Charlotte Dujardin and the nine-year-old mare Mount St John Freestyle have landed the individual bronze medal at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, their first championship together.
Charlotte produced an incredible grand prix special to score a personal best of 81.49% on Emma and Jill Blundell’s uber-talented Fidermark mare, who has only performed two specials before in her life. The pair also helped Britain secure bronze in the team competition yesterday.
“My ride today was unbelievable — I couldn’t have asked for any more from her,” said Charlotte. “I had nothing to lose today; yesterday I rode it a bit safe as I didn’t want to push and frighten her, but I knew I could go for more today. Freestyle upped her game and took on the challenge, and delivered! She’s such a fighter.”
For the second time at these championships, Isabell Werth finished head and shoulders above the rest, scoring 86.24% with Madeleine Winter-Schulze’s 14-year-old Belissimo M mare, Bella Rose. Last-to-go Isabell wowed the crowds and the judges with her performance, during which a late aid and start to her two-time changes was the only blip.
“I knew I had to give our very best today to get the gold,” said Isabell. “But I felt so safe and so happy on her in there — she had so much energy. From the start she was full of power and I thought, ‘wow, she really wants to go’.”
Laura Graves took silver for the USA, squeezing ahead of Charlotte and Freestyle by just 0.23% with a score of 81.71% on the Florett AS 16-year-old gelding Verdades,
Sönke Rothenberger finished just outside of the medals, though only a fraction behind Charlotte, with the 11-year-old Van Gogh gelding Cosmo.
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Britain’s Carl Hester produced another plus-77% score with his own, Ann Cory and Anne Evans’ 10-year-old Hawtins Delicato, posting 77.22% for ninth in the horse’s second ever grand prix special.
“I have to be happy with plus-77% in only his second special and his first championship; after all, he’s only a young horse,” said Carl. “I had a costly mistake in the one-time changes and in the heat and humidity the final centre line really took all his energy.
“But it’s only when you come to shows like this you learn about your horse and he’s also learned a lot here. I was happy with the team result as that’s what we came here to do but I’m equally happy today.”
The top 15 pairs from the special will go forward to contest the grand prix freestyle, scheduled for Sunday, 16 September.
Horse & Hound has two journalists and a photographer in Tryon for WEG. Keep up to date with all the news onand in the magazine issues dated 20 and 27 September