Podium finish for British Nations Cup team in Aachen
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A bright British team achieved third place in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ team competition at CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival (14 – 19 September 2021), Germany. A strong campaign from the home nation secured the win, with a close tussle between the Netherlands and Great Britain for the remaining two podium places.
In the iconic Deutsche Bank Stadium, the team of Fiona Bigwood and Hawtins Delicato, Lara Butler with Kristjan, Lottie Fry with Dark Legend (pictured), and Susan Pape with Harmony’s Eclectisch rode with great professionalism to clinch a podium finish in world class company.
In this Nations Cup format, after the CDIO5* Grand Prix two riders go on to the CDIO5* Grand Prix Special and two go forward to the CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle. All three rounds count towards the final team rankings, with the individual rankings turned into points, and the nation with the lowest points is the winner.
In the Grand Prix, Lottie Fry rode with her trademark cleverness and cool aboard Dark Legend achieving a phenomenal second place with a sore of 76.717%. Lara Butler, competing at her first 5* competition, rode a superb test with Kristjan to put 72.696% on the board. Susan Pape, who here two years ago experienced the disappointment of having to withdraw Don Noblesse before the vet inspection, was able to lay the ghost to rest riding a super test with Harmony Sporthorses' stallion, Harmony’s Eclectish, for 70.696%. And while daughter Mette (Dahl) was at the National Championships back home in the UK, experienced team rider Fiona Bigwood delivered a strong Grand Prix with Hawtins Delicato to post 70.478%.
With Great Britain lying second after Grand Prix, there was everything to play for going into Saturday’s close fought Grand Prix Special in which Susan Pape and Fiona Bigwood were both elected to compete. Thanks to Covid there was a restriction on ticket sales, yet despite the reduced number of people in the stands, the appreciation and energy around the stadium gave the usual fabulous Aachen vibe.
Won by German star Jessica von Bredow-Werndl with Ferdinand BB (73.511%), both Brits finished well - Fiona and ‘Del’ scoring 70.894% for 11th place and Susan with ‘Ecci’ scoring 70.723% for 12th keeping Great Britain in a buoyant position overnight.
The team competition concluded on Sunday with the Freestyle. Lara Butler and Kristjan performed a light, harmonious test full of expression riding to their compilation of rousing Scottish music to earn a score of 77.000%. Kristjan (16), owned by Laura Tomlinson and Ursula Bechtolsheimer and bred by the late Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer, achieved his first international big tour win last year and just gets better and better with age.
At the top of the table in the Freestyle were Isabell Werth and Quantaz who delighted their home crowd with a winning 88.335%, followed by the winner of the Grand Prix - rising Dutch star Dinja van Liere and the KWPN stallion Hermes in second (86.740%). Lottie Fry with her own and Van Olst Horses’ 13-year-old Dark Legend took third place on the podium with 83.675% for a freestyle packed with flair and energy. They rode to a compilation of upbeat music from artists such as David Guetta and Sia, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, and Jason Derulo. As they left the arena to rapturous applause, it was big pats for ‘Darki’ for a job well done and celebration in the British camp as it became apparent that the bronze position was theirs.
“It is everyone’s dream to compete at Aachen especially in the 5* team event," commented British Chef d'Equipe, Caroline Griffith. "We were back in front of spectators and although the organisers were not permitted to sell all the seats it definitely had a true Aachen feel! To be back in the Main Stadium for the prize-giving was richly deserved by the team who were super focused and produced some top quality work during the show, I could not be prouder.”
Glamourdale magnificent in CDI4*
Competing in the CDI4*, Lottie Fry with Van Olst Horses’ Glamourdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro) once again showed the world their immense potential. The pair, who swept the board in the small tour at Aachen in 2019, achieved fifth place in the CDI4* Grand Prix on Thursday, even with a couple of expensive mistakes in the pirouettes. The following day, in the CDI4* Grand Prix Special the pair rose up the ranks to second place.
A test full of quality was awarded a score of 77.170% placing them second to Germany’s Fabienne Müller-Lütkemeier and Valesco 50 who won by a nose on 77.638%. For 10-year-old Glamourdale, this was only his second attempt at the Special – his first time was in Hagen in April where he achieved 76%-plus.
Richard Davison and Bubblingh, who he co-owns with Gwendolyn Meyer, scored 69.304% in the CDI4* Grand Prix and a super 74.185% in the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle under floodlights on Saturday night.
Results: Top-three and British placings
CDIO5* Grand Prix
1. Dinja van Liere and Hermes, 78.022% (NED)
2. Charlotte Fry and Dark Legend, 76.717% (GBR)
3. Patrik Kittel and Fiontini, 76.261% (SWE)
9. Lara Butler and Kristjan, 72.696% (GBR)
18. Susan Pape and Harmony’s Eclectisch, 70.696% (GBR)
19. Fiona Bigwood and Hawtins Delicato, 70.478% (GBR)
CDIO5* Grand Prix Special
1. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Ferdinand BB, 73.511% (GER)
2. Simone Pearce and Destano, 73.426% (AUS)
3. Jose Daniel Martin Dockx, 73.511% (GER)
10. Fiona Bigwood and Hawtins Delicato, 70.894% (GBR)
12. Susan Pape and Harmony’s Eclectisch, 70.723% (GBR)
CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Isabell Werth and DSP Quantaz, 88.335% (GER)
2. Dinja van Liere and Hermes, 86.740% (NED)
3. Charlotte Fry and Dark Legend, 83.675% (GBR)
9. Lara Butler and Kristjan, 77.000% (GBR)
1. Germany, 22
2. Netherlands, 40
3. Great Britain, 47
4. United States of America, 63
=5. Spain, 67
=5. Sweden, 67
7. Canada, 81
CDI4* Grand Prix
1. Fabienne Müller-Lütkemeier and Valesco 50, 74.174% (GER)
2. Anna Kasprzak and Rock Star 13, 73.935% (DEN)
3. Emmelie Scholtens and Desperado N.O.P., 73.783% (NED)
5. Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale, 73.043% (GBR)
18. Richard Davison and Bubblingh, 69.304 (GBR)
CDI4* Grand Prix Special
1. Fabienne Müller-Lütkemeier and Valesco 50, 77.638% (GER)
2. Charlotte Fry and Glamourdale, 77.170% (GBR)
3. Anna Kasprzak and Rock Star 13, 75.064% (DEN)
CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle
1. Emmelie Scholtens and Desperado N.O.P., 83.110% (NED)
2. Dorothee Schneider and DSP Sammy Davis Jr, 81.210% (GER)
3. José Antonia García Mena, 79.440% (ESP)
9. Richard Davison and Bubblingh, 74.185% (GBR)
Photo © FEI/Libby Law Photography
Words: British Dressage/Joanna Bowns