF, 69.891% (NED)
Photo © LL-FOTO-DE