‘Riding Dalera is always a gift’: Olympic heroes make magical return to championship squad

  • Reigning Olympic and European champions Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB made a stunning return to Germany’s senior championship squad with the top score in the grand prix team test at the European Dressage Championships.

    The pair, who have been unbeaten in international competition since June 2021, were at their best in Riesenbeck’s baking arena – delivering a new grand prix personal best of 84.61% for Germany.

    Watch Jessica talk about Dalera in the video below

    While their huge score was not enough to edge Germany ahead of gold medal-winning Britain in the team contest, it was magical to see this superstar pairing continuing to hit the highs on the biggest stages.

    “It’s very special and being here in Germany riding my beautiful, wonderful mare Dalera is always a gift. Every time I’m allowed to enter the arena, it’s a gift,” said Jessica, who missed last year’s worlds as she welcomed the arrival of baby Ella Marie.

    “She was great and she always tries her very best. It’s just up to me. If I’m focused and on point, then she is as well. She’s my mirror.”

    Their huge score was the highest by a margin of more than 2%. And while there has been much hype of the clash between Dalera and world champion Glamourdale – the two current titans of the dressage world – it was Charlotte Dujardin’s precocious talent Imhotep who split the two in the grand prix (82.42%).

    The now 16-year-old Dalera is the mare that carried Jessica to five gold medals in 2021 – team gold at both the Tokyo Olympics and 2021 European Championships, and individual golds at both championships too.

    “Dalera means… I can’t say everything, as I have kids and a husband, a wonderful family! Looking at my horses, she is a very special one and I just love spending time with her. Not only training, but also cantering through the forest, hacking out or just cuddling with her. She is just special,” said Jessica.

    The world number one put Dalera’s continued success down to three key ingredients: “Fun, motivation and really listening to what she needs, and this is what I’m getting better and better at,” she said.

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