Britain’s best dressage riders in action at Hagen CDI4*: how to follow and who to watch

  • Four top British riders will be in action at the Horses & Dreams CDI4* show in Hagen, Germany, over the next few days. As one of the first major international dressage shows to go ahead in Europe since the latest coronavirus lockdown and equine herpes virus wreaked havoc on the calendar, Hagen is set to be an exciting showdown as a stellar line-up of riders ramp up their efforts for Olympic selection. We bring you some of the most exciting combinations to keep your eyes out for over the next few days. A live stream is available via ClipMyHorse

    British riders in Hagen

    Charlotte Dujardin – Mount St John Freestyle (12yo mare, Fidermark x Donnerhall)

    This will be Charlotte’s first time competing abroad since January 2020. She and Emma Blundell’s Freestyle, her double world bronze medallist, are on top form having made the most of the past year to fine-tune their training, and delighting dressage fans in December as they were crowned national champions with over 90% in the freestyle. 

    With Freestyle likely to be Charlotte’s top choice for Tokyo this summer, it makes sense that she will run in the grand prix on Friday, at 1.21pm BST, which acts as a qualifier for the special on Saturday. Competition on German soil will be fierce, but expect Charlotte and Freestyle to give the big guns a run for their money. 

    Charlotte Dujardin – Gio (10yo gelding, Apache x Tango)

    Hagen is Gio’s first foreign show, but the gelding has shown such talent since he stepped up to grand prix level at the start of last year that he is sure to make an impact here. The chestnut gelding was a little starstruck when competing at the National Grand Prix Championships at Hartpury in December – although he still scored 88% in the freestyle to finish second – so this trip will be important for getting him used to performing on the big stage.

    Charlotte will ride Gio in the grand prix at 2.41pm BST on Thursday, which is a qualifier for the freestyle on Saturday. 

    Carl Hester – En Vogue (12yo gelding, Jazz x Contango)

    Hagen is the first foreign show Carl has competed at since the European Championships in August 2019, and the first overseas trip for En Vogue, who is owned by Charlotte Dujardin. Carl will also be aiming to complete his qualification for the Tokyo Olympics here, although he will have a second chance to do so on home soil next month at the Wellington CDI in Hampshire. Carl reports that Vogue is feeling “gorgeous” to ride at the moment – it will be exciting to see what this combination can produce here.

    Carl and Vogue will compete in the grand prix qualifier for the special on Friday, riding at 9.50am BST, with the special taking place on Saturday. 

    Sonnar Murray-Brown – Erlentanz (14yo gelding, Latimer x EH Benz)

    This exciting combination made a super start to the 2020 season in France and Belgium, and following high scores and good placings at the Keysoe CDI in the autumn, they will be aiming for more success here. Sonnar and Erlentanz will be hoping to thrust themselves firmly under the Tokyo selectors’ eyes with a strong performance at this highly competitive show. 

    They will run in Thursday’s grand prix for freestyle at 4.22pm BST.

    Lottie Fry – Everdale (12yo stallion, Lord Leatherdale x Negro)

    Lottie and the striking black stallion Everdale haven’t competed internationally since Amsterdam in January 2020, so it will be exciting to see the progress they are sure to have made over the past year. The pair delighted British crowds by finishing a fantastic third at Olympia in December 2019, and are in contention for one of the three coveted places on the team for Tokyo this summer. 

    Lottie will pilot Everdale in Thursday’s grand prix at 5.16pm BST. 

    Lottie Fry – Glamourdale (10yo stallion, Lord Leatherdale x Negro)

    All eyes will be on Lottie and this stunning stallion: the full brother to Everdale, Glamourdale was crowned seven-year-old world champion in 2018, and is now making his international grand prix debut. His enormous canter is always a highlight and this pair are sure to turn plenty of heads in very strong company. 

    Lottie has opted to run Glamourdale in Friday’s grand prix qualifier for the special, which suggests that this young stallion is set to be a firm contender for Tokyo selection. They will perform at 8.54am BST. 

    Others to watch

    Jessica von Bredow-Werndl GER – TSF Dalera BB (14yo mare, Easy Game x Handryk) & Ferdinand BB (12yo gelding, Florencio I x Lanciano)

    Jessica is one of the hottest riders on the European circuit at present and will be fighting for victory here with her European team gold and individual bronze medallist Dalera BB. The combination finished top of the Western European League for the second season in a row and are on flying form. Jessica also brings forward the less experienced Ferdinand, competing at just his second international at this level. She will ride both horses in the grand prix for special on Friday. at 1.12pm BST. 

    Isabell Werth GER – DSP Quantaz (11yo gelding, Quarterback x Hohenstein 4) & Emilio 107 (15yo gelding, Ehrenpreis x Cacir AA)

    World number one Isabell will be in action, but not aboard her star mares Bella Rose or Weihegold. Instead she brings the experienced Emilio, who boasts more than 40 international wins at grand prix level, and the lesser known DSP Quantaz, who was a double winner at this venue last autumn, and also at the Salzburg CDI3* in January this year. Isabell will ride in the grand prix for special on Friday at 1.03pm BST. 

    Juan Matute Guimon ESP – Quantico (15yo gelding, Fighting Fit x Constant)

    This show is a huge deal for Juan, being his first international appearance since he made an astounding recovery from a brain bleed in 2020. Quantico is his under-25 bronze medallist and World Equestrian Games 2018 team ride, whom he will be aiming for the Tokyo Olympics as part of his incredible comeback. The pair will be in action in the grand prix for special on Friday at 11.49am BST.

    Cathrine Dufour DEN – Vamos Amigos (9yo gelding, by Vitalis)

    The other individual bronze medallist at the 2019 Europeans, Cathrine has opted to bring her rising star to Hagen. Vamos Amigos, who is owned by Britain’s Sarah Pidgley, will be competing at just his second international but looks set to have a very bright future indeed. He and Cathrine will be in action on Friday in the special tour at 9.59am BST.

    Nanna Skodberg Merrald DEN – Atterupgaards Orthilia (16yo mare, Gribaldi x Donnerschlag) & Blue Hors Zack (17yo stallion, Rousseau x Jazz)

    Nanna’s name might not be the most recognisable to some British dressage fans, but she is in Hagen riding two horses who are very famous indeed. Atterupgaards Orthilia is the talented mare whom Fiona Bigwood partnered at the Rio Olympics in 2016 to help Britain win team silver, while the prolific stallion Blue Hors Zack is the former championship ride of Daniel Bachmann Anderson, who is also in action here riding Carso’ni and Marshall-Bell. While Zack competes in the freestyle tour, Orthilia will compete in the grand prix for special on Friday at 9.41am. 

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