The world number 1 dressage combination of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro (Negro/Gerchwin) have been offered a wildcard entry for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final in Lyon, France next month (17-21 April).
With the addition of the reigning Olympic and European champion, the competition is set to be a showdown between Charlotte and the world number 2 and reigning title holder, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg (Damon Hill NRW).
Charlotte and Valegro won the World Cup leg in Olympia, London in December with a world record-breaking score of 93.975% and topped the table at the Amsterdam qualifier.
They gained 20 points for each of those wins, but despite this Charlotte was edged out of the top 10 by the Netherlands’ rising star Danielle Heijkoop (Kingsley Siro) when Danielle was second at the final qualifier in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, earlier this month.
The top 9 from the Western European League qualify automatically for the final.
Helen is also not in the top 10, but as the defender of the title she is entitled to compete.
However, as there is a limit of 3 riders per nation and Helen takes one of the German slots (that would otherwise have gone to Fabienne Lutkemeier, who is 8th), the rider in 10th goes forward instead this year.
The British Equestrian Federation’s Will Connell said: “It’s fantastic news Charlotte will compete in Lyon, not just for her legions of British fans, but for the sport as a whole. It’s very exciting to see the best horses in the world competing against each other and it will ignite the build-up to the World Equestrian Games [in Normandy in the September].”
French rider Marc Boblet has also been invited to the World Cup final.